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How Do You Like Your Eggs?

Producer: Warner QUBE
Host: Bill Cullen
Announcer/Street Interviewer: Tom Weebill
Airing Info: March 23, 1977 (it was live)
Other Pilots: 3 others
Made it to Air: The four pilots did air to 204 customers who were testing the QUBE system.
Availability: It's on the trading circuit.

As cable television was beginning to penetrate the nation's homes in the 70's, the idea of two-way or interactive television was considered the next wave in television. Time/Warner set up a cable system called QUBE and made Columbus, Ohio their test market. And, what would work great in interactive TV, how about game shows? So, Bill Cullen was probably paid a billion dollars to host this pilot, shot in the studio at the cable company in Columbus.

The game involved a series of questions where five choices were possible, such as "How do you like your eggs?". The question was posted, and viewers at home were encouraged to give their answer via their two-way cable boxes. While the results were being tabulated, person on the street interviews were shown to give the staff time to tabulate and post the results. Even though the game was using the latest in interactive cable technology, everything on the show, such as the questions and displays, were still on art cards and manual number displays.

Teams, made up of a man and a woman, alternated guessing what was the most popular response to the questions and received one point per correct guess. If both players on a team answered correctly, they were given a chance at a bonus point by guessing the one that was picked the least. If they were correct, they stole a point from the other team, otherwise the non-playing team stole the point.

And this went on. And on. And since there were many technical difficulties with this locally produced show, Bill had to vamp. And vamp. And vamp some more. Finally, once a team reached five points, there was a winner, and they won a Atari Super Pong 10 system (darn, I only had the Super Pong 4). Plus, they went on to the bonus game (known as "The Perfector Round"), which involved now ranking a question based on their audience responses from highest to lowest. If they got all five, they would have won a great 13-inch color TV. If they didn't get all five, the team receives $10 per correct placement.

Three decades later, we still don't have steady interactive games, but not for the efforts of Game Show Network. And it's not because this pilot was terrible. Someday, TV executives will learn that it is a passive medium, it is popular because you don't have to do anything to watch.

I like them scrambled.

Did they have some bad pictures or incriminating evidence, Bill? Holding your dog hostage?

Couple #1

Couple #2

A sample question.

While the votes are being tabulated on the Warner Communications abacuses, street interviews are shown.

The winning couple tries the bonus game.

This pilot has been viewed 6616 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 12, 2009 14:46 ET
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