Sunday, August 14, 2016

Classic TV: Split Second (1972)

In the 70's, when it came to game shows, there were two constants. If a network needed a new show, it was going to be emceed by either Bill Cullen or Tom Kennedy. That's just the way it was.

In 1972, Monty Hall (Let's Make a Deal) and producing partner Stefan Hatos hired Kennedy to host a new game for ABC, Split Second, which lasted three years, which seems like an eternity back then.

The concept was similar to Bob Stewart's Three on a Match, which we looked at recently, except that it was possible for all three contestants to come up with the same answer, a gimmick later copied by former Goodson-Todman producer Jay Wolpert for Press Your Luck in the 80's.

Not only that, but the end game with the cars was later co-opted by other shows, including the 1986-9 revival of Hollywood Squares, with similar results.

Split Second was cancelled in the spring of 1975 due to declining ratings. 11 years later, Hall, after finishing a revival of Let's Make a Deal, decided to take the reigns himself, and produced the show in Canada for distribution there and in the US. Unfortunately, this version lasted 1 season, and was later rerun on the Family Channel (now Freeform) in the 90's.

Here's the final episode of the original series.



Rating: A.

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