Author Topic: Why don't more color versions of Cullen episodes exist?  (Read 1120 times)

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Offline Thatgameshowguy

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Why don't more color versions of Cullen episodes exist?
« on: July 18, 2018, 09:38:13 PM »
I've only seen clips of episodes in color, but I've always wondered why more don't exist? And, why don't more Cullen clips exist in general? It seems like it was a huge phenomenon that everyone wanted to be a part of, so why don't the episodes exist?
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Offline pannoni1

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Re: Why don't more color versions of Cullen episodes exist?
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2018, 08:31:17 AM »
I've honestly only seen a photo of the Cullen version in color from TV Guide which I posted awhile back:

http://www.golden-road.net/index.php?topic=22616.0

Still, I don't know why they didn't make the set more "color friendly" since honestly a gray curtain will look just like that in B&W of course, and a tan contestant's row, while interesting, doesn't have the same effect as individual podiums, though it took three years into the current run for that to happen.

I've never been aware that clips of Cullen in color exist, and most likely come from a special.  However, although color tape was introduced in 1958, it wasn't until the later part of 1964, after NBC dropped Price that color tape saw a notable increase in use, and then in 1965, RCA's TR 22 and Ampex's VR 2000 finally made tape on color a practicality. Early color tape also was notable for degrading quickly, even as soon as the second generation of dubs.

Of course, the reason why a number of Cullen episodes exist in the first place is for the small, remote markets that didn't have connectivity yet to the main network of TV stations, and thus had to use kinescopes for broadcasting their shows. Of course, the very beginning of the run was live, and when the show went to "live to tape" circa 1960, early videotape was extraordinarily expensive, and thus wiping was by far the more practical solution, even among primetime shows, and thus all we were left with for the most part are the kinescopes. It was even worse at ABC, which wasn't quite comparable with CBS and NBC until the '70s, and since there were fewer ABC stations at the time, fewer kinescopes, and of course ABC never broadcast in color of course (I don't know of any other TV show that "downgraded" after the switch to be quite honestly). The earliest game show series where a considerable amount of color episodes exist is the last year of the original Password (albeit edited down a couple minutes for syndication). 
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Offline Thatgameshowguy

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Re: Why don't more color versions of Cullen episodes exist?
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2018, 11:17:19 AM »
Here's a couple clips in color. There's no sound and it's a bad quality recording, but it's in color.
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Offline SanAnMan

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Re: Why don't more color versions of Cullen episodes exist?
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2018, 03:14:35 PM »
From what little I know of the subject, most television stations just didn't bother to keep any archives of old shows once they were done. Many stations just burned them afterwards. I'd be willing to bet that no one knew back in the 50's and 60's just how much of a cultural phenomena that TPIR would truly become, and since there was almost a 10-year gap between the end of the Cullen TPIR and the CBS-Barker version, I'm just glad we have what few episodes we do.

Offline Superballer

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Re: Why don't more color versions of Cullen episodes exist?
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2018, 08:43:15 PM »
Thus, extra praise to Mark Goodson for having the foresight to generally preserve as much of his library as he could over the years so that we still have so much of many of his shows from way back available. 

Offline GobGlom

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Re: Why don't more color versions of Cullen episodes exist?
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2018, 01:21:42 PM »
If any were recorded on videotape, standard practice back then was to wipe the tape for another show. Reels were expensive so networks kept recycling the tapes until they wore out.
Syndicated shows of the era were 'bicycled' between stations. The tapes were sent from one station to another.

Offline BillyGr

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Re: Why don't more color versions of Cullen episodes exist?
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2018, 10:35:49 AM »
Also, the most likely reason there wasn't more kept back then was (when you look from their perspective), what would you do with the shows if you kept them?

Most areas were lucky to have a station for each of the three networks, no other stations to show them again, no cable TV, no video tapes, no computers - nothing that really made anyone of the time think that there would be any demand for these old shows (outside of the occasional clips that various networks/shows would use for an anniversary special or such) again in the future.


Offline thepriceis_J

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Re: Why don't more color versions of Cullen episodes exist?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2018, 03:31:36 PM »
Yeah, the simple answer is that color videotape was vastly expensive when it debuted. NBC only first used it for specials and then only used it for its top rated shows, of which Price certainly qualified. Instead of buying more videotape at immense cost though, they found places to reuse it and unfortunately in a battle of game show versus hit drama/western (i.e. Bonanza), the game show lost out. Mark Goodson was certainly profiting from his numerous shows across all the networks, but even they just probably couldn't afford the cost of preserving every episode on videotape at the time like a big studio like Universal could.

There are plenty of kinescopes of both the primetime and daytime version around since GSN regularly had Cullen Price on its schedule back in the day, but I don't think anyone really knows exactly how much of the series exists. I wish they had saved at least one color broadcast, but alas it'd be a miracle if that were the case.

And while I understand it for Cullen Price, I'm more disappointed and surprised in no color episodes of WML? and IGAS seeming to have survived. Especially since quite a handful of late Collyer-era TTTT color episodes survived. WML? was G-T's first established hit and an institution by the time they went to color in their final season.
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Offline blozier2006

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Re: Why don't more color versions of Cullen episodes exist?
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2018, 03:43:14 PM »
And while I understand it for Cullen Price, I'm more disappointed and surprised in no color episodes of WML? and IGAS seeming to have survived. Especially since quite a handful of late Collyer-era TTTT color episodes survived. WML? was G-T's first established hit and an institution by the time they went to color in their final season.
Two things here:

1) The color Collyer-era TTTT shows were largely of the daytime run (I know there's at least one surviving color primetime TTTT, but it seems to be an anomaly), probably saved alongside the 1966-1967 season of Password (anybody know if they were rerun anywhere before GSN started? I know reruns were what led to the 1971 version of Password).
2) I've heard a rumor (can't recall the source) that the September 1967 finale of WML? exists on color videotape, supposedly in the possession of Jonathan Goodson.

Offline someguy23475

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Re: Why don't more color versions of Cullen episodes exist?
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2018, 05:32:50 PM »
The Joey Bishop Show downgraded to black and white when moving from NBC to CBS. The game show Missing Links did as well when moving to ABC.

There are probably a few other examples out there.