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The $10,000 Sweep


Producer: Bob Stewart
Host: Jack Clark
Announcer: Don Pardo
Taping Info: August 4, 1972, ABC Studio 2, New York City
Made it to Air: No
Availability: It has aired on GSN and is on the trading circuit.

In 1972, $10,000 in daytime TV was a lot of money, since no show was offering it. You could win a couple thousand on Split Second if you got the car, but there wasn't much else. So, to stand out, the five-digit barrier would probably have to be broken. And surprisingly, it was Bob Stewart who was going to break this barrier with The $10,000 Sweep.

However, right away the title was deceptive. In order to win $10,000, you had to win four games. Or simply, you won $2,000 per game with a $2,000 bonus for the fourth game. The host was Jack Clark while announcing was Don Pardo, taking a rare moment to do a non-NBC job.

The game was played with two teams of two players each. Unlike the typical Q-and-A format, Jack would start the question, one member from each team would see the answer and the first to buzz in would finish the question, and his/her teammate would then answer the question to receive the points. For example, Jack would start out with "Where did this catastrophe take place?", the contestant designated as the question finisher would say "New Jersey", while the question answerer would say "The Hindbenburg Crash." The first question was worth 5 points, the second one worth 6, and increasing by one until the game was won. 100 points won the game.

Other quirks to the game included a "target number", three of which were in play during each game. If a team hit that number, they would receive the next question unopposed. Additionally, if the question finisher did the job incorrectly, Jack completed the question himself and gave it to the other team, including the hilarious combo when the first part of a question "This group was known for what" and the question finisher said "Comedy" for the answer "Masters and Johnson". Jack Clark attempted to coin a catch phrase by saying "you must be first and you must be right" every time the question finisher was wrong.

Several problems plagued this pilot, beyond the set being the most garish combination of orange, red and yellow you can possibly imagine. Bob Stewart left in an equipment failure when the lockout device registered both players buzzing in. Although that's part of the game, it's not a good idea to leave deficiencies in the pilot. Finally, there was no bonus game, so the game had the monotony of Jeopardy! without the excitement of Daily Doubles or Final Jeopardy!

The $10,000 Sweep is also one of the very few pilots that didn't fit neatly into a 30 minute broadcast window, instead running about 30 minutes without commercials. However, the two times Game Show Network has run this pilot this ended up being very convenient, since another Stewart pilot, The Riddlers, ran about 18 minutes without commercials, so the two could be run in an hour.


Bob Stewart has written a check for $10,000. It's currently under lock and key at the Smithsonian.

It's The $10,000 Sweep! Sadly, it has nothing to do with curling.

Host Jack Clark explains that if your score hits these numbers, you get a free turn.

Here's the contestant area. Repeat after me, red, yellow and orange should never be a combination on a game show set.

A ticket from the pilot.


This pilot has been viewed 8754 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 12, 2009 14:46 ET
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