The Shows
(alpha sort | update sort)

ABC Carnival '74
Across the Board
Baloney
Bamboozle
Be What You Want
Beat The Genius
Beat The Odds (1962)
Beat The Odds (1975)
Bedtime Stories
The Better Sex
The Big Money
The Big Payoff
Big Spenders
Blank Check
Body Language
Body Talk
The Buck Stops Here
Bullseye
Call My Bluff
Card Sharks (1996)
Casino
Caught in the Act
Celebrity Billiards
Celebrity Doubletalk
Celebrity Secrets
Celebrity Sweepstakes
Chain Letter (1964)
The Challengers (1974)
Change Partners
Child's Play
The Choice Is Yours
Combination Lock (1996)
Comedy Club
Concentration (1985)
The Confidence Game
Cop Out
Countdown (1974)
Countdown (1990)
The Couples Race
Crossword
Decisions, Decisions
Dollar a Second
Duel in the Daytime
The Fashion Show
Fast Friends
$50,000 a Minute
Finish Line (1975)
Finish Line (1990)
Get Rich Quick
Going, Going, Gone!
Head of the Class
High Rollers
Hollywood Squares (1965)
Hollywood Squares (1985)
The Honeymoon Game
Hot Numbers
Hot Potato
House to House
How Do You Like Your Eggs?
Jackpot (1984)
Jeopardy (1977)
Jokers Wild
Jumble
Key Witness
Keynotes (1986)
King of the Hill
Let's Make a Deal (1963)
Let's Make a Deal (1990)
The Love Experts
M'ama Non M'ama
Match Game (1962)
Match Game (1973)
Match Game (1990)
Match Game (1996)
MatchGame (2008)
Mindreaders
Missing Links
Monday Night QB
Money Words
Money in the Blank
Moneymaze
Monopoly (1987)
Nothing But the Truth
Now You See It (1986)
Oddball
100%
PDQ
Party Line
People On TV
Play For Keeps
Play Your Hunch
The Plot Thickens
Pot O' Gold
Pressure Point
The Price Is Right (1972)
Pyramid (1996)
Pyramid (1997)
A Question of Scruples
Quick as a Flash
Razzle Dazzle
Riddlers
Run For The Money
Says Who?
Scrabble (1990)
Second Guessers
Second Honeymoon
Sharaize
Shoot for the Stars
Shoot the Works
Shopping Spree
Show Me
Showoffs
Simon Says
$64,000 Question (2000)
Smart Alecks
Smart Money
Spellbinders
Spin-Off
Split Decision
Star Cluster
Star Play
Strictly Confidential
TKO
Talking Pictures (1968)
Talking Pictures (1976)
Tell It to Groucho
Temptation (1981)
$10,000 Sweep
Three of a Kind
Tic Tac Dough
Tie-Up
Top Secret
Twenty One (1982)
Twenty Questions
Twisters
Up and Over
The Waiting Game
We've Got Your Number
What Do You Want?
What's On Your Mind
Wheel of Fortune
Whew!
Whodunit
Whose Baby
Wipeout
Word Grabbers
Write Your Own Ticket
You Bet Your Life (1988)
You Bet Your Life (1991)
You're Putting Me On

The Links

Show a Random Pilot
Show Unreviewed Pilots
Bob Stewart Flow Chart

Countdown


Producer: Jack Barry Productions/CBS
Host: Johnny Mann
Announcer: Johnny Jacobs
Taping Info: April 12, 1974, CBS Television Studio 33, Los Angeles
Made it to Air: No
Availability: UCLA Archive

An intriguing mix of Name That Tune and High Rollers, Countdown is a musical based game out of the all-of-a-sudden fertile production company that was Jack Barry Productions. The host of the show was a newcomer to game shows but not a newcomer to the music industry Johnny Mann, who in this pilot definitely was no stranger to enthusiasm. You may know Johnny Mann as the voice of Theodore the Chipmunk, his patriotic work or his short lived television series. If you've ever seen the SCTV skit 5 Neat Guys, it was somewhat a parody of the Johnny Mann Singers.

Each of the three players in this game appeared on a podium with nine digits. The podium-less Johnny Mann would introduce a song clip, and then give a question that would either be to identify the sound clip or answer a question based on the sound clip. If a player answered the question correctly, two sets of 7 big flashing lights appeared next to Johnny Mann, and the player's buzzer stopped the lights. Based on the sum of the lights that are lit, the player can remove any combination of his or her numbers that match the total (a la High Rollers) with a maximum of two digits removable. Unlike High Rollers, your remaining digits are summed together and represents your score. Rolling a sum of 7 counted as a wild and allowed you to remove any two numbers.

With your score, you are trying to become the closest to zero without going bust. As long as nobody has declared "freeze", a bust does not knock you out of the game, you simply lose your turn. However, as soon as a player freezes, a bust by either of the other two players knocks them out. In the first game, a player froze at 5 when she had a 1 and a 4 left. However, a second player with a lucky roll of 7 was able to knock his score down to 1, forcing the third player to clean out perfectly, which he failed to do. A tie in score always went to the player who got to the score first.

The bonus game was pretty much like Golden Medley from Name That Tune. In this version, you had to get 9 songs in 60 seconds. However, unlike Name That Tune where you were required to get the seven songs they gave, on Countdown a pass gave you a different song. Winning the "Winner's Circle" (that's what it was called) got you your typical Jack Barry-collection of prizes and little money to pay the taxes on them. The player also returned to take on two new challengers.

I really liked this show. I don't know if this was meant as a possible replacement for a currently airing show or was meant to be around when a show finally failed. The only change CBS made in 1974 was replacing The $10,000 Pyramid with Now You See It, so I'm assuming the latter. CBS would eventually take a musical game in 1975, but it was the Adam Wade-hosted Musical Chairs. Also, if you ever see it, the credits resemble an acid trip, or at least what I'm told an acid trip would be like.

This pilot has been viewed 4844 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 12, 2009 14:46 ET
Feedback? Contact me at usgs-pilot at the usgameshows dot net domain