Have There Ever Been TV Shows for People to Play Sudoku on TV? You Might be Surprised!

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Sudoku Live (2005)

Sudoku Live appeared on the BBC in 2005 and was the first live Sudoku game show. On Sudoku Live, there were four teams of 9 people each representing various geographic regions and with one celebrity contestant on each team; the audience watching at home could also compete separately in an interactive Sudoku competition.

Sudo-Q

Sudo-Q was a quiz show that aired on the BBC from 2005-2007 which combined small Sudoku games (4×4 and 6×6 puzzle grids) with general knowledge trivia quiz questions.

Street Cred Sudoku

Street Cred Sudoku was another unique Sudoku game show that appeared on TV in the UK between 2005-2007, but this one had a slightly different Sudoku variation – it featured two-person teams of comedians who competed to answer quiz questions; whoever answered the questions correctly (and humorously) got numbers placed to complete their Sudoku grid. Here is a video of two comedians winning an episode of Street Cred Sudoku.

Although none of the Sudoku TV shows lasted longer than 2007, it’s worth noting a few insights and lessons that they can teach us about the game:

Sudoku Was a Major Craze in 2005

Back in the middle of the first decade of the new millennium, people all over the English speaking world were seriously enamored with Sudoku, and probably nowhere more than in the UK. It’s interesting that so many TV producers tried to capitalize on the Sudoku craze by adapting it for TV.

Sudoku Doesn’t Translate Perfectly Well for TV

Most of the Sudoku game shows had some kind of extra layer of interest other than simply being “televised Sudoku.” Sudoku is a wonderfully fun and challenging game, but it’s usually a solitary activity, done silently while sitting by oneself. The Sudoku game shows tried to make it more of a group interactive game with some extra color and dazzle.

Sudoku is Highly Adaptable

There are so many Sudoku variations, and it’s easy to see why when you look at the various ways that the game was presented on TV – 4×4 Sudoku, team Sudoku, quiz show Sudoku; just like when playing Sudoku online where there are many Sudoku variations, Sudoku TV shows made the most of the adaptable nature of this game.