American Movie Classics, now known simply as AMC, which is better known now as the home of the popular comic book series, The Walking Dead, dabbed its corporate toes into game shows in 1989 with The Movie Masters. However, this was not your average quiz show. There were no real contestants, the celebrity panel was the same every week, something that hadn't happened since the short-lived revival of It Pays to be Ignorant 15 years earlier. The panelists were playing for a lucky home audience contestant.
Gene Rayburn, four years removed from a nasty departure from Break the Bank, was tapped to host, and it was clear that Gene just didn't have it anymore, having to be escorted onto the stage by a young model. The panelists were Clive Barnes, long time movie critic for The New York Times, and To Tell The Truth alums Peggy Cass and Kitty Carlisle Hart. The series bowed in August 1989, but was cancelled 5 months later. Why? AMC didn't have the subscriber base it has now, and the network was still in a feeling out process, 5 years into its existence.
Let's scope out a sample episode.
The intros were a call back to What's My Line?, poetry aside (Where was Nipsey Russell when you really needed him?), and the puzzles recalled Concentration, but Mark Goodson had nothing to do with this show, despite the alumni gathering.