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The Challengers (1974)


Producer: Ron Greenberg/MCA Universal
Host: Alan Kalter (billed as Alan Roberts)
Announcer: Bill Wendell
Taping Info: April 21, 1974 at CBS New York
Made it to Air: An entirely different show called The Challengers was also produced by Ron Greenberg in 1989, but the two shows have nothing to do with other.

Since starting this site up several years ago, one thing I've discovered is that Ron Greenberg produced a lot of pilots in the mid-1970s. And they all seem to have Bill Wendell as their announcer. Here's another one, which has an interesting concept in strategy, but risks being repetitive. One interesting quirk was the weird grand prize figure -- $6,000, which would go up by $1,000 for every time it was not won.

The game started with a tossup question. The first person to answer the question correctly would now get the questions exclusively, with the goal of getting nine more questions correctly to get to $1,000. Each question in theory was increasing in difficulty.

If a player felt that they could not answer the question, they had two helps. The first allowed you to freeze at your dollar level and force your opponent to beat your score. Or, you can choose to have a tossup question, which in theory would be an easy question, but would allow your opponent to take control.

Play continued until either the player with a lower score got a question incorrect, or if the player in control got to $1,000. If the former occurred, there would be a bonus game for the attempt to win the grand prize. If the latter occurred, in theory the grand prize would be automatically won (this eventuality was not mentioned, but assumed).

If the $1,000 was not earned, the grand prize had to be won by finishing the questions necessary to get to $1,000, with the risk of losing the money. As the player got up towards the $1,000, the questions tended to become multi-part. In this game, the winning player got to $800, and decided to go for the $13,000 jackpot, and was successful. The champion continued to play even if the grand prize was not won.

Strangely, the played one full game in about 11 minutes. A new player was called out, and after three questions time was called, for a very odd 13 minute pilot. Also, one player's name was capitalized, and the other's was not. However, with a couple of little extras in the game to keep it from being repetitive, it could have worked.

This pilot has been viewed 8008 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 15, 2009 21:39 ET
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