Game Shows of the 70s
This is a list of the popular game shows introduced during the 70s.
We also have pages on this topic devoted to the 90s
- $1.98 Beauty Show
Funny send-up of beauty contests produced by Chuck Barris. Some of the contestants are gorgeous and others ...aren't but it's all in fun and the best part is the host, Rip Taylor--he's a riot!
- The $10,000 Pyramid
The Pyramid that started it all! Similar to the $20K Pyramid, but different. Hosted by Dick Clark
- The $20,000 Pyramid
Two teams (a celebrity guest & a contestant) played. The teams chose categories from the board. One gave clues to the other about seven words in 30 seconds. They played for three rounds. The team with the most points went to the "winner's circle" for $10,000. The celebrity guest faced the pyramid & gave clues about six subjects in a minute. Then the contestants swapped celebrity guests to do it again. If the same contestant won again, regardless if they had won the $10,000, they would try for $20,000. If the other contestant won (which would make the episode dull), they would try for $10,000.
- The Big Showdown
Broadcast dates were 12/94-7/95, Jim Peck was the host. The game had general-knowledge questions, with the winner going on to roll the dice at a chance to win $5000 by getting "Show" and "Down" The reason I remember this show is I had a big crush on Jim Peck (the host), it was a shame he couldn't find a show that would have lasted long. Also, one important fact, 1975 was the year the most game shows were debuted or broadcast on network TV..
- Break the Bank
A great celebrity game ala Hollywood Squares, but with a board of 20 boxes. Players chose a box then discern which of 2 celebs gave the correct answer to a question, winning the right to turn over one box. Getting 3 of a kind in dollar values won the game, but getting 3 of 5 money bags broke the bank (which, I believe, went up $1,000 when not won). Terrific fun; this show screams for a revival. Tom Kennedy hosted the 1976 ABC daytime show for 3 months; Jack Barry (co-producer with Dan Enright) hosted in syndication from Sept.'76 to Sept.'77.
- Card Sharks
It ran for 3 years on NBC and Jim Perry was the host. It debuted on September 6,1978 to September 9, 1981. They each had 2 contestants which they to bet high or low. It sort it like the price is right except they had to play with cards.
- Celebrity Sweepstakes
Premiered in 1974 on NBC and lasted for about a year, Jim McKrell hosted this game show where two contestants compete in guessing the best answers to questions asked to six celebrities. The studio audience sets the odds on whether a particular celebrity can guess the correct answer. Three rounds were played, the last round being "All or Nothing" in which the two contestants wager all or none of their winnings on the last question, based on the odds of the audience's confidence on the celebrities' answers.
- Classic Concentration Game Show
This game featured a board which was approximately 8 boxes across and 8 down. Each contestant took turns selecting two boxes, trying to match what was hidden underneath. As you made matches, that part the underlying puzzle was revealed, which had to be solved in order to win the game.
- The Dateing Games
A show when a girl or boy ask question and go on a date.
- Dealer's Choice
From the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas came this game in which three players began with 100 chips and bet on several gambling- related games. Among the most popular were blackjack, Any Pair Loses, and a wheel on which each of the four card suits had odds; players picked a suit and could win chips based on the odds if the wheel came up right. Prizes were determined by the number of chips a player had at the end of the show, and the player with the most chips got to earn money by rolling dice; on one die was a spade, which cost a player his/her accumulated bonus winnings if it came up. This show debuted in 1974 with Bob Hastings (Lt. Carpenter of McHale's Navy) as host, but he was quickly replaced by Jack Clark. Jane Nelson was the assistant.
- Diamond Head
Filmed in Hawaii. The host I'm not sure of, but the hostess was Jane Nelson. They'd have contestants pick one of her purses and sometimes there was a key in it for a new car, or money. At the end of the show they'd go in a glass booth with a purse, turn a blowing machine on, drop money, and they'd have to catch the money while it was in the air and put it in their purse. I think it started in 1975.
- Family Feud
It started in 1976 on ABC daytime, & added a syndicated primetime show in '77. Richard Dawson hosted, Gene Wood announced. Two families of 5 competed answering questions with answers based on 100-person surveys. The winners played "fast money" for $5,000 ($10,000 at night).
Gambit was a unique game show that was composed of two teams, husband and wife, that answered questions while trying to get as close to 21 without going over. During the main game, any 21 wins a cash jackpot that usually starts at $500. The first team to win two rounds went on to play the "Big Board" for a variety of prizes and possibly more cash. However, if the team went over 21 during the round, they lose the prizes accumulated during that round. Gambit premiered on CBS in September of 1972, the same time Price is Right debuted. It ran until 1976. Gambit was brought back in 1980 on NBC and lasted until mid-1982, under the title "Las Vegas Gambit". Both versions were hosted by Wink Martindale.
- The Gong Show
Host:Gary Owens (1976-77),Chuck Barris (1977-80) Amateurs would go on stage and show off their talent,often very bad.
- High Rollers
Long before he hosted Jeopardy, Alex Trebek hosted this show with co-host Ruta Lee. We're talking early 70s here. High Rollers was on NBC. The show featured Alex, Ruta, two contestants, a big table with huge dice, and large numerals lit up in different colors on the left side of the set. If you answered a question correctly, you tossed the dice, and tried to "knock off" the numbers you rolled. For example, if you rolled an 8, you could remove the 8, or the 6 and the 2, or the 7 and the 1, etc. Play continued until either you successfully knocked off the last number on the board (you win!), or until you couldn't do it (you lose!). In the bonus round, you played the "Big Numbers" and tried to do it for cash. Rolled a 10? Knock off the 9 and the 1. Rolled an 11? Knock off the 8 and 3. Rolled a 7? Knock off the 7. Continue until you clear the board or can't knock off any more. You get $100 for each number you knock off; $10,000 for all of them. What did Ruta Lee do? She used her big hook to pull the giant dice back to the contestants.
- Hollywood Squares
Hosted by Geoff Edwards, this was a very funny show on NBC that featured 16 players sitting in bleachers on the left side of the set, and one person standing at a little round podium on the right. The "expert", at the podium, would call a player in the bleachers by his number, and try to answer a riddle that was held in a wallet by that player. (The riddles were kind of silly but fun; for example, "I can hold your money or the end of the river." The answer would be "bank".) The riddles would be worth various amounts of money...$50, $35, $80, etc. Keep guessing correctly, and keep adding up the money. When you found the player with the Jackpot question, he would open his little wallet, jump up and yell, "JACKPOT!" and if you answered that question correctly you'd win all the money in the jackpot. Could be $200, might be $850. To make it more interesting, before each game began, a random Target Number would appear on big flip-digital numbers, and a random Super Jackpot number would appear as well. If you answered riddles whose values added up to the Target Number, and you knew who held the Jackpot riddle, you could answer it for the Super Jackpot amount, which I think maxed out at $50,000. Example: Target Number is 125. You answer a riddle worth $55, one worth $45, and one worth $25... the total is 125. Now you can answer the Jackpot question if you've already found who was holding it. If at anytime along the way you missed the answer, you and the person who asked the question switched places and you wound up in the gallery, with a new "expert" at the podium. The game was fun and fast-paced; the gallery was mostly college students with a few older folks now and then; Geoff Edwards in his leisure suits was the perfect host for this show. It was on around 1974. Unfortunately, it only lasted about 2 years because (A) a few NBC stations chose to run local news at noon instead of the show, and (B) NBC had to mess with the format. At the end of the run, they dumped the funny, pun-filled riddles for actual factual questions. Zzzzzzzzzzz... The ratings went down the tube, and so did Jackpot! But I loved it while it was on. Used to watch when I came home from school for lunch. (The theme for "Jackpot" was later used as a sports theme for some show on ESPN.)
Host: Art Fleming Announcer: Don Pardo Brodcast Years: 1978-1979; NBC? Played like today's Jeopardy except: * Dollar values were $25-$125 and $50-$250 * Players can ring in as soon as the answer is exposed * You are out if you are in 3rd place after each round * The last round is really different:
- The Joker's Wild
A true classic that ran from 1972-75, then 78-86 and 90. Players spin a slot machine that shows categories and jokers(which increase dollar value) and, in the bonus round, the devil, which bankrupts you. Jack Barry hosted.
- Let's Make a Deal
Monty Hall hosted this very popular game show from 1963-1991 in it everyone in the studio audience would dress up and then Monty would give them moolah and ask them if they'd like to trade it and so on and so fourth
- Make Me Laugh
Comedians take turns trying to make contestants laugh. If they can hold out for a certain amt. of time they win.
- Match Game
Match Game was hosted by the late Gene Rayburn, it was one of most funniest game shows on television.
- Match Game P.M.
It's like the daytime version but the amount the contestants going for is $10,000. When the Star wheel came in 1978, the amount double to $20,000. the show ran from 1975-1981. you can see it on game show network.
- Name that Tune
Where Kathy Lee Gifford got her start. "I can name that tune in ___ notes."
- The New Treasure Hunt
Classic update from the 50's version. 3 players from the studio audience recieved gift boxes. Two were empty and one contained a surprise. The contestant with the surprise continued on to choose from 30 boxes, ranging from worthless items to expensive items. Or they could take a cash substitute. Syndicated fun from Chuck Barris productions. Ran from '73-82; hosted by Geoff Edwards and announced by Johnny Jacobs.
- The Newlywed Game
Hands down, the best game show on TV in the 70's. Very funny show in which Newlyweds had to match their spouse's answers on various questions....many times the questions had to do with "whoopie"!
- Now You See It
Jack Narz hosted that daytime game show where every answer to every question is right in front of your eyes!
- Password/Password Plus
Password was a Word association game where their are two stars and two contestants who take turns giving 1 word clues to eachother to get the password.In a revised version of the show on NBC called password plus you have to guess 5 passwords which add up to be the answer to the Password Puzzle both versions were hosted by the late Allen Ludden (1917-1981)who was married to the Queen of game shows herself Betty White!
- The Price Is Right
The Price Is Right came back in 1972 seven years after the original version with Bill Cullen had been canceled. This is the version we have been watching for the past 28 years with Bob Barker.
- Rhyme and Reason
This show which ran from July 1975 through July 1976 was hosted by Bob Eubanks. The format was similar to the Match Game,and like the Match Game,it was quite funny. A phrase was shown to six celebrities and two contestants. The contestants had to write down a word which rhymed with the last word in the phrase. The contestant then had to choose the celebrity which they thought might match them. The celebrities verbally gave their responses. If the celebrity and the contestant matched,the contestant scored two points. If the celebrity chosen matched the other contestant,the other contestant received the two points. If both contestants chose the same word,the contestant choosing the celebrity which matched them received on point. Three points won a game and two games won a match. The contestant who wins the match went to the bonus round and wrote down three words that rhymed with the last word in a phrase. The contestant chose one celebrity to play the bonus round. If the celebrity was able to rhyme and match all three words in a period of time,the contestant received $5000. If the celebrity matched two of three words,the contestant received $2000,and the celebrity matched one word,the contestant received $1000. A variety of celebrities played this game,but some of the most often featured celebrity poets were Nipsey Russell (on every show),Mitzi McCall and husbanc Charlie Brill,Meredith MacRae.Jaye P. Morgan,Conny VanDyke,Shari Lewis,Ross Elliott,Adrienne Barbeau,and Jamie Farr.
- Second Chance
This was the precursor to Press Your Luck which ran for around 4 months in 1977. It involved the same kind of board, only cartoon devils (3, on a non-rotating board), not whammies, took your money. Jim Peck hosted.
- Split Second
The show was hosted by Tom Kennedy and featured three constestants. The contestants were asked questions that had three possible correct answers, some of which were more "correct" than others. The person getting the "most correct" answer got three points, the second, two points, and the third, one point. On the final round of the game, each player was required to answer a certain number of questions based on his or her score. The highest scorer had to have three correct answers, the second highest, four correct answers and the lowest scorer, five correct answers. Again they were asked questions with three possible answers but could answer all three questions if they could. The contestant who answered all of their allotted questions first was the winner and was then asked to select from one of five cars on the stage. The contestant then got behind the wheel and attempted to start the car he/she selected. If the car started, the contestant won it. If not, the contestant returned the next day. If that contestant won the game again, one car would be eliminated and he or she would have to select one of four cars. If the correct car was not selected, the contestant returned for another game and selected between three cars if he or she won the game, and so on. If after five tries the winner had failed to select the correct car, he or she could choose any one of the five cars on stage. Usually the five cars were all of the same make but different models. Originally the show featured Chevys and Pontiacs (Corvettes and Firebirds being the most popular cars), but Buicks were added later on. The car make was switched each week. In the relatively short history of the show, there were about 5 or 6 five game winners who ultimately ended up selected whatever car they wanted.
- Split Second
It's where the contestants got to the final round and had one choice out of the 5 cars to choose from which one would start up when the turned the key. The host was Tom Kennedy!
Hosted By Bert Convy, Tattletales Featured 3 Celebrity Couples and Their Spouses Winning Money By Answering Certain Questions a Celebrity Would Think Their Spouse Would Say. The Top Winner Would Receive $1000 Added to the Money That They Had at the End of the Game, It Would Be Split if 2 Couples Ended in a Tie and Split 3 Ways if All 3 Ended in a Tie Ran from February 18, 1974 to March 31, 1978 Then Ran Again in the Early 1980's
Debuted in July 1978 on CBS,went syndicated in September. 9 screens on the board with 2 contestants(tic-tac-toe),the main game starts with 9 categories,the winner goes to the bonus round showing numbers 1-9,you can either choose an X or an O,to get 3 X's or 3 O's without getting the Dragon. (I realized in '79 they changed it to a TIC,a TAC,and dollar amounts.)
- Treasure Hunt
This game originally aired Sept. 10, 1973 to Sept. 1977 hosted by Geoff Edwards.. If you are three of the lucky females with a number in the gift box, then you have a chance to pick one of three surprise boxes. One of the boxes contains a pop up surprise. The player with the surprise got to go on the Treasure Hunt.
- Wheel Of Fortune
This game show, created by Merv Griffin, is now the most watched TV Game Show (if there was no Who Wants To Be A Millionaire). In these days, Chuck Wollery was the host, not Pat Sajak. And the hostess was Susan Stafford, not Vanna White. These 2 people didn't come until a few years later.
Super-fun show where one contestant had to correct false facts (called "bloopers") on a 28 box-board (5 rows of 5 boxes, and 1 row of 3) after the other contestant sets up 6 five-second penalty boxes which subtracted from the 60 seconds the first contestant had to correct the bloopers. The winner of the best-of-three-games format went to the bonus round to "beat the villians" which were cardboard cutouts of a gangster, an executioner, a vampire, etc. which lowered their arms when the contestant corrected a blooper, to allow passage to the next villian. If all 10 were beaten in time the contestant won $25,000. This fun show ran from April '79 to May '80 on CBS and used celebrities from nov.79 on. Hosted by Tom Kennedy, and featured the gameshow debut of announcer Rod Roddy.
- You Don't Say
Hosted by Tom Kennedy.
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