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.
Hosts: Graham Elwood and Brooke Burns
Announcer: To be determined
Network: Any broadcast network or general-entertainment cable
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:
- What was the occupation of Isaac Hayes’ character on South
- Which boxer bit off more than he could chew when he fought Evander
- In a familiar idiom, what calls the kettle black?
- What was the name of Hal Seeger’s friendly cartoon monster of
- In the 1990s, comedian Renee Hicks was not ashamed of being what?
- What is the term for a nearly pure block of precious metal?
- Who starred in the film A Fistful of Dollars?
- What surname is shared by actors George, Linda and Alexa?
- According to the title of a famous book, Real Men Don’t
- 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.
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
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.
- This hybrid show combines two innovative but short-lived word games.
- All awards are cash, from promotional fees paid by advertisers. This
would reduce paperwork for the production company and benefit
contestants at tax time.
- The celebrity players in the first half of the show become panelists
in the second half.
- The game board, which is used for both games, is certain to impress
viewers — even those who recall how the top row of seats was added
behind the Match Game panel for Hollywood Squares.
- As Michael Klauss has asked: Would networks be interested in another
hourlong hybrid game show?
- There is also the problem of disparate ownership: FremantleMedia owns
the Goodson-Todman library, and Orion (now part of Sony Pictures) owns
the Merrill Heatter game shows.
Return to site index