Baggage (game show)

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Presented by Jerry Springer
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons Baggage: 4
Baggage on the Road: 1
No. of episodes Baggage: 300
Baggage on the Road: 20
Executive producer(s)
  • Jay James (2010–12)
  • Tim Puntillo (2010–12)
  • Lisa Tucker (2015)
Camera setup Multi-camera setup
Running time 20–21 minutes
Production company(s)
Original channel Game Show Network
Original release April 19, 2010 (2010-04-19) – present
External links

Baggage is an American dating game show hosted by Jerry Springer and broadcast by Game Show Network. The original series premiered on April 19, 2010, airing for four seasons. A spin-off series, entitled Baggage on the Road, debuted January 7, 2015.

Similar to The Dating Game, Baggage gives three contestants the chance to win the eye of a prospective date. The contestants carry three suitcases onstage: a small, medium, and large one. Each suitcase contains an embarrassing, gross, unique, or weird proposition the contestant may have; for example, bad habits, strange relationship preferences, issues with one's past, and strange hobbies. These cases represent the "baggage" to which they will confess and defend. The bigger the suitcase, the bigger the secret. Once the three contestants are pared down to one, the potential dater must admit to a fault of his or her own.


The game is played by first introducing the central character. Three contestants are then introduced, each accompanied by three pieces of baggage: a small one, a medium one, and a large one, with each one containing a corresponding secret.[1] The central character also has a piece of baggage of his or her own, which is only revealed at the end of the show. During the show, three possible secrets are given about the central character's secret, only one of which is the actual secret contained in their baggage. After the contestants are introduced, they each open the smallest piece of baggage, and explain the secrets they contain.[1]

In the second segment, Springer reveals the second level of each baggage, contained in the medium-sized suitcase. The three contestants are placed on the other side of the stage, along with the central character. Only the three contestants know which piece of baggage belongs to whom.[1] The central character chooses the one piece of baggage which is the "deal breaker" (i.e., the one secret that he or she cannot accept). After stating this, the contestants then return to the other side of the stage and reveal which suitcase belongs to them. The person who claims the deal breaker baggage is immediately eliminated, and reveals the largest piece of baggage that would have been shown in the final round. The central character and two remaining contestants discuss the secrets in the medium pieces of baggage and plead their case as to why they should be the central character's choice.[1] The two remaining contestants, one at a time, are then asked questions about their personal lives.

The two remaining contestants open their largest pieces of baggage and reveal the secrets they contain. Each contestant makes one final statement, and the central character eliminates one final contestant.[1] The central character's own baggage is then opened and the contents revealed to the remaining contestant.[1] If the contestant accepts the secret belonging to the central character, the couple is given an expense-covered evening together. However, if the contestant can not accept the secret, the pair part ways.


The series was officially announced on March 23, 2010, with Jerry Springer being confirmed as the host.[2] GSN renewed the show for a second season, which began on August 16, 2010,[3] A syndication test run was shown on a select group of Sinclair Broadcast Group's stations January 10, 2011.[4][5] The series began airing in syndication in the United States in September 2012,[6] becoming to first original program the network's history to achieve such a feat.[7]

A third season began airing on June 6, 2011.[8] During season three, a special entitled Baggage First Dates aired during a five-hour "Best of Baggage Marathon." The special followed a couple who had previously appeared on the show talking to Springer about what happened on their first date following their appearance.[9] A fourth season of the show premiered on March 14, 2012.[10]

With GSN’s Executive Vice President of Programming, Amy Introcaso-Davis, citing that the series has remained "extremely popular" in reruns,[7] GSN announced plans to order twenty episodes of a traveling version of the series. The spin-off, entitled Baggage on the Road, follows an identical format to its predecessor while traveling to tape episodes in various U.S. cities.[7] Prior to the spin-off, a special entitled Baggage: Most Outrageous Moments aired on January 1, 2015, featuring highlights from the original series' run.[11] The spin-off premiered on January 7, 2015.[12]


The show quickly became a ratings success for GSN, becoming the highest-rated weekday series in the network's history. The original series averaged 473,000 viewers during its first season,[13] while the 2015 version peaked at 524,000 viewers for its first season.[14] Despite earning respectable ratings by GSN's standards, Baggage has received mixed critical reviews. Carrie Grosvenor of About Entertainment argued that the series "isn't exactly must-see TV, but it's entertaining enough to catch an episode here and there."[1] Additionally, Josef Adalian of The Wrap gave a negative pre-review of the show, calling it and Springer "GSN's latest bad idea."[15] In 2012, Baggage also appeared in Entertainment Weekly as a "top guilty pleasure," and was also featured in the HBO television series Girls.[16]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Grosvenor, Carrie. "Baggage Explained". About Entertainment. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Jerry Springer to Host GSN's New Dating Game Show Baggage" (Press release). GSN Corporate. March 23, 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Baggage and Catch 21 Both Return on August 16" (Press release). GSN Corporate. July 26, 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2014. 
  4. ^ "WCIU-TV Testing Jerry Springer's Baggage For NBCU". Chicago Radio and Media. January 12, 2011. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  5. ^ Marszalek, Diana (January 12, 2011). "NBCU Testing Baggage for Syndication". TV News Check. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  6. ^ Rubino, Lindsay (May 17, 2012). "GSN's Baggage to Make Off-Net Syndication Debut Sept. 17". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "GSN and Jerry Springer Taking Baggage on the Road in New Traveling Spinoff of Hit Dating Game Show Baggage" (Press release). GSN Corporate. September 16, 2014. Retrieved October 12, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Baggage Returns for New Season June 6 with Host Jerry Springer on GSN" (Press release). GSN Corporate. May 16, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2014. 
  9. ^ "GSN Premieres Baggage First Dates Special: A Dater and Winning Contestant from Baggage go on First Date" (Press release). GSN Corporate. August 4, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2014. 
  10. ^ "GSN Premieres New Season of Baggage, Hosted by Jerry Springer" (Press release). GSN Corporate. February 22, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Baggage: Most Outrageous Moments". GSNTV. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  12. ^ "New Traveling Dating Game Show Baggage on the Road, Hosted by Jerry Springer, Premieres on GSN January 7" (Press release). GSN Corporate. November 25, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  13. ^ Bernhard, Lisa (August 30, 2010). "At the Game Show Network, Winning Is Everything". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  14. ^ Pucci, Douglas (January 29, 2015). "Wednesday Final Nationals: Continued Growth for Empire on Fox". TV Media Insights. Cross MediaWorks. Retrieved January 31, 2015. 
  15. ^ Adalian, Josef (March 23, 2010). "Jerry Springer: GSN's Latest Bad Idea". The Wrap. The Wrap News, Inc. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Baggage on GSN Chosen as an Entertainment Weekly Top Guilty Pleasure and Featured on HBO’S New Hit Show Girls (Best of Baggage Sizzle Reel Included)" (Press release). GSN Corporate. May 7, 2012. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 

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