The Now You See It!/All-Star Blitz Hour

Having seen hybrid game show proposals by Michael Klauss and Señor Jon Wood, I have decided to create one myself. Because there are only three celebrity guests, this show may work better as a weekly prime-time series than as a Monday-Friday strip.
Animation: The Now You See It!/All-Star Blitz Hour

Hosts: Graham Elwood and Brooke Burns
Announcer: To be determined
Network: Any broadcast network or general-entertainment cable channel


Now You See It!

The first half of the show generally follows the Jack Narz format from 1974: Two teams, each consisting of a celebrity and a civilian, compete to find answers to general-knowledge questions, read by Elwood, hidden on a board full of letters. The difference is that the board consists of six flat-panel displays, and each of the four rows contains 15 letters instead of 14. Each panel, therefore, contains two rows of five letters each. (Burns operates the game board during this portion.)

Here is a sample Now You See It! board:

S I K K I
M C B R I
M B A L D
D E P O T
R I N K Y
T Y S O N
B I N G O
Q U I C H
T H A M I
E F E A S
L T O N E
T W O O D

Try to find the answers to these questions:

  1. What was the occupation of Isaac Hayes’ character on South Park?
  2. Which boxer bit off more than he could chew when he fought Evander Holyfield?
  3. In a familiar idiom, what calls the kettle black?
  4. What was the name of Hal Seeger’s friendly cartoon monster of the mid-1960s?
  5. In the 1990s, comedian Renee Hicks was not ashamed of being what?
  6. What is the term for a nearly pure block of precious metal?
  7. Who starred in the film A Fistful of Dollars?
  8. What surname is shared by actors George, Linda and Alexa?
  9. According to the title of a famous book, Real Men Don’t Eat what?
  10. Which is the least populous state in India?

Teammates sit back to back on swivel chairs; the civilians can hear Elwood but cannot see the board. The first celebrity to signal after the question is read names the row (first, second, third, fourth) in which the answer appears, and turns around; his/her partner must tell Elwood the answer in that row. If the player names the wrong row or has the right row but starts at the wrong column, the opposing team gets a chance to find the answer. If both are wrong, Elwood reveals the correct answer and proceeds to the next question.

Each correct word is worth a number of dollars equal to 10 times the sum of the row number and the column number of its first letter. For example, an answer that starts in the second row and the fifth column would be worth $70. No answer will contain fewer than three letters. At the end of the half-hour, the contestant with more cash advances to the second half of the show. Both contestants keep the cash credited to them.

All-Star Blitz

The second half of the show follows the original format from 1985, but with Burns between the contestants. The swivel chairs have been replaced with normal chairs. The contestant who won Now You See It! meets a new opponent. A stagehand takes control of the game board.

The panel consists of Elwood, the celebrities from Now You See It! and one other celebrity. The four panelists are seated below the game board. The six panels of the game board split apart for All-Star Blitz, and 12 starred circles, connected by lighted crossbars, fill the gaps.

This portion of the show goes about 15 minutes without a commercial break. It also has a new element: a running dollar score for both contestants. Earning a star (i.e., agreeing with a correct answer or disagreeing with a wrong answer) is worth $25. Solving the phrase puzzle is worth $100 multiplied by the number of the current round. The contestant with more cash at the end becomes the champion and advances to the bonus round. Again, both contestants keep the cash credited to them.

The Bonus Round

Each of these shows had its own bonus round, and either could work with this hybrid version. Here is one possibility, with a maximum award of $50,000:

Each of the three celebrity guests has a secret multiplier: 10, 25 or 50. At the start of the bonus round, the contestant chooses one celebrity. Play the normal Now You See It! solo round: The contestant must find and highlight 10 words in 60 seconds. All multipliers are hidden until the bonus round ends. Each word found is worth $100; the multiplier is not applied unless the contestant has found all 10 words.

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