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Star Cluster


Producer: Bill Armstrong/Four Star
Host: Jim McKrell
Announcer: Bill Armstrong
Celebrities: Abby Dalton, Bob Ridgeley, Jm J. Bullock, Doug Davidson, Shelley Taylor Morgan, Linda Blair
Taping Info: 1986
Made it to Air: No

I have a friend who has an idea for a dream job. He wants to be the guy that names operations for the Pentagon Operation Desert Storm, Operation Provide Comfort, etc., mainly to make sure they don't pick something that is historically stupid or insensitive. I myself have gone through several naming exercises at work, only to find that it is usually in the control of marketers, and they tend not to have the cranial capacity necessary to play word games and realize that you have just picked a name that will be made fun of in several ways in about five seconds. Apparently, only marketers were involved with Four Star for the naming process for Star Cluster.

Long-suffering Jim McKrell helms this show with six "stars" in a game where two unwitting contestants had to answer multiple-choice questions about the celebrity panel. The panel was sitting in a three-tier setup, with Doug Davidson on top, Ms. Morgan and Mr. Bullock on the middle row and the remainders on the bottom. For example, one question asked to Jm J. Bullock was "if we were to describe the women you've dated as the way we would describe eggs, would we say they hard-boiled, soft-boiled, or sunny side-up" (unfortunately, egg-beaters was not an option). If the contestant and celebrity somehow matched, the player received $25 plus $25 for each celebrity who also agreed.

The round ended when either a contestant completed a cluster (really a triangle of stars) or six questions were asked. Making a cluster was a $250 bonus. The second round was just as painful as the first except the money was doubled. The player who had the most money at the end of round two moved on to the bonus game.

The bonus game involved a true-false question where four stars answered yes. The player got $200 for finding the first star that said yes, received an extra $500 for finding the second one, received a Mexican trip for the third, and a car for the fourth. If the player picked a star that said no, they lost all of the accumulated prizes in the bonus round. The player could also stop at any time.

Why do bad games happen to such good people like Jim McKrell? And how did this game even go forward? Why would anybody want to sit through a half-hour where contestants do choose-a-number-between-one-and-three for half an hour? Nobody knows these "stars" or how they would have their love lives compared to eggs. And could you at least afford a set where the stars didn't have to sit so close to each other?

This pilot has been viewed 2257 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 12, 2009 14:46 ET
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