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Bedtime Stories

Producer: Heatter-Quigley
Host: Al Lohman and Roger Barkley
Announcer: Kenny Williams
Taping Info: May 27, 1979, somewhere in Los Angeles
Made it to Air: Yes, it had a six or eight week run (I've seen both quoted) in five-a-day syndication in June-August of 1979.
Availability: UCLA Archive

It is not well known, or it is purposely forgotten, that Heatter-Quigley did do some relationship shows. One, Amateur's Guide to Love, had a 13 week run on CBS in 1972. Hot Seat, complete with that isolation booth and the probes, had a 13 week run on ABC in 1976. Seeing that the network route was not working, Heatter-Quigley developed this pilot Bedtime Stories for five-a-day syndication. The L.A. radio team of Al Lohman and Roger Barkley, who previously hosted the Heater-Quigley effort Name Droppers in 1969-70, got the call.

Living up to the new openness of the late 70's, plus an obvious bent to be just for laughs, the show opens with a set of two bedroom sets (known as "the tacky beds") and a brief talk by Lohman/Barkley. Then, the two couples who would be playing in this game are interviewed in what are purportedly their bedrooms, one couple interviewed by Lohman and the other by Barkley. These interviews are very reminiscent of what The Daily Show interviews look like today, with answers given to questions that were added in post-production. So after about 10 minutes of these introductions, we can finally start the game.

The players are then brought out to the tacky beds, which are actually just benches with head boards as backing. Each team than is asked a question based on a survey with two possible answers (e.g.: Many couples have a special feeling when they meet. Is that feeling love or lust?) Each correct guess of the more popular answer garnered each team $500 in prizes. After three of these questions, a fourth question was asked that worth $2,000 in prizes. In this round, the couples wrote their answers down rather than giving a verbal response since they were trying to see who would be closer to a survey result.

Not much is remembered about the show when it finally aired. According to the The Encyclopedia of TV Game Shows, the first two weeks of the show featured three questions played for $500 in cash, with no fourth question. After those two weeks, the format changed to each couple being asked questions before taping, with the other couple trying to guess how the first couple answered for $500 per question.

I have my doubts on whether this was a true pilot or a rehearsal show, since there was only 4 weeks between the taping of this episode and the actual airing of the show. Going into the viewing with very low expectations, I actually found the show to be quite entertaining, and maybe even ahead of its time. The byplay between the two hosts was pretty funny and they obviously played to the fact that this was fluff.

This pilot has been viewed 8786 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 12, 2009 14:46 ET
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