Wipeout (1989)

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(ended 1989)

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Wipeout (1989)

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Produced at Paramount Studios, Wipeout combined elements from several game shows and merged them into one new program for syndication. The host was Peter Tomarken, who had hosted Press Your Luck for CBS and had recently been part of ABC's failed Bargain Hunters. Wipeout was divided into three sections. The first round pitted three contestants, who were given a question and a computerized board with sixteen possible answers. Eleven answers were correct; the five others were "Wipeouts." Each contestant had to select an answer for an increasing dollar amount. If a correct answer was revealed, he or she had the option of playing on for another answer or passing to the next contestant. Any "Wipeouts" chosen would end his or her turn. Embedded behind one of the correct answers was a "Hot Spot" bonus prize (it would go behind another correct answer should the contestant who gained the prize later wiped out). Values for correct responses started at $25 and increased by $25 for each subsequent correct answer. The first round continued until all the correct or incorrect answers were revealed. Only the two contestants who racked up the highest dollar amounts went on to the second round. (The monies they racked were not harmed again.) In the event of a tie for second place, the two contestants were given a new question and twelve answers; only eight were correct. The two would "seesaw" back and forth until one of them wiped out (an element the second version of Tic Tac Dough had used successfully for years). The eight-of-twelve answers format became a staple of the next phase of Wipeout. Both the surviving contestants tried to outbid the other in how many of the eight correct answers they could name for the next question (another Tic Tac Dough element). The winner of the bidding then had to give the prescribed number of correct answers. If he or she missed, the other contestant could steal the round by giving one correct answer. (If the challenger selected a Wipeout, though, play went back to the original contestant, who had to finish giving the alloted number of correct answers.) The winner of two of these rounds won the game and stuck around for the fast-paced bonus game. In the bonus game, the champion contestant was given another computerized board and twelve answers: six right, six wrong. The contestant, wearing running shoes (an element employed after about twelve of the show's 26 weeks) ran to the board to click the rims of six screens, then ran to hit a plunger. If less than six of the chosen answers were correct, he or she had to run back, turn off one answer, and then click another. A new car awaited the contestant who could get all six correct answers to the bonus question in 60 seconds or less. Originally, each winning contestant was given one shot at the car. Somewhere about midway through the series, Wipeout champions were invited to play again and not retired until he/she won the car or was eliminated in earlier rounds.

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