Author Topic: April 6, 1978 CBS Memorandum: Details on Upcoming Pricing Games  (Read 1644 times)

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Offline goldroadfanatic

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Terry Wilkie of The Television Production Music Museum shared on Facebook recently a treat: An internal CBS memorandum from April 6, 1978, that includes details on soon-to-debut pricing games as a result of CBS brass meeting with Executive Producer Frank Wayne and Producer Jay Wolpert. Some highlights of the pricing games yet to debut:

  • Shower Game was referred to as "Hit the Showers" in the memo, which may have also been its development name. Also, the money prizes were planned to be $500 instead of $100.
  • Take Two was called "Pick a Pair" in the memo, but had its eventual name in parentheses. Pick a Pair was eventually used in the game we all know and love 4 years later.
  • Telephone Game was called "Number Please!" in parentheses. The alternate name, incidentally, was previously used as the title of a Goodson-Todman game show from 1961 on ABC.
  • Punch-a-Bunch was referred to as "Punchboard" in this memo. The proper name was eventually added to the game when it debuted. Also, the game was planned with three small prizes/three punches rather than four.

The memo also includes updates planned for other CBS daytime shows at the time.

Overall, this is a neat find and it adds some details of pricing games to the body of knowledge we've been compiling.
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Online pricefan18

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Re: April 6, 1978 CBS Memorandum: Details on Upcoming Pricing Games
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2020, 09:42:41 AM »
Terry Wilkie of The Television Production Music Museum shared on Facebook recently a treat: An internal CBS memorandum from April 6, 1978, that includes details on soon-to-debut pricing games as a result of CBS brass meeting with Executive Producer Frank Wayne and Producer Jay Wolpert. Some highlights of the pricing games yet to debut:

  • Shower Game was referred to as "Hit the Showers" in the memo, which may have also been its development name. Also, the money prizes were planned to be $500 instead of $100.


I wonder what led them to do $100? The visual of all the bills maybe looked better? I would wonder if the game had stuck around, if they'd have eventually went to $500 later on. I suspect they would've.

Offline JayC

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Re: April 6, 1978 CBS Memorandum: Details on Upcoming Pricing Games
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2020, 11:19:39 AM »
My guess is they felt $500 might've been too good of a consolation prize for not choosing the correct car price.

Interesting that of all the games in the memo, Take Two is the only one that didn't undergo an overhaul in its gameplay or got retired. According to the memo it looks like Punchboard/Punch a Bunch's SP portion also originally would've been True or False like Five Price Tags' also.

Offline Roadgeek Adam

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Re: April 6, 1978 CBS Memorandum: Details on Upcoming Pricing Games
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2020, 12:06:16 PM »
I wonder what led them to do $100? The visual of all the bills maybe looked better? I would wonder if the game had stuck around, if they'd have eventually went to $500 later on. I suspect they would've.

Probably would be $1000 nowadays if it did.
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Online pricefan18

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Re: April 6, 1978 CBS Memorandum: Details on Upcoming Pricing Games
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2020, 12:39:26 PM »
Probably would be $1000 nowadays if it did.

Yeah maybe now. I could see it being $500 at some time before that though. Actually, I sorta wonder now why the perfect bid bonus hasn't increased to $1,000 with you saying that.

Offline Roadgeek Adam

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Re: April 6, 1978 CBS Memorandum: Details on Upcoming Pricing Games
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2020, 12:55:38 PM »
Yeah maybe now. I could see it being $500 at some time before that though. Actually, I sorta wonder now why the perfect bid bonus hasn't increased to $1,000 with you saying that.

Honestly, the problem with Shower Game is  that it's 5PT with no element of pricing other than random guess. It's basically 5PT and Gas Money doing what Shower was supposed to do.

Forget the Holocaust thing (overblown from what I remember about Roger saying), it's just a game with very little strategy. I personally found it to be an interesting concept, but I understand why it never lasted.
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Offline LiteBulb88

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Re: April 6, 1978 CBS Memorandum: Details on Upcoming Pricing Games
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2020, 01:01:35 PM »
Actually, I sorta wonder now why the perfect bid bonus hasn't increased to $1,000 with you saying that.

Most of the cash bonuses and games have lagged behind inflation. The perfect bid bonus is actually not one of them.

$1,000 for getting $1.00 on the wheel, introduced in 1975 =  $4,765.09 in 2020
$100 perfect IUFB bonus, introduced in 1977 = $423.09 in 2020
$10,000 for winning Punch a Bunch, which debuted in 1978 =  $39,324.23 in 2020
$10,000 for winning Grand Game, which debuted in 1980 = $31,115.78 in 2020
$5,000 top space in Plinko!, which debuted in 1983 = $12,871.18 in 2020
$500/card bailout option in Spelling Bee, which debuted in 1988 = $1,083.66 in 2020
$16,000 for winning It's in the Bag, which debuted in 1997 = $25,559.53 in 2020

Source: https://www.usinflationcalculator.com/
« Last Edit: June 20, 2020, 01:05:12 PM by LiteBulb88 »

Online pricefan18

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Re: April 6, 1978 CBS Memorandum: Details on Upcoming Pricing Games
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2020, 01:20:04 PM »
Most of the cash bonuses and games have lagged behind inflation. The perfect bid bonus is actually not one of them.

$1,000 for getting $1.00 on the wheel, introduced in 1975 =  $4,765.09 in 2020
$100 perfect IUFB bonus, introduced in 1977 = $423.09 in 2020
$10,000 for winning Punch a Bunch, which debuted in 1978 =  $39,324.23 in 2020
$10,000 for winning Grand Game, which debuted in 1980 = $31,115.78 in 2020
$5,000 top space in Plinko!, which debuted in 1983 = $12,871.18 in 2020
$500/card bailout option in Spelling Bee, which debuted in 1988 = $1,083.66 in 2020
$16,000 for winning It's in the Bag, which debuted in 1997 = $25,559.53 in 2020

Source: https://www.usinflationcalculator.com/

Going one step further, the Big Wheel Bonus Payouts would sit at $19,662.12 & the aforementioned $39,324.23 in 2020 from their original $5,000 and $10,000 values back in 1978. So those too would lag quite a bit behind the inflation curve, even with the increases in 2008 to $10k and $25k.

It's interesting incidentally, that the smallest cash prize would be worth more now of all of these in today's money. Wouldn't have thought that.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2020, 01:29:18 PM by pricefan18 »

Offline gamesurf

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Re: April 6, 1978 CBS Memorandum: Details on Upcoming Pricing Games
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2020, 01:38:44 PM »
My guess is they felt $500 might've been too good of a consolation prize for not choosing the correct car price.

This is my guess.

To this point, the only games that “guaranteed” a contestant would not walk away empty handed were Any Number (under $10), Money Game (under $100ish), and Ten Chances (a sub-$100 prize, and that’s assuming the contestant doesn’t do something moronic like repeat a guess five times).

Guaranteeing $500 for a “loss” would really stand out.

Heck, over 40 years later Let em Roll still stands out somewhat on paper.

Yeah maybe now. I could see it being $500 at some time before that though. Actually, I sorta wonder now why the perfect bid bonus hasn't increased to $1,000 with you saying that.

If they ever stop offering IUFBs worth $500-$999, maybe, but I think it would be weird to have a “bonus” worth more than the main prize everybody is focusing on.
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Offline MSTieScott

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Re: April 6, 1978 CBS Memorandum: Details on Upcoming Pricing Games
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2020, 02:09:36 PM »
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Both Bob Banner and Sam Riddle feel positively about the use of mimes to demonstrate the games,

That would explain why All for One didn't succeed.
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Offline ThatDonGuy

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Re: April 6, 1978 CBS Memorandum: Details on Upcoming Pricing Games
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2020, 03:06:02 PM »
To this point, the only games that “guaranteed” a contestant would not walk away empty handed were Any Number (under $10), Money Game (under $100ish), and Ten Chances (a sub-$100 prize, and that’s assuming the contestant doesn’t do something moronic like repeat a guess five times).

What about Give & Keep? The contestant won the three kept prizes even in a loss.

Offline Casey

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Re: April 6, 1978 CBS Memorandum: Details on Upcoming Pricing Games
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2020, 03:20:06 PM »
What about Give & Keep? The contestant won the three kept prizes even in a loss.
Ditto for Finish Line...

Offline gamesurf

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Re: April 6, 1978 CBS Memorandum: Details on Upcoming Pricing Games
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2020, 03:27:04 PM »
Forgot about those two; I had a brain fart and forgot that contestants kept the prizes they picked.

I still think they support the general point; those are closer to a $100 consolation prize than a $500 one.
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Offline Alfonzo

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Re: April 6, 1978 CBS Memorandum: Details on Upcoming Pricing Games
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2020, 04:42:23 PM »
Looking at Punchboard the original max prize would have been $5,000. Let's all be glad that they doubled it.

Speaking of bonus increases, it's high time that the $500 bonus in Hole in One was increased. As hard as it is to get I think $2,000 or $2,500 would be quite reasonable.
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Offline Roadgeek Adam

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Re: April 6, 1978 CBS Memorandum: Details on Upcoming Pricing Games
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2020, 04:48:01 PM »
Looking at Punchboard the original max prize would have been $5,000. Let's all be glad that they doubled it.

Speaking of bonus increases, it's high time that the $500 bonus in Hole in One was increased. As hard as it is to get I think $2,000 or $2,500 would be quite reasonable.

They probably would go $1000 for budget reasons, but it's agreed.
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