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Temptation (1981)


Producer: Ralph Andrews/Columbia
Host: Jed Allan
Taping Info: 1981, likely California for NBC
Made it to Air: Nope
Other Pilots: This was unrelated to the 1967 Heatter-Quigley show of the same name or the 2006 Fremantle show of the same name.
Availability: It's on the circuit, but no pictures on this one. My copy is really bad.

One caveat of a good show is that they should have at least some "shout at the TV factor." Unfortunately, with Temptation, the only shouting would be "Dear God, this is awful, change the channel." Eschewing all logic for a watchable game and a realistic prize budget is this offering from Ralph Andrews. Jed Allan, still looking for the post office, is your host.

Many members of a studio audience are staked with $100. It's not stated how many, but it looks to be about 100 people. Jed tells the players that the money is there's to keep, but they're going to be offered three "temptations". The audience is asked a multiple choice question, with the three answers on large boards on stage doors. The audience members that decide that they want to play return their $100, and move to their answer.

If they are right, they stay in the game and win a middling prize like a microwave, otherwise they're out $100 and out of the game. This is done a total of three times. About 7 players were able to resist temptation and left with $100, while 53 managed to moved on to the next round. This took over nine minutes.

The second round featured a refrigerator, a twin bed and mopeds. A pair of newlyweds were brought out and briefly interviewed. The players were then instructed to forfeit their first round prize and go to the prize that they think the newlyweds would want, or leave the game with their first round prize. Those that guessed correctly stayed in the game. This mercifully only took four minutes.

The third round involved a television set. A film is shown of 20 people riding a roller coaster for the first time. The remaining players were then asked how many of the roller coaster riders declined a second ride. Players then ran to an answer if they were willing to forfeit their prize booty so far, which miraculously everyone did. The players who answered correctly moved onto the next round.

With six players left, a trip to Rome is now in play. Three pictures are shown, only one of which is a childhood photo of John Travolta. Players are then asked if they wished to play, since only one player would survive this round. Again, all 6 decided to stick around. There was no idea how they would have resolved if more than one set of people would have guessed correctly, since only one did.

The final question was the contestant guessing how John Ritter described himself in one sentence. The player was shown the answers beforehand, and could choose to leave with her current stash or risk it for those prizes and 2 cars. She was right.

Not a good game. Not interesting, not fun to watch, and way too loud. Jed Allan does OK as a ringmaster, but even the best host would have looked into the camera one point during the show, said "there has got to be a better way to make a living than this", and forced Hugh Downs to finish the show.

This pilot has been viewed 6791 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 22, 2009 22:32 ET
Feedback? Contact me at usgs-pilot at the usgameshows dot net domain