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Subject: MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 1972

Written By: AH3RD on 09/09/06 at 4:36 pm

Truly a red-letter date in Game Show History!

Following a brief 3-month run of The Amateur's Guide To Love (Mar. - June 1972), a clever mixture of game show and Candid Camera emceed by Gene Rayburn (pre-Match Game 73!), The CBS Television Network totally revamped its waning daytime schedule by wiping out a 90-minute block of sitcom repeats in favor of the debuts of 3 exciting new game shows in their place: Jack Barry's The Joker's Wild, Goodson-Todman's The New Price Is Right (a remake of the 1956-65 NBC/ABC original hosted by Bill Cullen), and Heatter-Quigley's Gambit. This Labor Day marked The Eye Network's splendid return to the daytime network game show race for the first time since the demise of the original CBS Daytime edition of To Tell The Truth in September 1968.

"From Television City in Hollywood, CBS presents America's most exciting new show...The Joker's Wild!"

On the premiere telecast of The Joker's Wild (which, aside from brief stints on Generation Gap and Juvenile Jury in 1969 and The Reel Game in 1971, also marked the end of Jack Barry's exile from TV in the wake of The Quiz Show Scandals of the late 1950s), the first 2 contestants were Susan Raphael and Ed Hackey. The first 5 categories used in the very first main round were: "Cooking," "Roaring 20s," "Julius Caesar," "Comic Strips," and "Football." The first person to spin the wheels was Susan (good manners dictate that women go first!), and the first items to spin on the Joker wheels were a pair on "Football" and a Joker--a triple! Sue vied to go off the board and substitute for "Cooking", and with that category she succeeded in correctly answering the first question ever given on The Joker's Wild: "What is the main ingredient in meringue?" Her answer: "Egg whites!", which earned her $50. Ed Hackey made history on The Joker's Wild by being crowned as its first ever champion. Added to his $550, Hackey won a 23-inch color TV set, a $25 gift certificate from Pier 1 Imports, and a Wal-Vac central cleaning system. (The "Money And Devils" round didn't yet exist, preceded by 2 different bonus games: a prize-matching slot machine , and a Jokers And Devils round.)

The first episode of The New Price Is Right, which came on directly after, saw Sandy Florinar, Paul Levine, Connie Dunnall and Myra Carter, beckoned by Johnny Olsen to "stand up!" and "come on down!" as its first four contestants. Host Bob Barker greeted this audience with the following opening speech:

"Oh my! Thank you! Thank you so much. Welcome to The New Price Is Right. And let me assure you fans of the old Price Is Right, that this is your favorite game still based on the pricing of merchandise with wonderful awards for smart shoppers. We call it The New Price Is Right, because we have some exciting new games that you will enjoy right there at home with our studio audience, and we're going to get that first game going right now. Here's the first item up for bids on The New Price Is Right!"

And that very first Item Up For Bids on this new PIR was a $592 fur coat!!! Connie Dunnall won it and the chance to play the very first pricing game on The New Price Is Right: Any Number, for a $2,746 Chevrolet Vega, which she won, too. Other pricing games to show up on the NPIR debut were "Which Is The Right Price?", where a player selected one price from two possibilities, and "Higher Or Lower," where an item was shown with a price and the player had to decide whether the real price was higher or lower (now known as "Bonus Game," and also won, courtesy of Paul Levine). Paul and Connie faced off in the very first Showcase at the end of the first TNPIR (The Showcase Showdown wouldn't exist for another 3 years), which offered, for the first one, a week's vacation in Acapulco, an Kimball organ, a gas range, and floor tiles; and a second Showcase consisting of roller skates, a stationary bycycle, and a Mazda 808 sedan. The actual retail price of Connie's showcase was $2,307, she bid $1,750; while Paul's showcase was worth $2,504, he bid $2,500 missing the ARP by $4!!! (The Double Showcase rule didn't exist yet either, so Paul just made history by winning the first Showcase ever offered on TNPIR.)

And--well, nothing is known about the debut of Heatter-Quigley's Gambit on CBS, as many of the tapes containing its episodes (save for a precious few!) were erased for reuse...

All three game shows had different degrees of success. The Joker's Wild concluded its 3-year, 686-episode run on June 13, 1975 (superceded the following Monday by Nicholson-Muir's Spin-Off, hosted by Jim Lange), only to find new life in repeats and a return to TV in firstrun syndication in 1977 for a 9-year run. Gambit's 910th and last episode aired on CBS December 10, 1976, after 4 years (Goodson-Todman

Subject: Re: MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 1972

Written By: whistledog on 09/09/06 at 5:06 pm

The Golden Age of Game Shows.  How I long for those days to return

I grew up watching The Price is Right and I still watch it often.  I even used to watch Joker's Wild briefly, but I was only 6 when it was cancelled

I don't remember the original Gambit, but I do remember Las Vegas Gambit.  I watched it in re-runs in the early-mid 80s

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