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The Couples Race


Producer: Ron Greenberg
Host: Mike Darrow
Assistants: Janet Greenberg, Amy Greenberg and three unnamed models
Announcer: Bill Wendell
Taping Info: April 27, 1973, CBS Broadcast Center, New York City for CBS
Other Pilots: An earlier pilot was done for NBC with Don Morrow hosting
Made it to Air: No

Take a deck of Milles Bornes cards and throw them against a wall for your set. Take three adult females and dress them like the models from the video for "Video Killed the Radio Star." Have your pre-teen daughters model some prizes as well. Get three old-timey convertibles, paint one game yellow, one game show blue and one game show red. And scream. Mike Darrow comes down from Canada to be your host.

A question is played and the yellow couple gets a TV. And then we go to commercial. And when we come back, Mike Darrow introduces the couples (hey, the guy in the blue car is named Jeff Beck). And then he finally explains the rules. Apparently we are in the "Prize Exchange", where toss-up questions are asked to our three couples, each of which is in the replica car. Sometimes only the men are answering the questions, sometimes the women, sometimes both. When a question is answered (via ringing in with a loud horn rather than a polite bell), the answering team may either choose to bring a new prize into play or take a prize from one of the other couples. Some of the prizes included a television/stereo combo, mink coat and a trampoline. This went on for eight questions.

The second round is called, well, "The Couples Race". Each couple decides who will be the "driver", who will be buzzing in to answer toss-up questions. The spouse will be the "passenger", who will be answering bonus questions after a successful toss-up answer. A tossup question allows the couple to move their car one space. And the car actually moves on stage. A correct bonus question allows a couple to either move their car one more space or to take a prize away from another couple.

Oh, did I mention that a car (specifically a Dodge Charger) is now also in play. Well, it wasn't mentioned either until the first bonus question was answered correctly. At this point, a "car tag", either a circle, square or triangle, could be selected with as a bonus prize. At the end of the round, only one of those three "car tags" will be the actual car, the other two were worthless. After a team got to five spaces, the roles of driver and passenger switched. This continued until one couple got to space ten or time was called. When time was called, a one minute speed round was used. During the speed round, prizes could not be exchanged. Much hilarity ensued since the cars couldn't move very fast during the speed round and the buzzers malfunctioned. I'm tired. This game is so loud. I'm going to take a break, see you in a few minutes.

Ah, that was better. The two couples that didn't win lost their prizes, while the winning couple kept their prizes and moved on to the bonus game. Oh, there was no bonus game. For this pilot, it was a lucky happenstance that the winning couple had selected one of the car tags, otherwise they would have nothing to do for the remainder of the game.

Well, the best thing I could say is that the music cues were done by Edd Kalehoff, and they were awesome in their 1973 Mooginess. Game-wise, it was just too freaking loud. Mike Darrow was screaming, the contestants were yelling, Bill Wendell was louder than his usual self. Any momentum gained in the "Prize Exchange" was lost when Bill Wendell had to do a thirty second spiel about each prize. And those cars, and the set, and the model outfits. Now I'm really tired. Good night.


A ticket for the pilot.


This pilot has been viewed 7311 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 12, 2009 14:46 ET
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