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Talking Pictures (1976)

Producer: Hatos-Hall
Host: Monty Hall
Announcer: Jay Stewart
Celebrities: Arte Johnson, Kaye Stevens, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Lyle Waggoner, Jaye P. Morgan, Soupy Sales, Johnny Brown and Phil Foster
Taping Info: May 11, 1976, presumably Los Angeles
Made it to Air: Nope, as this was the third pilot for this show in a nine year period. There is also a page on the second Allen Ludden pilot.
Availability: UCLA Archive

At first you don't succeed, try, try, wait eight years, try again. After two tries of trying to get his Concentration meets Hollywood Squares game together to no avail, Monty Hall knocks out two celebrities and adds trivia and word game elements. Also, since Let's Make a Deal would be leaving the daytime airwaves soon, Monty hosts this one himself. Note that this review is actually of two pilots of the same show, each one featuring infamous pilot contestants. The first one had Maggie Brown, and the second one had Rochelle Anapolski.

There are eight celebrities that mention some Hollywood-related fact. Each of those celebrities are also associated with a numbered door on a Laugh-In style wall. Coming back from commercial, the positions of the numbers are scrambled and the celebrities are now hidden behind the doors. Monty then reads one of the statements the celebrity said earlier, and one of the contestants buzzes in and tries to remember the door the fact was associated with. If the contestant was correct, the celebrity reveals a letter that fills one space in a trivia question, such as "name this move nominated for 11 Academy Awards: C _ _ _ _ _ _ W _". Once a contestant was able to complete the question, they won the game and other contestant went home.

The bonus game was pretty much a sped up version of the main game minus the puzzle portion. Statements were made by the celebrities, the doors stayed open, and the contestant had 30 seconds to make as many matches as possible. Six matches got the LMAD-approved organ, seven the LMAD-approved set of appliances and all eight got you the LMAD-approved Datsun, provided it did not rust to nothing on the way home. The main game and end game were repeated with the first game champion and one new contestant.

I'm surprised this one didn't make it other than the ABC schedule would have been pretty tight for a new game show, although I can't see how this show was worse than Hot Seat or The Don Ho Show. This also could have been a nice once-a-week syndie, but it didn't come to pass. Or maybe executive noticed the fact that Monty Hall's acrylic see-through podium did not lend itself to having a used question slot, as viewers could be mesmerized by questions falling down a chute.

This pilot has been viewed 8458 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 12, 2009 14:46 ET
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