Winner Take All

"Winner Take All" is an American television game show that ran from 1948 through 1952 on CBS. It is notable as the first game show produced by the Mark Goodson and Bill Todman partnership, who would go on to create many more. The program first began in 1946, on CBS radio.

The game format involved two contestants choosing general knowledge questions, or questions based on skits performed beforehand; or doing discovery tests (usually while blindfolded) inside the studio. The game itself was not only simple, but served as the genesis for many future game-show formats; the first contestant to sound their signal, and give the right answer to a question would score one (1) point; a wrong answer gave the opposing player a free guess. The first player to score three (3) points won the game, and a prize. This was the first game show to introduce lockout buzzers and also the first to bring back winners as returning champions.

The hosts of "Winner Take All" were Bud Collyer (1948-50), Barry Gray in 1951, and Bill Cullen, when the show switched from CBS to NBC in 1952. When NBC canceled it, it wasn't outrightly taken off the air. "Winner Take All" became a segment (in abbreviated form) of a new variety-type program that network aired, titled "Midday Matinee".

Episode Status

A few kinescopes, with Barry Gray, and Bill Cullen have survived; the Cullen episodes have been seen on GSN at one time or another. The Gray episodes are on the collector/trading circuit.None of the Bud Collyer episodes appear to have survived.


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