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Wipeout


Producer: Paramount
Host: Peter Tomarken
Assistants: Anna Rapagna
Announcer: Jim Hackett
Taping Info: September 2, 1987, Paramount Studio 27, Hollywood
Made it to Air: Yes, it ran in syndication for the 1988-89 season
Availability: The pilot is available on the trading circuit.

After Press Your Luck went off the air, Peter Tomarken saw himself hosting Wipeout a pilot featuring three contestants trying to ferret out wrong answers from a board of correct ones. Producing the pilot was Bill Mitchell, also the producer from Press. This game didn't get a high clearance when it aired in syndication, but did pick up a following during its repeat cycle on USA Network. Also, with a year between the pilot and the actual game, there are several major differences between this pilot and the eventual game.

The first major change was technology. Apparently there was a high leap in technology between 1987 and 1988, since the game changed from trilons to monitors. The first round stayed the same with a board of 16 answers in a category (e.g. TV themes with that have lyrics), 11 of them being correct. A contestant could continue to find the right answers and could stop and challenge the next player to do the same. The difference is that in the pilot, correct answers were worth $100 each, while an incorrect answer caused you to lose all of your money.

In the actual series, the question values were progressive, $25 for the first, $50 for the second up to $275 for the 11th. Winning this round gave that player a "free pass", which was held onto by that player to use at a later time where s/he could play the pass to be skipped, thereby protecting their winnings. Also, unlike the regular version, this version had a 2nd round for $200 per question that played just like the first. The low score at the end of the second round was eliminated. Since there was only one Round 1 board in the series, the "free pass" disappeared.

The Challenge Round played just like the series, with the two remaining players bidding a la Bid-a-Note from Name That Tune to determine who would be challenged to get their bid number of questions right. If the player guessing fails to reach their target, the other player can win the round by guessing one correct answer. In this pilot, like the series, the first player to win two Challenge Rounds won the game and moved on to the bonus. The bonus game was similar to the regular series, the main difference being technology, as the player put rings on the monitors rather than touching them. There were also five correct and five wrong as opposed to the six/six split on the actual series.


Right off the bat, its a different set and font.

But don't fret, Peter's still here.

And you need three contestants.

Here's the low-tech board that uses trilons instead of computer monitors.

And some eye candy is brought in to turn those trilons.

Win the bonus game its a new car!

Here's the bonus board. Instead of touch screens, you have to place steering wheels on the hooks above the monitors.

And to help recreate the Race Game, you have to run over to see how many you got right.


This pilot has been viewed 9316 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 12, 2009 14:46 ET
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