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Up and Over

Producer: Bill Carruthers
Host: Bill Carruthers
Assistant: Beth
Announcer: Rod Roddy
Taping Info: March 27, 1986, presumably in Los Angeles
Made it to Air: No, although its predecessor, Give-N-Take, aired for a blistering 11 1/2 weeks on CBS in 1975.

Bill Carruthers had an interesting career in the world of game shows. He was simultaneously a producer of shows such as Press Your Luck and The Newlywed Game while working as a director on other shows such as Whew!, Trump Card and You Don't Say. Since he was getting pretty rich off a revival of another of his series (Press Your Luck was a revival of Second Chance), he decided to dust off Give-N-Take, his first sold series, a 58 episode wonder on CBS in 1975. Please note that this is actually a review of a run-through, and not the pilot. It is unknown whether or not this made it to pilot stage.

Bill Carruthers saves some bucks on a test host and helms this game of price guessing himself. Three female contestants (one less than Give-N-Take) competed, decked out in red, yellow and blue outfits with matching podiums. The initial round was simple luck, with the host throwing at first a strange die with two blue, two red and two yellow sides. The die essentially had a four-sided pyramid shape removed out of each side, so it was really 24 triangles smashed into a cube. This cube was then thrown into a kiddie-pool sized randomizer controlled by a high-speed fan (known as 'the air pool'). After a few seconds the fan was turned off, and about ten painful seconds later the die would finally stop. The color that comes on top got to select a prize from three possibilities, in this case a wicker living set, pearls or a rear-projection big-screen TV. A second die with three colors for the two remaining contestants was then thrown, with the 'winner' of that roll selecting a prize from the remaining two selections. The final contestant got the remaining prize.

At this point, the players are told the current dollar value of their prizes. This is the last time that happens. At this point, no prize values are announced. The host then asks a question at the Press Your Luck difficulty level, at which players try to buzz in with the correct answer. The player who answers correctly then rolls an 'advantaged' die, which has four colors for the answering contestant and one each for the other two. After the way-too-long die roll is done, the color that comes up now chooses whether to keep the prize being offered or pass it to another contestant. This...goes...on...for...eight...rounds.

However, if you go over $10,000 in prizes, and you are selected to win a prize, you first decide which prize you wish to pass, and then take the prize up for winning. Or you can choose to simply take the prize being offered (if you believe that's the lowest priced prize currently in your stash). This game had the flaw come out early, when the yellow contestant was already over $10,000 by question five. She continually won control and tried to pass to get back under, but since most of the prizes were of near-equal value in the $2,000-$3,000 range, this proved impossible.

At the end, only one player was under $10,000 and she was the winner. Fortunately, the eleven prizes in play totaled to just below $30,000, so they would avoid having all three go over. She then went on to the bonus game, where the player would have an initial 2-in-6 chance of winning the remaining prizes by rolling a final die with two gold sides (and inexplicably had either 'B' or 'C') on the other four sides. She could choose to win additional gold sides by either guessing what the lowest priced or the highest priced remaining prizes. However, an incorrect guess meant that prizes was removed from the game. In this case, she not only failed to guess either, she also didn't roll a gold side, so she won nothing additional.

Since it was a run-through, it was below broadcast quality. Only one camera was in use, and it was hard to tell whether the overly-dark set was intentional or just part of the public-access theme. The die would sometimes fly out of the air pool and it was impossible to read the prize list on the players' monitors. I would also guess that the graphics were done by a Commodore 64. The red contestant, Dwan Smith, was Mrs. California 1985 and had a small pre-Up and Over [[ acting career].

This pilot has been viewed 8270 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 12, 2009 14:46 ET
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