The Shows
(alpha sort | update sort)

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

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 5239 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