Igor Utsumi

Igor Utsumi

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


Brazilian Game Shows

Igor Utsumi

Igor Utsumi

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


Even though this type of show has become less popular over the past few years, there are still various game shows aired in Brazil. This article shows which are the main programs of this type in Brazil.

Game shows are one of the many family stereotypes: father, mother and children sitting on the couch, watching television game shows, with a bowl full of popcorn, on a regular weekend evening. This scene was reproduced exhaustively by movies, TV series, commercials and mass media in general.

Over the past few decades, TV game shows have lost and gained space. They were broadcast mainly during weekends, trying to appeal to all kinds of audience.

Nowadays, in Brazil, the scenario is quite similar: game shows are aired either at weekends, when audience ratings are commonly lower, or after the nightly news shows that are broadcast during the evening.

Even though most of them are not the TV channel’s biggest attraction, some are very significant in relation to audience ratings. A valid example is SBT, which became famous for reproducing game shows adapted from foreign formats and getting solid audience ratings from it.

Current Brazilian Game Shows

The list below shows the main game shows being aired by TV channels in Brazil at present. Reality shows and contests, like spelling bees and singing competitions, for example, are not classed as game shows and thus were not considered in this article.

Programa Silvio Santos

If game shows in Brazil had a place to call home, this place would be Programa Silvio Santos, a 2-hour program aired every Sunday night by SBT. This program was first broadcast in 1963 and has suffered variations through time however, game shows were a constant in its structure.

It is hosted by Silvio Santos himself, the Brazilian entrepreneur who owns SBT and is considered one of the most famous people in the media industry.

Nowadays, the program has several types of game shows, including:

  • Physical competitions, like obstacle course races and skill contests
  • Musical competitions where guests - famous or not - must correctly sing a given song, or name a song in which the lyrics contain a certain expression
  • Quiz competitions, where guests must correctly answer questions
  • Skill contests, like Nada Além de Um Minuto, the Brazilian version of the American show Minute to Win it, where competitors must complete challenges to win money prizes

Roda a Roda

Roda a Roda is the Brazilian version of the American TV show Wheel of Fortune. The U.S. version was first aired in 1975, while the Brazilian version has been broadcast since 2003.

In Brazil, Roda a Roda is usually sponsored by a brand, whose name is added to the game show’s. It is currently being sponsored by Jequiti, a cosmetic company that belongs to Silvio Santos, but other companies such as Chevrolet and Johnson & Johnson have done it as well. Santos and his daughter, Patricia Abravanel, host the show.

The game consists of a variation of the classical Hangman game. Contestants who are buyers and sellers of Jequiti products that were drawn - spin a giant carnival wheel to see how much money they could add to their sum by correctly guessing a hidden letter on a selected word, or the word itself.

Passa ou Repassa

Another attraction derived from an American game show and broadcast by SBT is Passa ou Repassa. Passa ou Repassa is the Brazilian version of Double Dare, aired in the U.S. in 1986 by Nickelodeon. In Brazil, it has been aired various times over the years, though never consistently. The first Passa ou Repassa was broadcast in 1987.

This game show is currently a segment in the program Domingo Legal, broadcast every Sunday afternoon and hosted by Celso Portiolli. It is basically a competition between two teams, usually composed of students from different schools. In this contest, they must face agility trials and answer general knowledge questions for a chance to win prizes such as smartphones, tablets and televisions.

Mega Senha

Mega Senha is one of the only popular game shows in Brazil that is not aired on SBT. Mega Senha is the Brazilian version of the American show Password, first broadcast in 1961. It has been on air in Brazil since 2010, on RedeTV!, and is hosted by Marcelo de Carvalho, VP of the broadcasting channel.

This game is a contest between a man and a woman. Each one of them pair up with a famous celebrity. On the player’s turn, the famous player must make their peer guess five given words by saying words related to it, like an antonym, for example. Then both parties switch roles.

Topa Um Acordo?

This game show was made internationally famous by its original version, aired in the United States: Let’s Make a Deal. Topa Um Acordo? is the youngest of the list above, and was first broadcast in April 2014.

The show is aired by Rede Record and presented by Brazilian actor Rodrigo Faro. The presenter offers different prizes to the audience, and it is up to them to analyze and make deals which may result in better prizes or even undesirable items.

Famous Former Brazilian Game Shows

Brazilian TV channels, in general, are struggling to maintain high audience levels. Game shows have been affected by this: since they are not able to raise the audience levels, many are being cancelled, even though some were very popular in the past.

Some examples are:

  • Qual é a Música, the Brazilian version of Name That Tune and aired by SBT
  • Show do Milhão, aired by SBT, which is the Brazilian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
  • Topa ou Não Topa, also aired by SBT, version of Deal Or No Deal
  • O Preço Certo, Brazilian version of The Price Is Right, which was aired by SBT in the 1980’s and by Rede Record in 2009
  • Jogo da Velha, aired by Rede Globo from 1989 to 1993, Brazilian version of Hollywood Squares
  • Family Feud, the Brazilian version of the namesake show, that surprisingly was not very successful and was only aired for little more than 12 months by SBT

Game Shows Never Aired in Brazil

As it is clear to see, most Brazilian game shows are just versions of those already aired in the United States. However, some programs were never adapted for Brazilian television, including the greatest game show of all time, according to TV Guide: Jeopardy!.

Some of the most famous game shows that have not been adopted by Brazilian broadcasters are:

  • Jeopardy!
  • Match Game
  • You Don’t Say!
  • Scrabble
  • The Newlywed Game