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The Waiting Game


Producer: Hatos-Hall
Host: Jim Peck
Announcer: Jay Stewart
Taping Info: mid-to-late 70s (based on fashions/music) for ABC
Made it to Air: No
Other Pilots: Unknown

It's hard to come up with new ideas to make a quiz-based game show. One idea that hasn't really been tried is rewarding the player who buzzes in second the most. A strange concept for sure, but fortunately Hatos-Hall at least gave it a shot, and their efforts can be further used to convince mankind never to do this again. Jim Peck, presumably still on his ABC-exclusive contract, is your host.

On the Logan's Run style set, the three players' podiums actually are in a semi-circle so that they face each other. And since the game is a bit convoluted, and to show you the "explain it in a sentence problem" with the game, I'll just use Jim Peck's explanation of the rules: "Each category of questions has an easy question first and a harder one second. If you ring in and answer an easy question, that means you will give the harder ones to your opponents -- but it will be worth more points." This will be easier to understand once we play a question.

For that first question, Jim Peck read the question "What government office does Clarence Kelly" hold. Jay Stewart then begins to count upward from one through some modulator to make him sound like a computer, and Esther buzzes in after Jay says "four". She's right, and is awarded four points. The other two players are then play for the harder question, with the countdown starting from four. Joan answers her question correctly for nine points.

After a few questions, the countdown then went to going in twos rather than ones. In either round, ten points was the final chance to buzz in. If neither player could answer the hard question correctly, the player who answered the easy question was given a free chance at the hard question. Unfortunately, we're also subjected to Jim Peck singing a clue.

After a predetermined amount of questions, the points are converted to dollars -- $10 per point. Why they just didn't do the conversion at the time of answering is baffling to me. And now we're sort of going to play Split Second. The player in first place was given three points, the second place player two and the third player one. Now the players play the game to ten, reverting back to the single increment clock. First to 10 points moves to over to The Bonus Clock.

The Big Clock looked pretty much like a big version of the classic rectangle Westclox Alarm Clock. Each hour hand had a prize attached to it. The clock started, and changed hands every five seconds. The player's job was to simply stop the clock. But, if the player let the clock go past an hour, they lost a chance to win that prize. When the player decided to stop the clock, they won the prize that is hidden by the later hour. The hours contained nine prizes, one car and two "jackpot" spaces, which were worth an increasing jackpot starting at $5,000 which increased $500 for each time not won. In the first game, the player stopped between 4 and 5 and won a trip to Hawaii. If she had waited until between 5 and 6, she would have won the jackpot.

And notice I said "first game". Unfortunately, they go back and do this all over again. It was pretty painful to watch once, and then you realize you're only halfway through. It had some cute ideas, but they don't make a very interesting game. This Waiting Game truly does suck, and I think I'll be watching Hungry Hungry Hippos instead.

This pilot has been viewed 5034 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Jan 12, 2010 22:13 ET
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