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Moneymaze


Producer: Daphne-Lipp
Host: Nick Clooney
Announcer: Chet Gould
Taping Info: 1974
Made it to Air: Yes, it replaced The Newlywed Game on December 23, 1974 and lasted until it was replaced by a revival of You Don't Say on July 4, 1975
Availability: It's on the trading circuit, but the copies are really bad.

There were a lot of game shows on the air in the mid-70s. Ideas were starting to run thin. I'm sure some of the brainstorming sessions must have been a hoot, and probably chemically-enhanced. One of these sessions probably brought out the idea of having adults run around in a maze. Nick Clooney, sister of Rosemary, father of George, and apparently not knowing what he was getting himself in to, was brought on for his one and only game show hosting job.

The show involved two sets of married couple. One member of the couple was up on stage answering questions, while the "better" half went down to the bottom and had to be ready to run a very large maze "including over 100 turns". Nick would identify a category (such as "abbreviations") and showed two questions. The question answerers alternated trying to stump the other person by picking the question for the other person to answer, with two seconds being added to a pot for every correct answer. When one person answered incorrectly, the other person won the round and could finish up the remaining questions for more seconds. The round winner could also decide to not run the maze and bank the seconds for a later turn.

Now the "better" half of the winning couple got involved. His or her job was to run a maze in the accumulated seconds to find a prize such as a mink or a TV. Since the maze was six feet tall, the runner couldn't find a prize, the question answerer gave instructions from a crow's nest that overlooked the maze. The first team to win three prizes won the game and moved on to the $10,000 dash.

The way to win the dash was to find the five numbered posts in the maze among the ten total posts with the direction of the spouse. However, the kicker was you had to find the one post numbered one. Failing to find that post and getting out of the maze in sixty seconds meant the couple won absolutely nothing. Finding any of the other four numbered posts meant the couple could win $10, $100, $1,000 or $10,000.

When the show went to air, some changes were made. First, Moneymaze was broken up into two words. Only three of the "prize" rounds were played with the seconds earned now doing double duty as points. In the fourth round, the team that was behind continued to answer questions, earning one point for the first, two for the second, three for the third and so on until they either missed a question or went ahead of the couple that was leading. The latter couple then had a chance to win back the game with one correct answer. The $10,000 Dash was then played.

Apparently, filming the show in New York City, with expensive union labor, tight and expensive studio space and the extra time it took to build and deconstruct the set caused the show to be more expensive than your average show. Secondly, ABC gave the show the dreaded 4:00 PM slot, which meant only O&Os and small stations carried it in pattern, although many stations would delay it to the next day since ABC didn't start until 11:00 AM. Still, it managed to last for 26 weeks plus some reruns, which for a game show in 1975 was par for the course.

This pilot has been viewed 7679 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 12, 2009 14:46 ET
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