The Baby Boomer eMuseum

TV / Radio

The $64,000 Question
$64,000 Question
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There are 3 comments for this item.

Posted by Alan at 6:31 am (PST) on Mon November 5, 2012   
Yes, Dr. Joyce Brothers was a contestant on this show. Her category was boxing. The $64,000 Question was implicated in the cheating scandal once it broke. If a contestant was popular with viewers, he/she was helped; if not, the ax fell. Of course $64,000 was a lot in 1955-56. Once a contestant got to $16,000, if he/she missed, the consolation prize was a Cadillac convertible!

About the lesser amounts on Jeopardy, I was a contestant on Jeopardy in 1974, the NBC Art Fleming days. I was champ for one day, and my two day winnings totaled all of $350! I did get an encyclopedia set and a home version of the Jeopardy game. By coincidence after NBC canceled Jeopardy in 1976 or so, Art Fleming moved to KMOX radio in St. Louis and lived a few blocks from me. I never ran into him though.
Posted by kluv42 at 4:29 pm (PST) on Sun November 4, 2012   
Don't know if this show ever cheated, but the really big cheating scandal was on a similar "one guy in a soundproof booth" type show called Twenty-One. The 90's movie Quiz Show was based on the Twenty-One scandal.

For a few years after that, quiz shows virtually disappeared... When they first came back, the money amounts were much lower and a lot more lucky elements were introduced into the games. Larger-money games didn't really come back until cable-era syndication came about in the late 60's and forced the networks to compete for viewer interest.

The major 'pure-skill" game, Jeopardy!, introduced in 1964, was very low in the money department, even for the day... A 5-day champion might walk off with a whopping three or four month's typical salary for his efforts back then; now a 5-day champ typically wins two or three years' average worker's salary, and a truly exceptional champ might win enough to retire in reasonable comfort.
Posted by Mikeaz1946 at 5:34 pm (PDT) on Sun March 18, 2012   
2 comments that I am "pretty" sure they are correct. 1. This is where Dr. Joyce Brothers got her TV appearence that got her going. 2. I am also "pretty" sure this was the first TV quiz show caught cheating.

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