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Bullseye


Producer: Barry-Enright
Host: Jim Lange
Announcer: Jay Stewart
Taping Info: 1979
Made it to Air: Yes, it had a two year syndicated run from 1980 until 1982. For the last half of the second season, only celebrities played.
Availability: It's on the trading circuit.

With Barry-Enright now having a stable one-two punch with Joker's Wild and Tic-Tac-Dough, they tried to put a third one on the air with Bullseye. As an interesting twist, the bonus game could produce an unlikely $1,000,000 prize. Jim Lange is rescued from Chuck Barris hell to host this game. Also, on this pilot is future Tic-Tac-Dough writer Scott Wyant playing one of the contestants.

Like the game that made it to air, a player pressed a plunger which produced two categories, each with its own dollar value (either $100 or $150) and a contract length (either 2, 3, 4, 5 or an user-defined length). A player chose the category and then attempted to answer the questions in their contract. Each successful question added the money to the pot, while an incorrect question shifted control to the other player. When the contract was completed, the player could either choose to bank the money and lose control to the other player or risk the pot and keep on going for another category/contract combination. Successfully banking $1,000 won the game for the player.

The bonus game was different than the version that eventually made it to air. Like every other Barry-Enright bonus game, it was completely random. The winner pressed the plunger, and hoped to not hit a lightning bolt. For every successful spin doubled the money the player won from the main game, but a lightning bolt caused the player to lose all the money, including the main game win. At the beginning of the game, the player learned whether s/he would receive three spins, four spins, five spins or an unlimited amount of spins. The player could stop before his/her spin total was exhausted.

Stations in the early 80's were desperately looking for five-a-week strips, so this certainly fit the bill. It wasn't that much of a game, since viewers stayed away, even if they tried the always-destined-to-fail-adding-of-celebrities. The only way I think you could improve this game is by having the questions be progressively harder in the contract. Since these questions were at The Joker's Wild level, they were answered correctly 80% of the time, sapping away any chance at true drama.



Can you hit the Bullseye?

Host Jim Lange

Future show writer Scott Wyant

This thing is making me dizzy.

Did she blow all of her money?


This pilot has been viewed 12398 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 12, 2009 14:46 ET
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