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Game Show Pilots, Foreign Versions, and Related Stuff



BEAT THE ODDS (1963) [UNSOLD; 1 pilot]
Actually a regular KTLA episode sent to various stations for the possibility of purchase. Warren Hull was the original version's last host, having replaced Dennis James after the latter left to do NBC's People Will Talk.
* July? 1963: Begins with George vs. Liz, continued from last time. Original commercials and a "Lucky Seven" Plug, begins with a pitchfilm! [D-27.7/KIN, KTLA-5 {pitchfilm is KIN-SM}]

THE BIG PAYOFF (1962) [SOLD {approx. September-December 1962}; 1 pilot]
50% game show, 50% runway, and little redeeming value. The only pre-1995 or so pilot I can think of that went to series (in this case, daily syndication) when it really shouldn't have, although evidently Walt Framer didn't think he wrung enough cash out of this thing in the previous decade...
* 1962: Arthur & Arlene vs. Dr. & Joyce Sykes. Has "Payoff Partner" and Contestant Plugs! [D-27.5/KIN-SM]

THE FACE IS FAMILIAR [SOLD {May-September 1966}; 1 pilot]
Part Concentration, part Place the Face. Good format. and Jack Clark's always a plus, but the games can get a bit long (although in fairness it feels like they played this somewhat for laughs). Not sure why they went with Jack Whitaker for the series, though.
* December 1965/January 1966: Betsy Palmer & BILL CULLEN. Nathan vs. Phyllis, then Andy vs. Jill. Game 2 lasts FOREVER! [D-11.3/KIN-SM]

THE MATCH GAME (1962) [SOLD {1962-69}; 1 pilot]
The humble beginnings of a megahit franchise. (Celebrity captains are listed in all-caps.)
* December 5, 1962: Rick Mainzer/PETER LIND HAYES/Mary Pidgeon vs. Arthur Trudeau/PEGGY CASS/Ronni Smith. Original commercials(?!), fades out during credits. [D-11.1/KIN-SM or D-23.3/KIN-SM - Quality is about equal, latter has an info graphic]

PRESS YOUR LUCK (1983) [SOLD {1983-86}; 1 pilot]
Bill Carruthers' attempt at reviving his 1977 ABC game Second Chance, updated for a new decade. He wasn't quite finished at this point, but it was definitely a start.
* May 18, 1983: JACK CAMPION vs. MAGGIE BROWN vs. Matt Dorf. Peter refers to the Whammy a few times as being "a devil"! [D-21.1,2/SM]


NOTE: These are arranged first by country, then by local show title.

DEFINITION (CTV/Jim Perry, 1975-89) [1 episode]
Long-running game of puns (usually very bad ones) that looks like it belongs in the early 1960s.
Celebrity/Contestant Format (1975-85)
* Late 1985 (Tuesday): Dan Matheson & Pat Marsden. Begins with Victoria vs. Joanne (Game 3 - $110 + 1 Prize). A puzzle is solved with only ONE LETTER showing, but another takes FIVE MINUTES to solve! 7/1/86 repeat, somewhat "underwatery" audio. [D-26.5/RPT, CFTO-9 {Toronto, Ontario}]


A&E BIOGRAPHY [1 episode]
Usually well-done one (or two)-hour looks into a person's life. And for future reference they probably shouldn't do a biography of someone who's still alive.
* December 7, 1999 (Game Show Week, Special #2/"Bob Barker: Master of Ceremonies"): Some good clips are shown here (but of course his game show work other than the "big two" isn't mentioned), including the famous "Fainting Alene" clip from 1977. No intro nor credits. [D-18.2/OB]

Having read Gil Fates' book on the show, and the part on this in particular, this 90-minute late-night special is good given the limitations...although it concentrates almost entirely on celebs and completely ignores the 1968-75 syndicated version minus one clip, shown at the beginning, in monochrome.
* May 28, 1975 (studio portions taped 4/75): Mark Goodson, Arlene Francis, and John Daly look back at a bevy of clips from the CBS years. Studio master with slate! [D-24.1,2/SM]

Weatherman Dave Price was groomed by CBS to become host of The Price Is Right, but Fremantle didn't want him despite doing well in his three test shows. Make your own joke.
* July 24, 2007: Interview (running 6:36) with Drew Carey about The Price Is Right and Power of 10. [35.3/OB, WPEC-12 {West Palm Beach, Florida}]

THE GOLDEN GIRLS [1 episode]
Not a fan of sitcoms in general, though this had a great cast and some good moments.
* February 8, 1992 ("Questions & Answers"): Episode about Jeopardy!, guest starring Alex, Johnny, and Merv! Not-so-good video. [57.7/SM]

Again, not a fan of sitcoms, but the way they ended this one (by pretty much saying "This was our plan from the beginning, regardless of everything we wrote since; up yours.") understandably pissed off a lot of people.
* April 30, 2007 ("Showdown"): Two weeks before Lily & Marshall's wedding, they can't stay apart; Lily's wedding dress doesn't fit, so she eats lots of fattening food(?!); Ted tries to write a nice speech for his toast that won't embarrass the couple; Barney thinks Bob Barker is his real father and wants to meet him, so he goes on The Price Is Right. Original commercials, including a promo for Bob's last two primetime specials. [28.2/OB, WPEC-12]

I LOST ON JEOPARDY [*music video*]
"Weird Al" Yankovic's spoof of Greg Kihn's "(Our Love's In) Jeopardy", and basically a love letter to the original Jeopardy! - well worth a watch!
* Taped 5/24-25/84: Al goes on the original version and makes a fool of himself. Features Art Fleming and Don Pardo as themselves plus cameo appearances by Dr. Demento, Al's real parents, and even Kihn himself in a classy curtain call for the Fleming era of Jeopardy! [51.8/SM]

African-American comedy show that had some great moments in pretty much every season (yes, even the one after the Wayans family left). Note that some of these skits may have foul language in them.
* January 10, 1993: You Bet Your Career - Bill Cosby hosts the sh ow where has-beens (in this case, Delta Burke and Sinbad) play for walk-on roles in shows like Major Dad...or they would be if Bill's show didn't get canned halfway through! Video is mostly B/W. [56.10/SM]
* January 17, 1993: Family Feud - RAY COMBS hosts with four-member teams (Royal Family vs. Jacksons) on a facsimile set! Video is mostly B/W. [56.11/SM]

THE INSIDER [1 clip]
I can pretty much describe it as a "celebrity tabloid show" and leave it at that.
* May 16, 2007: Two-minute clip showing classic Price Is Right moments! [31.2/OB, WPEC-12]

THE LATE LATE SHOW (CBS/Craig Ferguson, 2005-14) [1 episode]
Began as a guest host during the period after Kilborn left, and eventually got the job. A very good choice, with well over 2,000 episodes as proof.
* May 16, 2007: BOB BARKER (great segment!), Elizabeth Banks, and Modest Mouse. Plus: Craig makes fun of Blankety Blank's horrible theme music, mentions Scottish people on Family Fortunes (with Bob Monkhouse), and shows a Wheel of Fortune clip with a bad contestant. Original commercials, ends during Modest Mouse's performance, but highly-recommended! [33.2/OB, WPEC-12]

THE LATE SHOW (FOX/Ross Shafer, 1988) [1 episode]
By the time he began, the ratings were so low that only newsmakers and human interest-style guests showed up. Around June '88, the format changed to focus more on tabloid and "ripped-from-the-headlines" stories; didn't work.
* Spring 1988 (Game Show Hosts Special): 20-minute segment with Gene Rayburn, Gary Owens, Tom Kennedy, Dennis James, Jim Lange, Fred Wostbrock, and NO MORE COOKING SEGMENTS! [D-4.4,5/OB, WXIN-59 {Indianapolis, Indiana}]

THE LATE SHOW (CBS/David Letterman, 1993-2015) [1 episode]
Dave was a mainstay in late-night for over three freakin' decades.
* May 16, 2007 ("I'm in management!"): Ricky Gervais, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Mavis Staples (Bumped: Tom Hanks). Plus: A Sopranos Finale Preview, an MSNBC Presidential Debate promo, an Apple commercial, Andy Kindler Visits Collectors, Top 10 Things Bob Barker Can Say Now That He's Retiring, the Late Show Prize Wheel Giveaway, and MORE! Original commercials, no intro, but highly-recommended! [33.1/OB, WPEC-12]

Used to be just game shows, but now concentrates more on other things.
* April 18, 2008: About two minutes of clips from Tattletales, The 64,000 Question, Sale of the Century (Australia), The Newlywed Game, 3's A Crowd, Match Game (1970s), The Weakest Link (UK), and The Hollywood Squares. VERY grainy-but-watchable B/W video that screws up at times. [59.1/OB]

Great film adaptation of a great novel.
* November 13, 1987: In the year 2019, Ben Richards (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is forced to play the titular game show hosted by Damon Killian (RICHARD DAWSON). [I have the two-disc DVD release from 2004]

Sketch show that's had its ups and downs. The first five seasons (1975-80) are the best in my book. (Note that some of these skits may have foul language in them.)
* October 23, 1976: Jeopardy! 1999 (the show's very first game show spoof!) - Art F114 hosts (and Don Pardo announces) a "futuristic" version with the same pull-card board and even an appearance by "Think!". [56.8/SM]
* February 26, 1977: Hollywood Bingo - Gern Blanston hosts a cross between The Hollywood Squares and Bingo with 24 celebrities...too many. [56.9/SM]

SCTV [3 clips]
Local flavor and budget, plus a star-studded regular cast. Well worth watching! (Some clips may be from the 1977-80 syndicated run.)
* May 15, 1981 (NBC Premiere): High Q - Parkdale High (Margaret/Peter/James) vs. St. Anthony's Collegiate (Leonard/Cathy/Bruce). Alex Trebel hosts, but with these six players and a rowdy audience no wonder he can't keep his anger down! [54.3/SM]
* June 19, 1981: What's My Shoe Size? - Dorothy Kilpatrick, Bennett Cerb, Arlene Franklin, Kirk Dugglis. John Charles Bailey hosts this great parody of the CBS-era Line! [54.4/SM]
* July 31, 1981: Short promo for Dialing for Dollars, hosted by Walter Cronkite. [54.5/SM]

SESAME STREET [1 episode, 5 clips]
PBS show that was really good until it got all Elmo-centric and began producing only a few episodes per season.
* November 9, 1970 (Season 2 Premiere): What's My Part? - Bennett Snerf, Arlene Frantic, Cookie Monster. Mystery Guest: Nose. [52.11/SM]
* November 27, 1972 (Season 4 Premiere): Here Is Your Life - Oak Tree gets the surprises of its life! [52.12/SM]
* November 19, 1973 (Season 5 Premiere): Beat the Time - can Cookie Monster find three things that rhyme with rain in 55 seconds to win a cookie? [52.13/SM]
* November 28, 1974: Beat the Time - can Grover find five things that contain milk in one minute to win a trip to Dairyland, USA? [54.11/SM]
* January 2, 1975: Here Is Your Life - it's Loaf of Bread's turn to be surprised! Brief PLAY message at beginning. [54.12/SM]

TV'S FUNNIEST GAME SHOWS [*1 special of two*]
Uh...feh, really. Most of the clips were later used in Most Outrageous Game Show Moments.
* November 11, 2002 (Special #2): Hosted by Richard Karn. Includes clips from The Newlywed Game, The Dating Game, and 3's A Crowd. [D-18.3,4/OB]

Now where to?
Reality Shows
Non-Game Shows
Board Games

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