Pass the Buck (game show)

Infobox Television
show_name = Pass the Buck

caption =
genre = Game show
creator = Bob Stewart
writer =
director = Mike Gargiulo
starring = Bill Cullen
narrated = Bob Clayton
theme_music_composer =
country = USA
language = English
num_episodes = 65
executive_producer = Bob Stewart
producer = Sande Stewart
location = Ed Sullivan Theater, New York City
runtime = 30 min.
channel = CBS
first_aired = April 3, 1978
last_aired = June 30, 1978
imdb_id = 0198201
tv_com_id =

"Pass the Buck" was a game show that aired on CBS television's daytime lineup from April 3, 1978 until June 30, 1978. The series was hosted by Bill Cullen and was created by Bob Stewart. Bob Clayton was his announcer.

The Main Game

Four players competed in this game. A category is revealed (e.g., "Food eaten at a fast food restaurant") and it is the job of the contestants to give answers that fit into to that category. The order of contestants giving answers goes down the line from left to right. The bank for each game starts at $100, and each correct answer adds $25 more to the bank.

If at anytime an answer is repeated or the judges think an answer is incorrect, the next player in line can give one correct answer and knock that person out of the game, with the eliminated player going to the "bullpen" to sit out the rest of the game. If that person misses in any way, the next person in line can knock out both contestants who answered wrong. If all the players alive during a question give consecutive incorrect answers for a question, that question is thrown out and play resumes with a new question. A new round begins after a player (or players) are eliminated from the game played under the same process. Play continues until one player is left, with that last player winning the contents of the bank and going onto the "Fast Bucks" bonus round.

Fast Bucks

The Fast Bucks round is played on a triangular board with 4 different levels, arranged in this manner:


The winning player begins on the bottom row and is given a category with more defined answers (e.g., people from "Happy Days", U.S. States). The winner's job is to reveal as many of the four hidden answers on the bottom level in 15 seconds.

If the contestant reveals at least one answer on a level, he or she moves up to the next level. The process is the same for the remaining levels. If at any time the player does not reveal any answers on any level when time expires, the bonus round ends and the player receives $100 for each revealed answer on the board. However, if the player reveals all answers on one level OR at least one answer on each of the four levels, they wins $5,000.

The same four players stay on the show until one of them wins the $5,000, at which point the other three players leave the show (but they keep any money won up to that point). The $5,000 winner faces three new challengers.

cheduling History

CBS tried to make amends with packager Stewart for prematurely canceling his "The $10,000 Pyramid" four years earlier (with the top prize having increased to $20,000 on the ABC version by then) by taking "Pass the Buck" to replace Goodson-Todman's "Tattletales." The original but unaired pilot episodes of "Pass The Buck" were actually videotaped at the CBS Broadcast Center on West 57th Street in Manhattan during the weekend of May 7-8, 1977, and its tapes were then placed on the network's shelves for almost a year until CBS finally decided to put the show on its daytime schedule beginning on April 3, 1978. At the start of its original broadcast run, "Pass The Buck" looked to easily dominate "Sanford and Son" reruns on NBC (that show had already been cancelled in primetime) at 10 a.m./9 Central and become a stable companion to "The Price Is Right," the original version of which Cullen had hosted some 20 years earlier. However, NBC sprang a surprise three weeks later in the form of its first G-T game since 1969, "Card Sharks," whose winsome host Jim Perry and thrilling gameplay rendered "Pass The Buck" tame to many viewers by comparison. "Card Sharks" doomed Stewart's high hopes when "Pass The Buck" was cancelled and simply ended after 13 weeks, on June 30. In what transpired as a trial run for its eventual syndicated success, "Tic Tac Dough" replaced it the next Monday, but ran only two months. "Pass The Buck" was the last CBS game show taped in New York City until 2007, when the network introduced "Power of 10" to its primetime schedule; it also marked Cullen's last show that he would host from that city as well. He would, after "The $25,000 Pyramid" discontinued production in 1979, work exclusively in southern California afterwards, up until his 1987 retirement. The show videotaped during its brief run at the Ed Sullivan Theater, which, some 15 years later, became the home of "The Late Show with David Letterman."

External links

* [ The Pass the Buck Page at the Bill Cullen Homepage]
* [ The Pass the Buck Page]

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