Monday, April 3, 2017

Classic TV: Treasure Hunt (1956)

When I was growing up, one of my favorite game shows was the syndicated New Treasure Hunt, hosted by Geoff Edwards. Now, we'll look at that version another time, but why was it called "New"? Because the original had aired in the 50's.

Treasure Hunt was the brainchild of actor-comedian-game show host Jan Murray (ex-Dollar A Second), better known to my generation as a regular panelist on other game shows, such as Hollywood Squares and Break The Bank. Hunt ran for three years (1956-9), and ended up being the last show emceed by Murray for whatever reason. Jan spent a good chunk of the 60's making movies, such as "Tarzan & The Great River".

Chuck Barris acquired Hunt in 1973, and his subsequent revival lasted 4 years initially (1973-7), ending largely because Barris, who couldn't help himself, wanted to use more pranks & skits, as his version was derivative of Monty Hall's Let's Make a Deal. Hunt subsequently relaunched in 1981, but lasted just one more year.

As was the custom of the day, Treasure Hunt aired both weekday mornings as well as one night per week. The later series were syndicated because no network wanted to take a chance on it again, for whatever reason.

Right now, let's go back to March 1958.

Rating: A.


Mike Doran said...

In 1960, NBC launched The Jan Murray Show, which was built around a word game called "Charge Account".
The game: there was a four-by-four square grid; two players were given 16 letters, one at a time, from which they would try to form words.
Winnings were determined by how many three or four letter words each player was able to make.
A perfect game - four words across, four words down - was possible in each game; a language professor ruled on which words were allowable.
Jan Murray worked and joked with the players, something he'd always enjoyed doing.
The Jan Murray Show (aka Charge Account) ran for two years in daytime ('60 to '62) on NBC - and that was Murray's last host stint.

hobbyfan said...

Have to see if that's on YouTube, Mike.

Mike Doran said...

Double Whoopsie:

- (1) Went to to YouTube and didn't find Charge Account.
NBC must have wiped that one, but believe me, it was a real show (it's in all the reference books).

- (2) But I did find a 1966 game called Chain Letter, produced by Monty Hall, which Jan Murray hosted.
So there's that - I was wrong too.
It happens ...

YouTube can be frustrating sometimes.

hobbyfan said...

I believe you.