Thursday, December 17, 2015

What Might've Been: Battlestars (1981)

Merrill Heatter's 1st project without retired partner Bob Quigley was actually a variant on their iconic Hollywood Squares, which had wrapped after 15 seasons (14 on NBC) just a few months earlier.

Battlestars had six celebrities instead of nine. The quiz portion of the game was a little simpler. Panelists had two answers on a monitor to choose from, and from that point the contestant would determine if the celebrity had the right answer or not. Alex Trebek was tapped to host. The series, however, lasted just a scant more than six months due to its competition (Price is Right).

However, NBC brought the show back in 1983 as The New Battlestars, with a new bonus game, but the same host, as Trebek returned. However, announcer Rod Roddy had left to work on Press Your Luck at CBS, so Charlie Tuna (America's Top 10, ex-The Mike Douglas Show) replaced him. Unfortunately, the revival lasted half as long as the original, airing during the lunch hour death zone (blacked out in my market, if memory serves me correctly), resulting in cancellation after 13 weeks.

Here's a Christmas episode from 1981. Save for Richard Kiel and Richard Simmons, the panel is comprised of NBC stars.

Rating: B.

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