The Shows
(alpha sort | update sort)

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

The Links

Show a Random Pilot
Show Unreviewed Pilots
Bob Stewart Flow Chart

Party Line


Producer: Reg Grundy
Host: Gene Rayburn
Announcer: Jay Stewart
Taping Info: 1983
Other Pilots: Yes. This was the first of three, but the only one to be hosted by Gene Rayburn. The others were helmed by eventual host Bruce Forsyth.
Made It To Air: Eventually, after three pilots, for a brief time in 1986.
Availability: Trading circuit

In the early 80's, Australian mega-producer Reg Grundy attempted to crack the American market. After making his fortune by taking mostly Goodson-Todman formats and making them popular in Australia, he took his revamping of the non G-T Sale of the Century back to the States and made it a hit. This pilot was an attempt to bring an original format to the U.S. market. Gene Rayburn, fresh from nine years on Match Game, is the star of the show. Additionally, professional pilot player Laura Chambers is one of the contestants.

Two teams of five players, segregated by genders, competed in a phrase identification game with a twist. The first player on the team is given a word or phrase to convey Pyramid-style, such as "violin". The second player guesses the word, and then taps the third player, who is listening to music on the headphones on the shoulder and then tries to guess the word from clues from the second player, without using any key words the first player used. This processes repeats, with the third player giving clues to the fourth player, using clues that haven't been used, but without knowledge of what the first player said. If this is successful, then the fourth player attempts to give clues to the fifth player without the knowledge of what the first or second player said. And, if a repeated word didn't stop you, the clock could, since you only had 40 seconds. Got that?

Each team did this for three rounds, earning one point for each successful guess of the word or phrase. If the game was tied after three rounds, they just played another round. When this show made it to air several years later, the rounds were played for cash.

In the event of a tie in the main game, a sudden death round was played. The first clue givers from each team were shown the word, and the defending champions had the choice whether to pass or play. To win the tie-breaker, the team playing the word would have to get entirely down the line, otherwise the other team won. Based on the scores I saw in the pilot, it was better to pass.

In the bonus game, the winning team had the assistance of nine other players who I guess were stored away for this very purpose. One player on the team had to relate the clue to the new nine players, one at a time, without repeating any key information. If the player felt that his or her ideas were gone, s/he passed the baton (literally) to the next player on their team and they tried. The pot doubled from $100 for each player who guessed the clue, with the team continuing until 40 seconds were up or they reused a key word. After the first try, the team could forfeit their winnings for a second chance. This varied significantly from the eventual show whose bonus game did not have the extra nine players.

This game is a minor cult classic in the game show fan world, but I didn't really like it. The fourth and fifth player slots was just absolute luck in saying something different, there really wasn't much skill that could be used. Gene Rayburn proves again that he was a very good host, as he squeezed as much life as he could from such a weak format.


The opening screen. Does anybody under 40 even know what a party line is?

And your host, Gene Rayburn.

The men get ready to give a word.

While the women are in the midst of their round.

Apparently they got a deal from the Rowan and Martin garage sale.


This pilot has been viewed 8542 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