Concentration Frequently Asked Questions

What is Concentration?
It was the longest-running daytime game show on NBC, created in 1958 by Jack Barry, Dan Enright, Bob Noah and Buddy Piper. Although based on a juvenile card game, the television program had adult contestants.
How is Concentration played?
The rules are explained here.
Who were the hosts of Concentration?
Hugh Downs was the original daytime host, from August 1958 to January 1969. Jack Barry was host of the 1958 prime-time Concentration series, which replaced Twenty-One. Downs was also host of the 1961 prime-time Concentration series. By 1968, Downs was often absent from Concentration in order to cover breaking news events; on these occasions, announcer Bob Clayton stepped in as a substitute Concentration host. In 1969, due to Downs’ increasing workload on the Today show, Clayton took over as full-time host until the show was canceled in 1973, although Ed McMahon was host from March to September 1969. Other substitute hosts were Art James, Jim Lucas and Bill Mazer. Jack Narz was the host of the syndicated Concentration in the 1970s. Alex Trebek was the host of Classic Concentration on NBC from 1987 to 1991.
How did NBC come to own the format of Concentration?
If the sponsor of Twenty-One hadn’t demanded that Barry and Enright make up for a poor debut—the contestants had missed a total of 17 questions—they would have continued to produce Concentration and Sony would now own it as part of the B&E game show library. Due to the scandals, however, NBC took over production of both Concentration and Twenty-One, while forcing Barry to leave his quizmaster position on Tic Tac Dough.
What were the first and last rebuses on Concentration?
On the original daytime series, the first rebus was It Happened One Night and the last was You’ve been more than kind. The first rebus played on Classic Concentration was Time off for good behavior, and the last was Good as new.
Where can I download a Concentration computer game?
A freeware Windows version of Classic Concentration was once available at BigJon’s PCGames. For Apple Macintosh, there was a commercial game called MacMatch (1985), but it is no longer available. Hobbyist programmer Jay Smith made a Java version of Classic Concentration, which works on macOS, but his site went down in October 2006. In May 2009, Glu Mobile released a Concentration game for cell phones, but it also has been discontinued. As of 2012, Siba Style Studios sells a Concentration app for iPad and iPhone. I have never seen a Concentration game with rebus puzzles for eight-bit Atari computers.
My mother was a contestant on the daytime Concentration. Can you send me a copy of her appearance?
Sorry. Although every Concentration episode (except those with Ed McMahon) has been preserved in one form or another, the films and videotapes are now owned by CBS, as ordered by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Where else has Concentration aired?
Concentration has aired in the following countries besides the United States:
Why was my question not answered here?
Send your question to jvipond@wat.midco.net.

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