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Child's Play


Producer: Goodson-Todman
Host: Bill Cullen
Announcer: Bob Hilton
Taping Info: May 11, 1982 at CBS Television City. 2 pilots were shot that day.
Made it to Air: Yes, it replaced reruns of Alice on September 20, 1982 and lasted for a year until it was replaced by Press Your Luck on September 19, 1983.
Availability: The first pilot is on the trading circuit

Attempts have been made to have kids in game shows, whether it was Choose Up Sides from the 1950s or Runaround from the 1970s. However, having both children and adults in a game show is a rather unique idea in the game show world. Goodson-Todman gave it a try, making a definition game where the definitions were provided by six-to-eight year olds. Bill Cullen is your host.

A clip was played of a child giving their version of a definition of a word, while contestants alternated being the one who was in control. If you were in control, you decided whether you were going to try to define the word or pass that chance to their opponent. You could pass twice, and guess yourself once. When the word was guessed, one point was given to the guesser, otherwise, another child's version of a definition was shown. If after three versions of the definition was not guessed, it was played as a tossup with buzzers after Bill gave a hint on the first letter of the definition. This was played until one player got three points.

Once a player got three points, they moved onto the Fast Play Round. In this round, definitions were given by the children and the contestants would buzz-in with hopefully the correct answer. A correct definition was worth one point, and once a player got to six total points from both this round and the other, they win the game and move on to the A-B-C Game. Another wrinkle in this round was that again an initial letter hint was given if one player had answered incorrectly.

The A-B-C Game involved the player trying to guess six definitions against the clock. Three different definitions of the same word were hidden behind the letters 'A', 'B' and 'C'. The player chose a letter, and a definition was read by Bill. A player could either choose to answer the definition without penalty or choose a different definition. The game ended successfully if the player was able to answer six in 60 seconds.

When this show made it to air, elements of each round were a little different. For the first round, the player in control always guessed first and third, while the other player guessed second. In the Fast Play Round, correct guesses were worth two points instead of one. At no point was a clue given. Also, these two rounds were played to an unspecified time limit rather than to a certain score. Finally, the bonus game was played for 45 seconds instead of 60.


Not only is the 'S' backwards, but so is the 'H'.

Yay! It's Bill!

The bullseye indicated the player in control (and their one guess), while the barber-pole things represented the two possible passes.

This time the 'T' is backwards.

Bill's favorite Eric Yale.

The annoying Sascha Segan. I'm guessing he got beat up a lot.

The bonus game.

A ticket from the taping, although the date on the ticket and the production slate differ by one day.


This pilot has been viewed 10382 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 12, 2009 14:46 ET
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