CBS (ended 1975)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 7 : Ep 375


    Aired 1/23/62

  • S 7 : Ep 374


    Aired 1/23/62

  • S 7 : Ep 373


    Aired 1/23/62

  • S 7 : Ep 372

    Betty White & Frank Gifford

    Aired 6/15/67

  • S 7 : Ep 371

    Marty Allen & Steve Rossi

    Aired 1/16/67

  • Cast & Crew
  • Nancy Kulp

    Nancy Kulp

  • Frank Sutton

    Frank Sutton

  • Allen Ludden


  • Lee Vines

    Announcer (1965-1967)

  • Peter Lawford


  • Photos (1)
  • show Description
  • Password was a simple word-association game, but became one of the most popular and beloved game shows of all time. It was the first successful show to pair a contestant with a celebrity partner and among the first to return after being cancelled several years. A retooled version of "Password" began in 1979 (as Password+Plus and later in 1984 as Super Password) enjoyed two more highly successful runs. This Password page, however, focuses on the 1961-1967 and 1971-1975 versions. Two contestants competed, each paired with a star partner that played the entire week. Host Allen Ludden gave one member of each team a "password," and using 1-word clues only (proper nouns were accepted), it was the cluegiver's job to get his or her partner to guess the word for 10 points. If the 1st team didn't guess the word, the opposing team (who was allowed to "eavesdrop") could try to successfully communicate the word with a new clue (or sometimes even the same clue) for 9 points. Play alternated until the word was guessed with 1 point deducted for each clue or until all 10 clues were given at Ludden's discretion (if it was obvious the word would never be guessed) or if the cluegiver accidentally uttered part or all of the password. Illegal clues – such as hyphenated words and clues with more than one word – and taking too much time also passed control to the opponents will be sounded by the buzzer from The Word Authority of Dr. Reason A. Goodwin--The Editor of World Book Encyclopedia Dictionary. Usually, the stars (who played the entire weekday) gave the clues on the 1st word of a game with the contestants trying to guess the word; then the contestants gave the clues and the celebrities tried to guess and so on. Play continued until 1 team scored 25 points (or on occassion, a time's up whistle sounded). The contestant won $100 on CBS Daytime and ($250 for the nighttime portion) and his or her team played the Lightning Round (believed to be the 1st endgame in a game show). In the Lightning Round, the celebrity partner was shown a series of 5 new passwords, one at a time. He or she had 60 seconds (1 Minute) to communicate all 5 to the contestant at $50 per correct guess of the word. An illegal clue or a pass meant no money could be earned on that word. Up to $250 was possible in the Lightning Round. Each contestant played 2 games after which they both retired; a contestant could win a maximum of $700. Even contestants who were shut out of any cash winnings were given a consolation gift (usually a camera or a set of World Book encyclopedias or other stuff). The most impressive contestants returned each year for a tournament of champions, but this was little more than asking them back to play two more games for $700 extra. The show debuted on the CBS daytime schedule on October 2, 1961 and continued through September 15, 1967; a nighttime Portion premiered on January 2, 1962 and had 2 runs up to May 22, 1967. Actress Betty White was a frequent guest star(and in June 1963, was a permanent fixture in Ludden's life ... as his wife); she appeared very frequently in all revivals of Password, long after Ludden's death on June 9, 1981; little wonder she was among the best players of this game. Reruns were syndicated to local stations after leaving CBS daytime (in part due to a naughty new game show called The Newlywed Game which was scheduled against Password) before reappearing on April 5, 1971 as a part of the ABC daytime schedule. Play was largely as before with modest cash payouts. That's until November 18, 1974, when the powers-that-be decided to change the game. An all-star edition – as Password All-Stars with 6 stars playing for charity – and a revised format with 4 contestants (2 of which were paired with a celebrity partner) competing for 2 spots in the main game were seen more as screwing up a good thing than changing it. Needless to say, the show would die of a quick death leaving ABC after an 5 season run on June 27, 1975. However, Goodson-Todman did make some changes that DID work, and showcased them in another revival called Password Plus, which debuted on January 8, 1979 on NBC (hosted originally by Ludden and later Bill Cullen and Tom Kennedy). That show remained until March 26, 1982, but it returned on September 24, 1984 as Super Password (hosted by Bert Convy) and it lived on NBC until March 24, 1989. See Password Plus and Super Password for more details. Broadcast History of Password: October 2, 1961-September 15, 1967 CBS-TV: Monday-Friday at 2:00-2:30pm April 5, 1971-September 3, 1971 ABC-TV: Monday-Friday at 4:00-4:30pm September 6, 1971-March 17, 1972 ABC-TV: Monday-Friday at 12:30-1:00pm March 20, 1972-June 27, 1975 ABC-TV Monday-Friday at 12Noon-12:30pm.moreless

  • Top Contributor
  • gwactuary

    User Score: 139


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (1)

    • ALLEN: (to Carol) I forgot you are a great cook. CAROL: I even make flaky spaghetti!

    Notes (40)

    • Filmed in Hollywood

    • Filmed in Hollywood.

    • filmed in Hollywood

    • Filmed in Hollywood.

    • Allen congratulated Carol on "Hello, Dolly"'s recent 10 Tony Awards. Steve stated that his Broadway show "What Makes Sammy Run?" had been extended through next January.

    • Betsy mentioned that her daughter Missy was almost 2-1/2. Peter added that his baby girl Bridget was 6 months old.

    • Filmed in Hollywood.

    • Filmed in Hollywood.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (4)

    • One word that went down to zero was edited out of the program to save time. At the end of the show, Allen mentioned that that word had been difficult. Apparently, they caught this before the show aired, and dubbed the word "volume" over the original word. "Volume" had gone down to 2 points on the show.

    • The password is 'Henpecked'. Making reference to Allen and Betty's new marriage, Jack Paar points at Allen and says 'Later'.

    • For one word, Allen had forgotten Joan was playing the word to her partner and asked "Jim" to give the clue. Joan commented "Jim? I couldn't pass THAT physical!" to a huge spontaneous audience laugh.

    • [Possibly the finest civilian Password player in the history of the series, Shirley Bates ( a 1962 champ), wins the final two games of the T of C in a combined total of 6 words, and completes both lightning rounds in a combined time of 47 seconds!]

  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • Password was a "smart" game show, meaning the audience could play along.

    By clrankov, Jun 06, 2007

  • nighttttt / day

    By angelsxo, Feb 26, 2006

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