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Author Topic: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?  (Read 5138 times)

Otm Shank

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #30 on: September 17, 2021, 10:59:52 PM »
I also think it's possible to play first-to-3 games (and maybe a modified short-charge playoff against the villains' blocks for a 2-2 game) when you play the games back-to-back.
Of course you'd probably need to resort to a player vs. villains extra round if someone wins 3-0, to keep the stretching to a minimum.
Yeah, that's what I was thinking just to keep the time budget somewhat aligned. Of course, I am still mentally anchored in the live-to-tape gameplay, rather than excessively stretching or hacking. But there could be other ways around it.

TLEberle

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2021, 02:44:42 AM »
ďAnybody who wins in a 3-0 sweep will get to run the Gauntlet twice for up to $100,000 in cash.Ē Maybe instead of a 2-2 tie being a shootout the players could form a team and split the money.
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chris319

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2021, 05:49:02 AM »
Whew! was exhilarating for the players but the audience (housewives) had to work to keep up, which is why it didn't last beyond the summer of '79. You can't make the audience work too hard to keep up with your game.

It had clever writing but it went by too fast for the audience to savor. Take away the clock from the main game and you might have something. I'm not going to ask Jay if he ever ran it thru without a clock but he should have. The end game was a blur but it only lasted for what, 60 seconds? You'd wind up with a show like password; the main game is not timed but the end game is. Agreed that it had great music.

Who owns Whew! now and who sold it to them? Apparently some combination of Burt Sugarman and Bud Austin (nee Harold Augenblick) owned it originally.

I was shopping a show to CBS at the same time Jay was developing Blackout. Barbara Hunter and Mike Brockman opted for Jay's magnificent creation. How did that work out for you, guys? I also shopped my show (call it The New Say When!!) to Larry Hovis (who was a really nice guy). He loved it and asked NBC to reconsider their rejection of it, to no avail. I showed it to ABC and they were clueless. Ira Skutch saw it and called it "ingenious" but it ultimately went nowhere.

MG/HS Hour had problems with panelist bookings. People at MGP knew it at the time. Many panelists were nobodies at the time and they're still nobodies nigh onto 40 years later. Lots of soap-opera actors, even from soaps on CBS! Nedra Volz was their one success story.

Ian Wallis

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2021, 11:16:24 AM »
ďAnybody who wins in a 3-0 sweep will get to run the Gauntlet twice for up to $100,000 in cash.Ē Maybe instead of a 2-2 tie being a shootout the players could form a team and split the money.

When the show was cancelled in May 1980, I was hoping that it might show up in one of the checkboard prime access slots that fall.  Although most shows were expanding to five-nights-a-week at that time, there still we a few of those once-weekly shows in production.  I was trying to figure out how it would work as a stand-alone show, with the extra five minutes having to be accounted for.  This idea is not bad.  Play a first to 3 with the scenario you just described.  If it's a tie, there probably wouldn't be enough time to play another round plus a guantlet, so splitting the winnings make sense.

$100,000 was given away on those syndicated shows (Name That Tune for one) from time to time back then, and other shows also used that tie scenario where the players split the pot ($25,000 Pyramid if there was a tie in the last game).  How many times would someone have had two successful gauntlet runs anyway?
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Jimmy Owen

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #34 on: September 18, 2021, 02:01:27 PM »
There was a lot of activity at NATPE 80.  Metromedia alone had 5 strips in contention.  Jack Narz, Art James also were busy.  Tom did two NTTs a week, both Squares and Feud went to five days a week, the Barry and Enright trio, Ward TTTT, Hackett YBYL, the Barris shows could have continued, etc.
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Bryce L.

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #35 on: September 18, 2021, 02:16:16 PM »
... the Barris shows could have continued...
I thought Barris' name was mud in 1980 because of 3's a Crowd.

chrisholland03

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2021, 03:40:48 PM »
$25k was a life altering amount of money for the average 1979 person.  I don't see where raising the stakes to $100k adds anything substantively, other than ensuring the writers generate fewer gauntlet wins.


TLEberle

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #37 on: September 18, 2021, 03:52:03 PM »
I was imagining the Gauntle5 for $50,000 were it played today to keep i5 in lie with the ABC prime time stuff.
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Jimmy Owen

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2021, 08:33:43 PM »
... the Barris shows could have continued...
I thought Barris' name was mud in 1980 because of 3's a Crowd.
He decided to Chuck it all, but the other shows were still in demand.
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Neumms

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #39 on: September 19, 2021, 09:58:23 AM »
MG/HS Hour had problems with panelist bookings. People at MGP knew it at the time. Many panelists were nobodies at the time and they're still nobodies nigh onto 40 years later. Lots of soap-opera actors, even from soaps on CBS! Nedra Volz was their one success story.

Too many soap actors to be sure, but seeing it now, I'm surprised how well the panels worked during the Match Game portion, especially given the dead fish in the 4th chair. Definitely on Nedra. Leonard Frey wasn't even famous during his five minutes of fame, but was pretty funny. The new people breathed life into it, and I think Rayburn did a great job bringing them into the proceedings.

I realize the ratings weren't very good, but that time slot was poison. Given some of the garbage NBC was running at that point, a Match Game half-hour in the mornings was worth a shot.

calliaume

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #40 on: September 19, 2021, 01:35:45 PM »
MG/HS Hour had problems with panelist bookings. People at MGP knew it at the time. Many panelists were nobodies at the time and they're still nobodies nigh onto 40 years later. Lots of soap opera actors, even from soaps on CBS! Nedra Volz was their one success story.
I realize the ratings weren't very good, but that time slot was poison. Given some of the garbage NBC was running at that point, a Match Game half-hour in the mornings was worth a shot.
I dunno. Match Game was back after just a year off, Hollywood Squares was back after two years off, and it may not have been enough time. The MG questions weren't as salacious as they were in the CBS days; I'm not sure if that was Goodson's decision or NBC's. Booking soap opera stars on game shows makes no sense. And there weren't any familiar faces (i.e. regulars); I don't know who made the most appearances, but even Nedra Volz was in less than a quarter of the episodes. MG didn't really make it in a morning time slot twice; I don't know that NBC would have benefitted by putting it at 11:30 or noon.

That said, booking less famous celebs isn't necessarily the worst strategy (that's kinda how Brett Somers was discovered). A few people have pointed out that the third week of the show was probably one of the best: besides two $30,000 wins, the stars worked well together and appeared to enjoy being there, even if none of them became household names.

And the time slot was a killer; General Hospital was the #1 soap and The Guiding Light was in the top five. But I would think counterprogramming would make more sense; why put a third soap in that slot? (Santa Barbara was on for eight and a half years and never made it above #10.)

Does anybody know what MG/HS's ratings were during its nine months on the air? (And if Whew! drew a lot of kids, did CBS ever consider moving it to an afternoon time slot?)

chrisholland03

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #41 on: September 19, 2021, 04:35:27 PM »
I'll have to pull my book, but my recollection is that Santa Barbara didn't get notably different ratings than MG/HS but it did pull a younger demographic.

Jimmy Owen

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #42 on: September 19, 2021, 04:55:46 PM »
I'll have to pull my book, but my recollection is that Santa Barbara didn't get notably different ratings than MG/HS but it did pull a younger demographic.
Probably true.  Another problem was that by the end of the run, more and more stations were dropping the show in favor of syndicated fare
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Ryanmo97

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #43 on: September 19, 2021, 06:58:08 PM »
Who owns Whew! now and who sold it to them? Apparently some combination of Burt Sugarman and Bud Austin (nee Harold Augenblick) owned it originally.
Jay Wolpart and Burt Sugarman still own the show. John Ricci, Jr. and Wink Martindale are their representatives. I truly believe that they are trying to get the show revived.

aaron sica

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #44 on: September 19, 2021, 09:14:36 PM »
Quote
Probably true.  Another problem was that by the end of the run, more and more stations were dropping the show in favor of syndicated fare

And in some cases, some stations (like WBRE in Scranton-Wilkes-Barre) stopped carrying MG/HS and didnít carry SB when it premiered. In WBREís case, it opted for cartoons (the market didnít have an independent, and was less than a year away from getting one).