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The Choice Is Yours

Producer: Hatos-Hall
Host: Bill Cullen
Announcer: Jay Stewart
Celebrities: Melvin Belli, Meredith McRae, Nipsey Russell
Taping Info: November 28, 1970
Made it to Air: No

Who can turn on the world with his smile? Who can take that nothing game show pilot, and make it seem all worthwhile? Well, it's Bill Cullen. And he takes another pilot that should have never had left the development stage, does his magic, and it least makes it watchable. Barely.

It's game show in the round, as the crowd encircles Bill Cullen and his three celebrity panelists: Melvin Belli, Meredith McRae and Nipsey Russell. After the obligatory poem, the game can begin. The first round involves a yes/no question on a hot topic of the day (in this case, sex education in the schools), and each celebrity gives a brief speech before giving their answer. The audience, all clad in cheesy straw hats that would remind most people of a political convention (but me of Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour, the chain that gave my Dad diabetes).

The scoring was a tad skewed. If the celebrity had matched the audience, they could get 5, 10 or 15 points, depending on whether s/he was the only one to match (15), was one of two to match (10) or was one of all three to match (5). So, if an odd number of celebrities matched, there were 15 points up for grabs, otherwise, there was 20. For those of you devising scoring systems at home, remember your verse from the first book of Tattletales, chapter 3: scoring systems among three celebrities must be divisible by six.

This continued for three more rounds, occasionally punctuated by a skit that would be split into the first half (the dilemma) and the second half (the solution as provided by the audience). The fourth question was multiple choice with three possibilities instead of yes/no. Each celebrity was playing for a member of the studio audience, with the winning celebrity earning a TV (complete with Monty Hall's Let's Make a Deal pose) for the lucky audience member.

Although I applaud Hatos-Hall for trying to think outside the box, there just isn't much of a market that really wanted to know whether Meredith McRae would let her teenager attend an anti-war demonstration. Bill tries valiantly to save the game, but there's just nothing there.

This pilot has been viewed 8321 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 12, 2009 14:46 ET
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