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Author Topic: How many "masters" of a given episode?  (Read 408 times)


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How many "masters" of a given episode?
« on: March 04, 2023, 05:28:13 PM »
The recent posting of an unedited June 1998 episode of TPIR with a stopdown prompts me to ask something I've been wondering about: during the era when game shows were pre-recorded on physical tape, how many "masters" of each episode were created?

There would've been the original reel of tape that was running in the control room during the taping session, which sometimes might've contained goof-ups or not-safe-for-TV moments. Then there would've been a "for air" version with errors, offending bits or "dead space" removed, and possibly with commercials inserted. (Or I might be completely wrong, as I've just never read a good explanation of the workflow involved in creating an air master.)

In addition to the episode of TPIR mentioned above, at least a couple other unedited G-T masters have shown up on YouTube: a 1980-81 "To Tell the Truth" with a technical breakdown and a restart (can't find it just now, however); as well as a 1986 Tom Kennedy TPIR without fee plugs (just the "starry sky" TPIR logo onscreen) and no product sponsors in the credits. (While this isn't the G-T library, I also remember GSN airing some 1985 $100K Pyramids that lacked fee plugs; they just showed the contestants and celebs chatting at their desks, while viewers got to hear the bass line of the theme.)

In the case of the G-T library, do multiple copies of master tapes exist, or generally does only one master exist?