Broadcast History: Jan 4 1988 – Apr 1 1988, CBS Daytime
Host: Bob Goen
Announcer: Johnny Gilbert
Jay Stewart (final week)
Packager: Jay Wolpert Productions/Taft Entertainment
Two teams work to “censor” each other and fill in bad puns for
the chance to win $10,000 in this well-crafted but short-lived game.
(All of Jay Wolpert’s shows were well-crafted and short-lived, weren’t they?)
Two celebrity-and-contestant teams compete. A sentence with four
blanks is revealed. The celebrity paired with the new player is given 20
seconds to describe a word that will fill in one of the blanks, while his/
her partner cannot listen in. After the 20 seconds are up, the description
is played back for the contestant partner, but the opposing celebrity has
the right to use his/her “Blackout Button” to censor the playback. A minimum
of seven seconds can be blacked-out, with one extra second available for
every repetition of a key word in the desription. Should the teammate guess
the word despite the censoring, his/her team gets a chance to fill in the
puzzle; otherwise, the opposing contestant, having heard the entire 20
seconds, can guess for the right to complete the puzzle. Teams alternate
describing and blacking out until the puzzle is solved, and the first team
to solve two puzzles moves on to the bonus game.
In the bonus round, the contestant faces a video screen while the
celebrity faces away from it. A category is shown on the board, with up
to six clues appearing on-screen at the rate of one every two seconds. When
the contestant, who has been shown the correct answer, feels that enough
information is on the screen, he/she says “Solve It!”, at which time the
celebrity turns around and attempts to guess the word/phrase in question.
Each correct answer is worth $200, and should the team complete six words
in 70 seconds, the contestant wins $10,000 cash.
Broadcast History: Dec 27 1980- Apr 23 1982, NBC;
Jan 5 1987- May 1 1987, NBC
Host: Bill Cullen (1980-82)
Bill Rafferty (1987)
Announcer: Bob Hilton (1980-82)
Rich Jeffreys (1987)
Creator: Steve Ryan
Packager: Mark Goodson/Bill Todman Productions
Opening Speil: “This is the battlefield for our game of skill and strategy!
these are the letters which lead to victory!
A team of two contestants, who are related, but not husband and
wife, compete against a solo contestant in a race to connect a path across
a game board consisiting of 20 hexagons, each containing a letter of the
alphabet. The hexagons are arranged in five columns of four, and interlock
to form the battlefield, as such:
The team (in white) must connect a row of at least 5 hexagons
from left to right, while the solo contestant (in red) must connect a column
of 4 from top to bottom. The game begins with a hexagon chosen at random,
the letter on which being the first letter of the answer to a question posed by the
host (“What ‘F’ is…”). The first player to buzz in may answer (no help
from the partner is allowed), and a right answer gives the player/team control
of the hexagon and the right to pick again. If a wrong answer is given, the
opponent(s) may answer (conferring is allowed here); if nobody gives the
correct answer, another question is asked for the same letter.
The strategy of the game is to choose letters which will help you
in completing your line, but will not necessarily do your opponent any good
if they steal control.
The first player(s) to complete their line win $500, and winning
a two of out three match gives the player(s) the right to compete in the
“Gold Rush” bonus game, later renamed “Gold Run.”. (In the early days of the
series, a $2500 Gold Rush was played after the first win of a match, with a $5000 “Super Gold Rush” played after winning a match.)
GOLD RUSH/GOLD RUN:
The contestant (the team must choose one player at this point) tries
to complete a row from left to right on a new board, which now contains
multiple-letter clues leading to names, phrases, etc. (Ex. “MMT” or “BC”)
If the contestant answers incorrectly or passes, a block appears on that
space and the contestant must work his/her way around. Completing a row in
60 seconds pays off at $5000. If the game is not won, the contestant(s) receive $100 for each correct answer.
In this version, two solo contestants compete in a best-of-three
match, alternating between top-to-bottom and left-to-right. Should a third
game be neccessary, a board with 16 hexagons in 4 columns is used, giving
neither player the advantage. Winning each game was still worth $100, and
winning the match gave the contestant the right to play the “Gold Run”
for a jackpot that started at $5000 and increased by that amount each time
it was not won.
1. The addition of “Blockbusters” and “Wordplay”, which both premiered
the same day, meant the 1987 NBC daytime game show lineup was a whopping three
hours, which was the biggest it had been in decades. (The others: “Sale of the
Century”, “Wheel of Fortune”, “Scrabble” and “Super Password”.)
2. Interestingly, “Blockbusters” was used to promote the forthcoming debut
of “Classic Concentration”, as Rafferty and Jeffreys exuded that “your
favorite game show” was coming back. This is the only instance on record
that a show recruited contestants for another.
Break the Bank
Broadcast History: April-June 1976, ABC Daytime
Host: Tom Kennedy (daytime)
Jack Barry (syndicated)
Opening: “Three of these boxes will Break the $10,000 Bank!
Is this one of them? Or is it this one? Or this one?
We’ll find out in a minute, as these nine celebrities-
(intros)-all join us to play ‘Break the Bank’!”
The second series to use the title “Break the Bank” bore no
resemblance to the Bert Parks version. This was an interesting board
game, played with the help of nine quipping celebrities. (Another use
of the “Hollywood Squares” theorem.)
The BtB board is made up of 20 numbered squares,four rows of five each.
Behind the squares are either amounts of money (three each of $100, $200 and
$300 on the daytime show; $100, $300 and $500 on the nighttime version),
‘Money Bags’ (five), ‘Wild’ Cards (one) and blanks (five.) The money
denominations all touch on one side, while none of the blanks touch.
Thus, a sample board could look like this:
The celebrities sit either to the left of a row or above a column.
Two contestants, a man and a woman, play against each other for an entire
The challenger starts off by picking a number, revealing the
game piece behind it. If it is a blank, s/he loses control; otherwise,
the host reads a question to the two celebrities connected to that square
(i.e. the one at the left of that row and the one above that column).
One celebrity gives the correct answer, while the other gives a bluff. If
the contestant chooses the correct answer, s/he gains control of the box;
otherwise the opponent takes control of that box and the next question.
(Control is designated by either a moustache or a pair of lips appearing on
the square, signifying man or woman.) If the square is revealed to be a money
bag, no question is played; the contestant may elect to keep the money bag,
at which time control passes to his/her opponent, or refuse the bag and
make another selection.
The first player to control three of any denomination wins the game,
all the money they control, and a bonus prize. On the daytime version, they
then faced a new challenger (unless the opponent had not received a single turn
in that game, in which case they stayed around).
On the syndicated version, the same two players remained for the whole show,
playing as many games as possible (should time run short, they alternate picking boxes, without going through the questions, to determine a winner).
At the end of the show, the player who has won the most games plays the bonus
round – EXCEPT…if a contestant wins a game by matching three money bags, that
player “Breaks the Bank”, and receives cash and prizes worth over $5,000
(daytime) or $10,000 (nighttime). More prizes are added to the jackpot every
day until it is won. That player also automatically plays the bonus game.
BONUS (SYNDICATED VERSION ONLY):
Each celebrity has an amount of money ranging between $200 and $1000
hidden on a card in front of them-except for one, whose card reads “BUST”.
The contestant picks a star, who then reveals the amount in front of them.
The contestant can stop at any time and keep his/her winnings, but if s/he
can amass $2000 without finding the BUST, s/he wins the Grand Prize of $5,000
Broadcast History: 1993-94, NBC Daytime
Host: Ahmad Rashad
Gladiator: Dan Doherty
Announcer: Steve Day
Packager: Rick Rosner Productions/
Stephen J. Cannell Productions
Contestants compete in a cross between Scrabble and the 1990 version
of “The Joker’s Wild”.
Three contestants stand before a giant slot machine with 9 letter
spaces. On the slot machine are screens, and each screen contains
a letter. For the first round, 7 letter words are used, the second
round 8, and the third round 9. The letters are scrambled, but
when unscrambled, form a word.
Host Rashad reads the contestants a question relating to the category
that the word comes from (in later versions, the contestants were
given the category; earlier, only the home audience saw the category).
The first to buzz in gets $100 in Round 1, $200 in round 2, and $300
in round 3 and the chance to place a letter in its correct position
in the word. When a contestant guesses the word, he or she is paid
off by how many letters were left (example: In round 3, if 5
letters are left, he/she wins an extra $1,500).
In addition, one of the slots is designated a “lucky slot”. If a contestant
places the correct letter in the slot and immediately guesses the word,
he wins the jackpot, which starts at $500, and builds by $500 intervals
for every word that the “lucky slot” is not won.
If running short of time, game play changes to a speed word format.
The “lucky slot” is taken out of play, and letters in the word are
randomly placed one at a time until a contestant gueses the word.
The contestant with the most winnings at the end of the game is the
winner and moves on to the bonus round.
Two versions of the bonus round were used.
In the first version, letters were randomly drawn from a giant squirrel
cage which was lowered onto the set. Letters continue to be drawn
until a word can be formed with 9 of the letters. The 9 letters are
displayed and based on the champion’s “streak”, the contestant has
letters placed in their appropriate spots (example: if they’ve been
there for 3 days, they get 3 letters placed). The contestant then
has 10 seconds to unscramble the word to win a car.
In the second version, the contestant is shown five scrambled words,
ranging in length from five to nine letters. The five-letter word is shuffled,
with each shuffle dropping one letter into its correct position, until the
player identifies the word and moves on to the next one. If the player
solves all 5 words in 30 seconds, s/he wins the car.
The show’s main gimmick was that it was taped in Caesar’s Palace, in
Las Vegas. Dan, the gladiator, did the initial spins for each word, and
provided “witty” repartee with host Rashad. In addition, contestants
were chosen from the audience at Caesar’s Palace.
At the close of every show, host Rashad and Dan would go through the
audience asking audience members to solve 5-letter words. Winners
got to reach into a bowl and grab a handful of silver dollars and chocolate
broadcast history: version 1: Apr 24 1978-Oct 23 1981, NBC
version 2: Jan 6, 1986-1989, CBS
Sep 8, 1986- Sep 1987, Syn.
host: Jim Perry (version 1)
Bob Eubanks (version 2 daytime)
Bill Rafferty (version 2 nighttime)
dealers: (1) Becky Price, Linda Hocks
(2) Lacey Pemberton, Susannah Williams
announcer: Gene Wood (frequent sub: Bob Hilton)
packager: Mark Goodson/Bill Todman Productions
opening speil: “Ace is high! Deuce is low!
(original -see NOTE) Play the cards, Win the dough!
onnnnnnnn ‘Card Sharks’!”
Two contestants, one a returning champion, compete in this game
based on the card game “Acey-Deucey”.
Each round begins with the host reading a survey question that
had been previously posed to 100 people and asking how many people the
contestants think gave a certain answer. The first contestant for that
round gives a numerical guess, while the second contestant states whether
he/she feels the actual number is higher or lower than his/her opponent’s
answer. Should the second contestant be right, he/she plays the cards; if
not, the first contestant gets an opportunity.
Each contestant plays from ther own deck of cards. The object of the
game is to correctly move your way across a row of five cards by successfully
calling each card to be higher or lower than the preceeding card. At any time,
a player may elect to freeze and end his/her turn, because an incorrect guess
causes the player to return to the point from which he started that round, as
well as giving his/her opponenet a free turn. The player that wins the
question gets the option of changing their first card with a new one from
Should neither contestant complete the five cards after the first
question, the players alternate roles (number/higher-lower) for each
question. If neither player wins after three questions, the fourth is
played as “sudden death”, meaning the winning player can play or pass to
his/her opponent, and whoever plays must finish their board or lose
regardless of their opponent’s progress. Winning a game is worth $100, and
winning two games gives the player the match. The third game, if needed,
is played with three questions and three cards. The player that wins the
match goes on to the bonus round.
In Version 2, special bonus prize cards were also shuffled into
the decks; turning one of these up gave the player a prize or cash bonus
if they won that game.
BONUS ROUND– “The Money Cards”
From a new deck of cards, a three-row board is set up with three
cards on the bottom and middle rows, one card on top, in the ‘x’ spaces
as shown below (and to the left):
_ x x x
* x x x
The top card of the deck is then placed in the ‘*’ position, with the
contestant afforded the chance to change that card. Beginning with a new $200,
s/he bets on whether each card will be higher or lower than the one preceeding
it. The last card in the bottom row is moved up to the empty position in the
second row. The contestant is given another $200 to bet with, and s/he can
change this card if desired. The minimum bet is $50 on each card in the
first two rows.
The final card on the top row is known as the “Big Bet”. The last card
of the second row is moved up to that blank space, again with a chance to
change it. Here, the player must bet at least half of his/her pot. The
theoretical maximum possible value of this game is $28,800.
In version 2, the middle-row bonus was upped to $400, making
the possible total $32,000. The procedure was also simplified, as four cards
were dealt to the bottom row to begin with, and three spare cards were
available to change any one card per row.
Still later on in the version 2’s run, a new car was added to the
bonus game proceedings: Three jokers were shuffled into the “Money Cards”
deck, and a fourth was given to the contestant at the outset. After the “Money
Cards” were played, the contestant took whatever jokers he found to a special
row of seven cards and placed the jokers over the cards of his choice. Six of
the cards said “NO” on the reverse, while the seventh said “CAR”.
Late in version 2’s run, the jokers were eliminated: A question
was read that was asked of a group of 10 people (who shared a similar job,
interest, etc.). The contestant set a pointer to his/her guess, and won the
car for getting the number exactly right or $500 for being one away.
NOTE – the theme music for the NBC “Card Sharks” was also used in 1977
as the theme for G/T’s “Double Dare” show on CBS.
NOTE from Doug Morris –
Some opening speils in the ’78-’81 run were submitted by viewers. This
first occured (I think) after the show logged one year.
Dirty Rotten Cheater
Broadcast History: Jan 6 2003 – Apr 14 2003, PAX-TV
Monday nights, 8-9 PM EST
Host: Bil Dwyer
Music: Tim Mosher & Stoker
Origination: KCET-TV, Los Angeles
Packager: Jonathan Goodson Productions
Opening Speil: “One of these honest players is about to be turned into a Dirty
Rotten Cheater! The Cheater will secretly see all the answers to all the
questions.” (Intro of each player, who denies being the Cheater) “Players, one
of you is LYING! One of you IS the Dirty Rotten Cheater!”
Six contestants play; one is chosen at the show’s outset to be the Dirty Rotten Cheater (DRC) and is receiving all the answers to all the questions on the monitor in front of them. The players are given a survey question and attempt to give one answer to said question. If the answer is in the top ten given by the survey group, they score cash ($250 for the most popular answer, increasing by $250 increments to $2500 for the #10 answer). After all players have answered, the three highest-scorers for the question receive bonuses of $10,000, $7500 and $5000. The players then can take the time to tell the others why they think one player is the DRC. After the accusations are done, each player casts their vote.
If three players vote for the same person, that person is eliminated from the game, and their money is gone. The person then announces whether or not they are the DRC; if they aren’t, the remaining players all lose half of their cash. If the eliminated player WAS the DRC, then the other players keep all their money, and a new DRC is chosen.
If no one player receives at least three votes, then all the players lose half their winnings, and the DRC secretly chooses one of their opponents to eliminate from the game. They do this by pushing a hidden button inside their podium (a la the Friend or Foe? Trust Box – all the players are required to place their hands inside the podium). The host reads each player’s name one at a time; when the Cheater votes to eliminate an opponent, the lights around the logo at center stage glow red.
Rounds 2 & 3 are played the same, with two questions asked per round (the cash bonuses are averaged, as needed, should two players score the same amount over the round).
Round 4 is two questions, again, with no more cash bouses from here on out. Since there are only three players left (therefore, no way for three players to agree on a vote), the voting is placed the hands of the audience. If one player receives 50% of the audience vote, they are eliminated; otherwise they all lose half and the DRC gets to eliminate someone.
Round 5 sees the final two players attempt to give three answers, alternating turns. After the players plead their case to the audience, the previously-eliminated players (except for the DRCs) lock in their guess as to who the DRC is; they can earn $500 each for a correct answer. After the audience votes, the DRC is revealed and given the chance to grab their winnings out of an onstage vault; if the money drops through a trapdoor, the audience voted correctly and the honest player gets their winnings. If the audience is wrong, the DRC wins their cash.
This is the second game show for Bil Dwyer, who previously hosted Fox Sports Net’s “UFL: Ultimate Fan League.” He also served as color commentator for Comedy Central’s robotic competition “Battlebots.”
Jonathan Goodson Productions is, naturally, headed up by the son of legendary producer Mark Goodson. After focusing on state lottery games for nearly a decade, he’s returned to classic games with this program and with Game Show Network’s “Cram”, which premiered the same day.
broadcast history: Dec 13 1976 – Apr 29 1977, CBS
host: Alex Trebek
announcer: Johnny Olsen,Gene Wood
packager: Mark Goodson/Bill Todman Productions
executive producer: Jay Wolpert
opening speil: “Take a risk! Take a chance! Take a dare!
Play the game of ‘Double Dare’!”
Two contestants, one a returning champ, compete. Each contestant
is seated in his/her own isolation booth. Host shows the home audience
the person, place or thing the contestants are trying to identify, then
shows the players clues, one at a time. If a player buzzes in, his/her
opponent’s isolation booth is shut off. A wrong answer causes that player’s
booth to be closed while a free clue is given to the opponent only.
If a right answer is given, the player scores $50 and is given the opportunity
to earn more money via a “dare”: the scoring contestant is shown another clue
and is given the option of ending the round or showing that clue to his/her
opponent for five seconds. If the opponent identifies the subject, they
win $50; if not, the darer wins $100 and a chance to “double dare” the
opponent with another clue for $200 (A correct answer earns the opponent
$100). The first player to score $500 wins the game and goes on to the bonus
BONUS ROUND – “The Spoilers”
“The Spoilers” are a panel of three Ph. D.’s from various fields
who appear for a week’s worth of episodes. The contestant is shown a
subject and picks one of eight concealed clues on the bonus board. After the
clue is revealed, the contestant must decide whether to give that clue to the
Spoilers or pass (there is no limit to the number of passes; however, if
s/he passes too many, s/he could get stuck giving easy clues to the Spoilers
later on.) If the clue is accepted, it is then read to the Spoilers, and each
receives one guess as to the subject. A wrong guess earns the player $100;
a correct guess earns the Spoiler $100. If, after four clues, at least one
Spoiler has failed to identify the subject, the contestant wins $5,000.
1. This show’s theme music would be reused on “Card Sharks” in 1978.
The Newlywed Game
Broadcast History: Jul 11 1966 – Dec 20 1974, ABC daytime, occ. nighttime
Feb 13 1984 – Feb 17 1984, ABC daytime
1985-89, Syndicated daily
Sep 1996 – Sep 1998, Syndicated
(*1984, 1985-88: title “The New Newlywed Game”)
Host: Bob Eubanks (1966-80, 1985-88, 1997-99)
Jim Lange (Feb 84)
Paul Rodriguez (1988-89)
Gary Kroeger (1996-97 )
Announcer: Johnny Jacobs (1966-80)
Bob Hilton (1984-88)
Ellen K (1996-1997)
John Cramer (1997-99)
Packager: Chuck Barris Productions
(1996- ) Columbia/TriStar Television
Opening: “From Hollywood – Heeere Come the Newlyweds!”
Four couples, all married for less than two years, put their marriage
to the ultimate test in this all-time classic, hosted by Eubanks to absolute
In Round One, the wives are secluded off-stage while the husbands
answer three questions posed by the host. Some questions were harmless
enough, but many were designed to fan the flames of marital discord, with
such topics as the similarities between her mother and farm animals, or
their sex life (referred to on-air as “making whoopee”, the lone euphemism
ABC censors would allow). The wives are then brought back on-stage, with
the husbands holding their answers on giant blue cards, face-down in their
lap. The wife tries to give the answer she feels her husband would say, and
if correct, the couple earns five points.
Round Two is played in reverse, with husbands trying to predict how
their wives had answered four new questions, which had grown even more
suggestive by this point. Each match in the first three questions is worth 10
points. In this round, the couples had usually become so agitated that the
blue cards doubled as weapons, and more time on the show was devoted to
arguing than to game play (Host Eubanks, of course, egged them on at every
The fourth and final question of the second round was worth 25 points,
with the husbands again trying to match the wife. “The big 25-point bonus
question” was usually inoffensive enough to allow the couples to simmer down
(unless, of course, he missed *that* one, too). The couples answered in order
of least points to most, and whoever had the most points at the end of the
show won the game and “a special prize chosen just for you!” – usually an
appliance or furniture.
1. Yes, the grand prize really was chosen “just” for the winning couple –
Barris recalls that when couples tried out for the show, they were asked what
prize they’d most like to win, and four couples with the same prize wish
were selected for each episode.
2. Some of the most popular exchanges from the show:
EUBANKS: “Would you say that your husband is more urban or rural?”
WIFE: (Wide-eyed innocence) “I don’t know what it means…”
EUBANKS: “Well, just pick one.”
WIFE: “Uhhh….(giggles a few times, cracking up the audience and host)…
I’ll say Urban.”
EUBANKS: “Urban? How long has he been that way?”
WIFE: “A few years.”
EUBANKS: “What’s he done about it?”
WIFE: “Uhhh…he went to the doctor.” (Audience continues to laugh)
EUBANKS: “Did the doctor give him anything for his Urban?”
WIFE: “He gave *me* something!” (Eubanks busts out laughing)
EUBANKS: “When my wife wakes up in the morning, she’s likely to find
my *blank* on her *what*?”
ELDERLY HUSBAND: “My teeth on her sink.”
One of the most celebrated exchanges from “The Newlywed Game”, however, has
been denied by Eubanks as ever happening. Barris maintains that it did, but
even if it had, ABC would never have let it on the air.
EUBANKS: “Where is the strangest place you and your wife have ever made
HUSBAND: “In the butt, Bob!” (or, erm, “similar” words.)
Well, something similar really *did* happen (a wife responded “in the a**?”,
but was bleeped out) — but some people still swear to have heard the
uncensored version. We still wait.
RULES – 1996:
In the updated NG, three couples compete in four distinct
rounds, with the winners receiving a second honeymoon vacation.
ROUND 1: All six principals are shown a pre-recorded video of
their spouse, who starts a statement about themselves or their spouse. The
video is paused long enough for the player to guess how his/her spouse
answered; a match is worth 10 points.
ROUND 2: Similar to the classic NG. Each player is given
a multiple-choice question answered by their spouse prior to the show. 10
points per correct answer.
ROUND 3: “THAT’S MY WIFE!” Each of the men is given a paddle with
that phrase on it. The host reads a statement about one of the women in
the game. The first husband to hold up his paddle and shout “That’s My
Wife!” (the first paddle to go up lights up) wins 10 points if he is
correct, or loses 10 if he is wrong. Only the first one up can score plus
or minus. About seven or eight ae played.
ROUND 4: Seven “either-or” options, such as
“Fried”/”Flame-Broiled”, “Goes All Night”/”Sleeps On It”, etc., are read.
The wives, who are now seated behind the husbands, hold up the card they
think best fits their husband. A matching answer from the husband scores
points: from 10-60 for the first six questions and 100 points fo rthe
seventh. The couple with the most points wins.
* Don’t remember this version? Well, after a year of dissapointing ratings,
the host, theme, set, and rules were dumped in favor of a return to the classic
format and the re-hiring of Eubanks. The only differences from the original
show was that one fewer 10-point question was played, and the couples
played for a second-honeymoon trip.)
The revived original formula “Newlywed”, and the similarly restored “Dating
Game”, were the first shows to air in first-run concurrently on Game Show Network and on broadcast TV.
Broadcast History: 1995-1996
tv! Network (renamed Intro Television on Dec.1)
Host: Greg Lee
Creators: Howard J. Blumenthal
Sharon Hancock Brown
A wild and wacky road race through TV land.
Two contestants start at space 0 and must simply move around
the track until they reach the finish line.
First, host Lee asks the contestants a list question (example:
“Name the regulars on ‘Cheers'”). The two contestants alternate
giving answers until one gives an incorrect answer (or does not
answer at all) or the category is completed. The contestant
who gives the most answers to the list question moves ahead
one space for each answer he or she gives. In case a contestant
gives an incorrect answer and the score is tied, the opponent
is given the chance to give one more answer to break the tie.
If they can’t give an answer, both players remain where they
are and a new list question is asked. Should the players
complete the list, they both move the combined total of spaces
and a wheel is spun to see who gains control.
The player who wins the list question is shown a clip from one
of the networks shown on the tv! Network. The player then
performs a stunt which may or may not have anything to do with
the clip. If successful in the stunt, they win an extra two
During the game, several special rounds may be played:
The Grid Game- Contestants are shown a grid of 10 television
programs for 15 seconds. After 15 seconds, they alternate
listing as many programs as they can remember. Each contestant
moves up one space for each program he or she can name.
The Cold Spell- Contestants are given a name (such as
Schwarzkopf or Shaquille) and must alternate spelling the
name. Once a contestant messes up, his/her opponent moves
up one space for each letter that they provided and performs
The Video Game- Contestants compete against each other in a
special custom video game and move ahead one space for each
point they score during the game.
The Pit Stop Survey- Before a commercial break, the audience is
asked a question, and after the break, the contestants predict
the outcome of the survey. The contestant who comes closest to
the acutal results moves ahead 2 spaces and performs a stunt.
When it appears that time is running short, the finish line is
placed 5 spaces ahead of the lead player. No stunts are
performed, and only list questions are asked. The first player
to cross the finish line advances to the bonus round.
Bonus Round– The Nitro! Void
The winner is shown three categories and chooses one. They
must answer as many questions as possible (up to 10) in the
time given. Their time is determined by how many spaces they
advanced in the front game (if they went 32 spaces in the front
game, they get 64 seconds of time). If they don’t answer any
questions right, they get a junk TV. The more questions they
get right, the better television they get, and if they answer
all 10 correct, they win a home entertainment system, complete
with a satellite dish, big screen TV, and a stereo.
Host Greg Lee is most noted for being the host of the PBS
game show “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?”.
All of the spaces on the track, as well as many of the background
items, are painted blue, and in post-production, chromakeyed so
that they appear to be staticy TV sets. Although it’s a low-budget
effect, it also works very well. The entire set is supposed
to be a race track, the stage assistants are called the “Pit Crew”,
and the contestants are suited up in race suits.
At the beginning of the show, the home audience is shown a secret
name. If a contestant uses that name in a correct answer, they
automatically advance an additional 2 spaces.
Some questions used on the show are verified using “The Complete
Directory to Network Prime Time and Cable TV Shows” Sixth Edition,
by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh, (c) 1995, Ballantine Books.
Some spaces on the track are on ramps, others on stairs,
two on tires, and three (spaces 14-16) are on top of an old beat-up
Mustang painted green.
The clips shown during the show are of shows from other cable
networks which the tv! Network carries. For those who don’t know,
the programming of tv! Network consists mostly of shows on OTHER
cable networks which have limited access. These networks include
The TV Food Network, Planet Central, CNN International, Newstalk
Television, the Ecology Channel and the Military Channel.
At the end of most shows (with full credit sequences), there’s
one gag credit that says “Mr. Greenberg’s Laundry: Greg Lee”.
James Greenberg is the head writer on the show, as well as
one of the people who developed the program and an associate
The show is produced at the tv! Network studios in Englewood, Colorado.
The $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime
broadcast history: Sep 1986 – Sep 1988, Syndicated
host: Jim Lange
hostess (1987-88): Karen Thomas
announcers: Johnny Gilbert (’87-’88)
packager: XPTLA Company
opening speil: (after couples were introduced)
“…as they battle for the richest prize
in the history of television, just one
single word could turn one of our couples
into millionaires – ALL on ‘The $1,000,000
Chance of a Lifetime’!”
Each couple chooses a player to play Round One. The object is to
solve a puzzle after correctly filling in letters from a giant computer
keyboard. The two players are shown a single-word clue one letter at a
time: the first to buzz in and correctly identify the clue gets $25 in
their bank and a shot at the keyboard. Letters appearing in the puzzle
are lit up on the keyboard, along with an extra letter – “The Stinger”,
which, if picked, causes the player to lose his/her turn. Players may pick
two letters for each clue won, and $25 is deposited into the puzzle bank
each time a letter appears in the puzzle. A lit “*” key signifies punctuation
marks in the puzzle and is never a “Stinger”. The first player to solve
the puzzle wins all the money in the puzzle bank. The teams then trade
partners for Round Two, which is worth $50 a clue and letter. The teams
pick whomever they want to play Round Three for $100 a letter/clue, and the
couple with the highest total after three rounds (sometimes four, though
still $100) is the winner.
The couple chooses one of three categories and is placed in an
on-stage isolation booth, where they hear only the host. Six one-word
clues appear, one at a time and one letter at the time. If the couple can
solve all six clues in 60 seconds, they win $5,000 in cash, which they can
keep or use to buy a second match. If they win two times, the same option
is offered with $10,000 in cash. Winning the third match pays One Million
Dollars – all cash the first season, replaced by a super prize package
(including two cars, 20 round-trip airline tickets and several rooms of
furniture) along with over $900,000 in cash. Cash was payed in annual
installments of $40,000.
broadcast history: 1988-1989 (one season)
host: Peter Tomarken
announcer: John Harlan, Jim Haggat
packager: Dames/Fraser Productions
bonus round player’s
running shoes provided by: Kaepa, Inc.
opening speil: “From Paramount Studios in Hollywood, it’s
television’s most exciting new game . . .”
Three players competed (originally three new players everyday,
then champion and two challengers). Sixteen answers to a question are
placed on a 4×4 grid of monitors; 11 are correct (have “$” behind them), 5 are
wrong (dubbed Wipeouts, have “WIPEOUT” behind them). Host reads question.
The first correct answer selected is worth $25. The second is
worth $50. Third, $75. And so on up to the 11th correct answer worth $275.
Player 1 (determined by drawing numbers a la _Wheel of Fortune_)
begins his/her turn by selecting an answer. If correct, player earns
money and can select another answer or pass his/her turn to Player 2. If
a player picks a wrong answer, player wipes out (money score reduced to
zero, turn ends).
A player cannot pass his/her turn when the turn starts; he must select
an answer first.
After finding all the right/wrong answers or it was impossible for the
third place player to catch up, the two players with the highest money scores
advance to the Challenge Round. If there is a tie for second place, a tie-
breaker is played with a new question and 12 answers (8 right, 4 wrong).
The first player to wipeout is eliminated and the other player moves on to the
HOT SPOT: Represented a bonus prize worth about $1000 and hidden
behind one of the right answers. When it was found, player earns the
answer’s cash value and a red marker (“the hot spot”). Player may keep
prize if s/he wins the round and doesn’t wipeout. If the latter occurs,
player forfeits money and the marker and “HOT SPOT” was hidden behind
another correct answer. The hot spot prize value is not factored into the
Consists of 3 boards, ea. with a question and 12 answers (8 right,
4 wrong). After the first question was read, players alternate bidding on
how many correct answers s/he can give. High scorer from the earlier
round bids first. Bidding continues until one bids 8 or until one
challenges the other to complete the bid. A complete bid wins the round.
If the high bidder wipes out, the other player has one chance to identify
one correct answer to win the board. If other player wipes out, high
bidder resumes completing his her bid.
Same rules apply for the second board. However, the low scorer
from the first round starts bidding.
On the third board, the first round high scorer has the first bid.
The player who wins two boards out of three wins prize(s)
totalling in the neighborhood of $2500-$3500 and has the right to play for
a car in the bonus round.
If you know how to play _The Price is Right_’s “Race Game”, the
battle of learning _Wipeout_’s bonus round is half over.
Twelve answers (6 right, 6 wrong) are displayed on three rows of four
monitors. Player has 60 seconds to select the six right answers to the
bonus round question. Player denotes a selection by touching the rim
around the answer screen (which lights up when touched). After lighting
up 6 monitors (can’t light up more than 6), player runs back to his/her
starting position onstage and presses a button (which is inactive if less
than 6 answers are lit. If the number “6” is displayed, player wins car.
If player has less than 6 right, player must run back to the board and make