The Shows
(alpha sort | update sort)

ABC Carnival '74
Across the Board
Be What You Want
Beat The Genius
Beat The Odds (1962)
Beat The Odds (1975)
Bedtime Stories
The Better Sex
The Big Money
The Big Payoff
Big Spenders
Blank Check
Body Language
Body Talk
The Buck Stops Here
Call My Bluff
Card Sharks (1996)
Caught in the Act
Celebrity Billiards
Celebrity Doubletalk
Celebrity Secrets
Celebrity Sweepstakes
Chain Letter (1964)
The Challengers (1974)
Change Partners
Child's Play
The Choice Is Yours
Combination Lock (1996)
Comedy Club
Concentration (1985)
The Confidence Game
Cop Out
Countdown (1974)
Countdown (1990)
The Couples Race
Decisions, Decisions
Dollar a Second
Duel in the Daytime
The Fashion Show
Fast Friends
$50,000 a Minute
Finish Line (1975)
Finish Line (1990)
Get Rich Quick
Going, Going, Gone!
Head of the Class
High Rollers
Hollywood Squares (1965)
Hollywood Squares (1985)
The Honeymoon Game
Hot Numbers
Hot Potato
House to House
How Do You Like Your Eggs?
Jackpot (1984)
Jeopardy (1977)
Jokers Wild
Key Witness
Keynotes (1986)
King of the Hill
Let's Make a Deal (1963)
Let's Make a Deal (1990)
The Love Experts
M'ama Non M'ama
Match Game (1962)
Match Game (1973)
Match Game (1990)
Match Game (1996)
MatchGame (2008)
Missing Links
Monday Night QB
Money Words
Money in the Blank
Monopoly (1987)
Nothing But the Truth
Now You See It (1986)
Party Line
People On TV
Play For Keeps
Play Your Hunch
The Plot Thickens
Pot O' Gold
Pressure Point
The Price Is Right (1972)
Pyramid (1996)
Pyramid (1997)
A Question of Scruples
Quick as a Flash
Razzle Dazzle
Run For The Money
Says Who?
Scrabble (1990)
Second Guessers
Second Honeymoon
Shoot for the Stars
Shoot the Works
Shopping Spree
Show Me
Simon Says
$64,000 Question (2000)
Smart Alecks
Smart Money
Split Decision
Star Cluster
Star Play
Strictly Confidential
Talking Pictures (1968)
Talking Pictures (1976)
Tell It to Groucho
Temptation (1981)
$10,000 Sweep
Three of a Kind
Tic Tac Dough
Top Secret
Twenty One (1982)
Twenty Questions
Up and Over
The Waiting Game
We've Got Your Number
What Do You Want?
What's On Your Mind
Wheel of Fortune
Whose Baby
Word Grabbers
Write Your Own Ticket
You Bet Your Life (1988)
You Bet Your Life (1991)
You're Putting Me On

The Links

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The Game Show Pilot Light

149 Pilots Sliced, Diced and Analyzed

The Game Show Pilot Light is a site where the idea of the game show is celebrated if not its execution. Every year, many pilots are made whose makers are hoping will make it to the air and bring in the steady profits that a game show can make. A good number of these pilots never make it for one reason or another the game is too much like another game, the concept could not work day in/day out, the game is too dull or the audience for the game would be too limited.

Jim McKrell, the patron saint of the game show pilot.
Pilots fall into two general categories. The first kind of pilot are those commissioned by the network and usually have a better chance of making it to the air, mainly because the network is footing the bill on this one and would like to see their investment recouped, even if it's for a limited period of time. The second kind is those created by the production company themselves. These are more risky, since the producer will be shopping this pilot to several networks and syndication services in the hopes of getting the show on the air.

This site showcases both the successful pilots and the failed ones. Even a successful pilot will show differences between it and the game that eventually makes it to air. The first pilot for The Joker's Wild, a successful game for more than ten years, started out as a celebrity-based game. Or, a failed pilot will become a successful one after retooling. The pilot for Celebrity Doubletalk was a failure for Bob Stewart in the mid-60's, but the end game eventually became the main game of The $10,000 Pyramid in the early-70's.

I currently have 149 pilots that I have seen and reviewed. I generally have six sources for pilots:
  • Purchase from a video clearinghouse such as Shokus Video
  • The "trading circuit", which means a tape or a DVD of the episode has been traded amongst collectors and can be acquired from them. Searching for the particular show on Google will yield people from which you can obtain a copy of the show.
  • Additionally, many of these "circuit" shows are now showing up on YouTube or various other video sites. I have placed links where available.
  • The UCLA Film and Television Archive has viewing abilities for some shows as long as arrangements are made ahead of time. You simply can't walk in and watch an episode.
  • The Paley Center in both New York City and Beverly Hills have viewing stations available for a small donation to watch some shows.
  • Some private collectors who wish to keep their collections private have provided me opportunities to view portions of their collections. They have not allowed me permission to reveal who they are. Hence "private".
If you went or have access to a pilot that I do not have here, please e-mail me at the address at the bottom of the page. Please do not send me YouTube links. I will get to those someday.

I hope you have as much fun reading this site as I've had putting it together.


This pilot has been viewed 7029 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 20, 2009 14:54 ET
Feedback? Contact me at usgs-pilot at the usgameshows dot net domain