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A Question of Scruples


Producer: Sunbow/Worldvision
Host: Bobby Collins
Announcer: Dick ?
Taping Info: Late 80s/Early 90s (based on fashions, set design, etc.)
Made it to Air: See below
Other Pilots: See below

Trivial Pursuit was a hot import board game from Canada in the early 80s. In the late 80s, although at best lukewarm, another game from Canada came forth, and that was A Question of Scruples. So, if Trivial Pursuit could be made into a successful game show, so could this, right? You mean it wasn't? Oh well, we're going to try anyway. Your host is comedian Bobby Collins, who you may know from being the second host of VH-1's Stand-Up Spotlight.

For the first round, two yes and no questions are asked to each team for a total of four questions, such as "Would you return the insurance money after finding a diamond ring you had lost?" Bobby small talks the players, and the audience votes. The team receives 10 points for each match with the audience majority. The "percentage" vote of the audience always added to 99, probably to prevent ties. After this round, the "Classics" (a team of old ladies) has 30 points, while the "TMP-ations" have nothing.

The second round featured one question for each team, with majority ruling for the audience match. The other team could "challenge" and risk any earned points on the other answer. In this instance, the TMP-ations not only got 30 points for their correct answer, but risked 20 of their own on the opposite question and was successful. At this point they have a 50-30 lead.

The third round was back to individual matching, for 20 points this time. Both teams sent in the question, sent in by a "home viewer." The teams ended up tied at 90, so a tiebreaker was put into play. Before the show, each team guessed on what the percentage of the higher audience vote on the final question. The Classics were able to pull out a closer number out of their butts, and moved on to the bonus game.

For the bonus round, one of the three players is on stage while the other two are in the classic sound proof booth. This one player is asked five questions. After all five are done, the other two come out, and hear the same questions. They must decide on one answer, and if they match, win a prize card. After all five are done, the players then pick their cards. The prizes ranged on the low end to a coffee maker to a high of $3,000. In this game, they matched three times and won a home security system, a Renaissance Jester and a home massage.

Overall, they did about as best you can with this game, which is not much. They managed to vary the rounds, the banter with the contestants was about at the right amount, but you can't make a decent game out of trying to guess what other people think. Over time, players would just learn it's not about what you think, but it's trying to match the audience, and you've just invented Binary Family Feud.

I frankly do not know if this is even a pilot. It is marked as "Show #8", which is very unusual for a pilot. It had fee plugs. However, there is also no indication of it ever airing. It's not on any of Bobby Collins' on-line résumés. There was a show titled A Question of Scruples offered in 1989, but it was a talk show hosted by Mike Jerrick and Rita Moreno?!? And there is a listing for two weeks in the summer of 1990 of a show titled A Question of Scruples airing in the Kansas City market (and no others). There is no indication whether it was this or the talk show.

This pilot has been viewed 1135 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Jan 11, 2010 20:25 ET
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