Long before Guy brought his grocery games to basic cable, a little show called Supermarket Sweep pitted contestants against one another in knock-out shopping cart battles. And now, after more than a dozen years in the dark, the ultimate grocery-themed game show is mounting its TV comeback. Freemantle Media, the British company that co-produced American Idol and America’s Got Talent, recently acquired the global rights to Supermarket Sweep, with plans to bring the show back to airwaves. The company has not announced any information about when the game show will return or on what network it will land yet, but it’s happening.
Supermarket Sweep originally premiered on ABC back in 1965 with real shoppers in real grocery stores, but it was canceled after just three years. (The ‘60s version of the show was still popular enough to inspire a Laverne & Shirley episode in the late ‘70s.). Lifetime revived the game show in 1990 using a Hollywood soundstage. That version of the program had a five-year run, plus a three-year revival that kicked off in 2000. Supermarket Sweep reruns aired all the time on Lifetime and Pax in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. The show also spawned over a dozen international versions — some of which were very, very popular — and it inspired a hilarious SNL sketch starring Melissa McCarthy last year:
Supermarket Sweep is broken down into two main segments: a quiz where contestants try to guess the price of grocery items, and a race through the market where players try to get the biggest hauls in the given amount of time. The races are always the most compelling parts of the show, because that’s when all the inter-team drama is on full view. Supermarket Sweep is also notable for its display of colorful sweaters and sweatshirts — hopefully the new iteration of the show will bring those pastel garments back to TV.
Stay tuned for updates on the revival of Supermarket Sweep as they become available.