Saturday, November 14, 2015

On DVD: Play Your Hunch (1958)

Long before he started his own production company and developed his own game shows, Merv Griffin worked for Mark Goodson & Bill Todman as host of Play Your Hunch, which, over the course of its 5 years on the air, had a checkered history.

The series started on CBS, then moved to ABC within its first year. Utimately, Hunch, based out of New York, moved to NBC for the remainder of its run, but Griffin left after 4 years to start the first of his self-titled talk shows and develop Jeopardy!, the latter also for NBC, and was replaced by Robert Q. Lewis on Hunch.

Hunch enjoyed two short primetime runs, in addition to its 5 year daytime stint. From June 1962, here's one of those primetime episodes, with musical guest Dick Haymes, Jr., and Broadway star Kaye Ballard (5 years before The Mothers-in-Law):

As you can tell, Hunch was a variation on one of G-T's more successful and longer running properties, To Tell The Truth, except that it was two teams of contestants trying to discern what one of the challengers on stage were doing. Haymes appeared in one of these segments, then was brought back out for a full musical number.

Could Hunch be revived today? I don't think so. G-T tried a different angle, using ESP, for the short-lived Mindreaders in 1979, again for NBC, and using teams of contestants captained by celebrities. We'll look in on Mindreaders another time.

Rating: B.

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