Blackout (game show)

Blackout (game show)

Infobox Television
show_name = Blackout
genre = Game show
creator = Jay Wolpert
writer = Joel Hecht
Jay Wolpert
Jon Field
Meredith Kornfeld
director = John Dorsey
starring = Bob Goen
narrated = Johnny Gilbert
Jay Stewart
theme_music_composer = Middle "C" Productions
country = USA
language = English
num_episodes = 65
executive_producer = Jay Wolpert
producer = Joel Hecht
Randy Neece
asst_producer = Stacey Babbitt
location = CBS Television City, Studio 33
runtime = 30 min.
channel = CBS
first_aired = January 4, 1988
last_aired = April 1, 1988
imdb_id = 0299269
tv_com_id = 14511

"Blackout" was an American game show that aired on CBS for 13 weeks, from January 4 to April 1, 1988. It was hosted by Bob Goen. Johnny Gilbert announced until the final two weeks, when Jay Stewart took over. The show was a Jay Wolpert Production.

"Blackout" debuted in the 10:00 AM slot previously held by "The $25,000 Pyramid." After "Blackout" was cancelled, CBS put "The $25,000 Pyramid" back into the same slot.

Game format

Two teams, consisting of one celebrity and one contestant each, competed. A sentence with four blanks was shown to the teams. The first team to play would have the celebrity record a twenty second description of the word, while the contestant was not allowed to listen. Once the twenty seconds were up, the player would listen to a playback of the recording. However, the opposing celebrity got a chance to use a "blackout button," which effectively acted as a "mute" button, silencing the playback as it was pressed. The celebrity was able to black out up to seven seconds of their opposing team's description (with an additional second given each time the first team's celebrity repeated a key word in their description). If the player was able to guess the word anyway, the team got $100 & the first shot at solving the puzzle. If not, the opponent, who had heard the entire description, would get a guess. The process would alternate back and forth until the puzzle was solved. If neither player identified a word, it was posted on the board but neither team got to guess. If a celebrity accidentally said the word or part of the word itself during the description, the opponents automatically got $100 and a chance to guess. If neither team solved the last word, the host read a pre-written description of the word and both players had to hit a buzzer to guess. A correct answer won the word, but an incorrect guess gave the opposing player the full description.

A second puzzle was played in the same manner, with celebrities and contestants switching roles of give and guesser. The first team to solve two puzzles won the game and advanced to the Clue Screen bonus round.

If the game ended in a tie, one last word would be played. The contestant with more money (or the winner of a coin toss, in case of a tie) was shown a word and chose between giving a description to that word for ten seconds while the other team "blacked out" three seconds of the description. If the partner of the describer got it right, his team won; if he was wrong (or if the describer said the word itself or part of it), the opposing team won.

The Clue Screen

In the Clue Screen round, the contestant faced a video screen while the celebrity faced away from it. The team was given 70 seconds (1:10) to try to solve five words based on clues that were displayed on the screen. The contestant would look at the screen, and when he had determined that there were enough clues to solve, he would yell out "Solve it!", at which point the list of clues was frozen and the celebrity would turn around and guess. A correct guess earned $250. If all five words were solved before time ran out, the contestant won $10,000.

In some instances, the contestant elected to have the celebrity watch the clue screen.

Notes

* The original 1987 pilot for "Blackout" was hosted by Robb Weller.
* The game show was briefly seen in the Stephen King mini-series "The Stand".
* "Blackout" encouraged home viewers to send in their own puzzles. If one was used on the show, the home viewer won $100.
* Bob Goen wore a mustache while hosting this show. Sometime between the cancellation of "Blackout" and the premiere of CBS daytime "Wheel of Fortune," he shaved it off.


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