Hit Man (game show)

Infobox Television
show_name = Hit Man


caption = Hit Man titlecard.
format = Game show
camera =
picture_format =
runtime = 30 minutes
creator = Jay Wolpert
starring = Peter Tomarken, Rod Roddy (announcer)
country = USA
network = NBC
first_aired = January 3, 1983
last_aired = April 1, 1983

"Hit Man" was an American television game show that ran from January 3 to April 1, 1983, on NBC. Peter Tomarken hosted this Jay Wolpert production, while Rod Roddy was the announcer (after its cancellation, the pair would reunite later that year on Press Your Luck). The show's 1982 pilot was hosted by creator/producer Wolpert, but because of his refusal to heed NBC president Brandon Tartikoff's wishes that he lose 20 pounds and wear a toupee, he was replaced by Tomarken when it went to air. Rod was announcer on the pilot as well.

It was one of three game shows to premiere on NBC on January 3, 1983, after the soap operas "Texas" and "The Doctors" were canceled. The other two were "Just Men!", an equally short-lived show hosted by Betty White, and "Sale of the Century", which ran for six years on NBC.

Rules of the game

First round

Each game of "Hit Man" began with three contestants watching a 3-minute piece, narrated by Peter Tomarken, about a specific topic (with the returning champion also doing so from offstage). Peter then read questions pertaining to that story once it was finished. The object of this round was to climb a ladder by answering five questions correctly. Contestants buzzed in to answer questions; each right answer moved the contestant up one (signaled by a three-part sound effect; one of which was used later on "Super Password", and another on "Sale of the Century") while a wrong answer eliminated that contestant from the next question (indicated by the NBC Claxon buzzer).

The first contestant to come up with five correct answers won $300 and the second player to do so won $200; both players advanced to the next round while the third player was eliminated from the game, leaving with only parting gifts.

econd round

The two remaining contestants competed against the show's returning champion in this round. A short story about a different topic was presented. After the story, each player was given a number of "hit men" to defend. The champion was given seven hit men, the first contestant to reach the top of the ladder in the first round was given four, and the second contestant to reach the top was given three. The object for the challengers in this round was to eliminate all of the champion's hit men, while the object for the champion was to eliminate both challengers' hit men.

The champion competed against one of the other two challengers in each question during this round. The first challenger to reach the top of the ladder in the previous round had the option to go against the champion first or allow the other challenger to go first. Once that decision was made, Tomarken started asking questions pertaining exclusively to the second story. If a challenger answered a question correctly, the champion lost a hit man; if a challenger answered incorrectly or failed to reply, he/she lost a hit man and lost control to the other challenger.

The champion defended his or her title by eliminating both of the opponents. If the champion lost all of his/her hit men first, the challenger who eliminated the champion's last hit man was deemed the winner, and therefore the new champion.

Triple Crown round

The winner of the game played the "Triple Crown" bonus round. The contestant had their back to a board with eight randomly-placed columns: one column had one square, two columns had two, two columns had three, two columns had four, and one column had five. It was up to the contestant to fill each square with a "money man" by correctly answering questions about both of the short stories that were presented during that episode (this is why the returning champion was allowed to hear the first story, despite not participating in that round).

The contestant was given 60 seconds to fill three columns with "money men" (each completed column was indicated by a crown above it, hence the title). The contestant, not knowing how many spaces are in each column, would call out a column, and would be asked questions alternating between each subject. If a contestant answered any question incorrectly or passed on a question, a new column had to be started, and if they returned to the column they missed on, they had to start it over from the beginning. The contestant won $1,000 for filling one column and $2,000 for filling two. If three of the eight columns were filled within 60 seconds, the contestant won $10,000.

Notable contestants

Game show announcer Randy West was a champion on the final episode. Future game show host Marc Summers worked as a writer on the series. The last episode is also noted for its contestant plug in its final episode, in which announcer Rod Roddy stated: "If you would like to be a contestant on "Hit Man", forget it! And now, back to Peter Tomarken!". Afterwards, Tomarken gave a speech explaining what Roddy just said.

Episode Status

Although all episodes exist, this show hasn't been licensed for reruns since cancellation, due to the fact that the clips shown during the main game were only licensed for 1 appearance, and Jay Wolpert Productions is currently unable to re-negotiate.

ee also

Hitman (TV series), the British version of this show.

External links

* [http://www.classicgameshows.com/hitman/index.html Classic Game Shows: "Hit Man"]
* [http://thegstemple.bravehost.com/rulesheets/hit/hitman.htm Rulesheet of "Hit Man"]
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