To make things interesting, there are five money bags spread all over the board, and
when one is uncovered, the contestant can either (a) return the box to its
neutral position and select again, or (b) take the box without having to answer
a question, but lose their turn. Claiming three money bags breaks the bank, which
starts at $5,000 and goes up by $500 after each game it isn't won.
Judging from the show's 15-week run, you'd never know it was the #3 game show on
television. Well, at the time, ABC's head of daytime programming, Fred
Silverman, was expanding the network soaps from 45 minutes to a full hour, and,
despite its popularity, “Break the Bank” disappeared when the expansion went
into effect. The premature cancellation didn't sit well with packagers
Jack Barry & Dan Enright, who immediately re-launched the show in primetime
syndication, hosted by Barry (since Kennedy's "Name That Tune" contract wouldn't
Because of the hasty launch, not enough affiliates signed on, and the show died
after one season.