Name That Tune (1974)

NBC (ended 1975)


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Name That Tune (1974)

Show Summary

The definitive "guess the tune before your opponent" game, Name That Tune returned for its most successful run ... in once-a-week syndication. It was a series of changes that were made during the run that made it among the most exciting game shows of the mid-to-late 1970s and early 1980s. Two contestants competed in a series of rounds, each with different rules. Generally, the premise was to guess the song correctly, but it wasn't always "do it before your opponent does." Some of the games included (but not limited to): • A straightforward best-of-five tune-guessing game. The first contestant to ring in could guess the tune. A correct guess was worth one point, but if incorrect, his/her opponent could guess. • Melody Roulette – Host Tom Kennedy spun a large roulette wheel containing dollar amounts ($100 on up to $500), along with DOUBLE and TRIPLE spaces and sometimes, even a CAR. Wherever it stopped, that's the value of the tune; a correct guess won that contestant the cash, but if not, his/her opponent could guess. The first to name 3 (or 2) tunes got to keep the cash (and possibly, the car). The car could be won only once. • The Money Tree – As the song played, the contestant's opponent pulled out dollar bills from his/her money tree. The first one to guess three tunes kept whatever cash remained; also, a player won if the opponent ran out of money. • Sing-A-Tune - A competition where each player, in secret, wrote down the names to the tune being performed by the show's singer (la-laaing out any incriminating words). • Bid-A-Note – The show's signature game. Kennedy red the contestants a clue to the song, and the players bid downward against each other to determine how few notes they needed ("I can name that tune in four notes!"). There were many other games as well, and each round was worth points. The high scorer after three rounds (or a tie-breaker, if necessary) was the day's champion and moved on to the Golden Medley. In the Golden Medley, the champion had to identify seven tunes within 30 seconds. Prizes were awarded for each correct answer; naming all seven tunes won the player $15,000 in prizes in the early seasons, while an incorrect guess at any time stopped the game. The show's biggest change – an ultimately successful one – came in 1976. Now, weekly (or NBC daily) winners returned to identify a more difficult montage of tunes, with a correct guess worth ($25,000 NBC) $100,000 (done twice during the 1976-1977 season). The show's title was changed to reflect the grand prize (The $100,000 Name That Tune). With fewer than five grand-prize winners each year, the $100,000 format was later retooled into a season-ending playoff and the rules modified to allow for a guaranteed $100,000 payoff. The $100,000 Name That Tune ended its run in 1981, but returned as a five-a-week syndicated entry in 1984, with Jim Lange hosting. The format was nearly identical, with Melody Roulette and Bid-A-Note returning along with a new round called Tune Topics (wherein all the songs had to do with a given topic; e.g., if that day's topic is "Honey I'm Home," one of the songs could be "Up On the Roof."). Also, the $100,000 tournament was played every eight weeks or so, with the winner getting $10,000 and $90,000 in prizes. Some of those prizes were offered as part of a home-viewer sweepstakes. The updated The $100,000 Name That Tune was not successful and ended its run after one season. An attempted comeback of sorts, Name That Video, appeared in 2000 on VH1, with the rules modified to accommodate videos instead of music. It didn't last.moreless
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