CBS Daytime


March 26-June 22, 1973


Johnny Jacobs

Produced by

Jack Barry Productions

"From Television City in Hollywood, CBS presents…Mary Tyler Moore…Ross Martin…Pearl Bailey…Milton Berle…Sally Struthers…Rich Little…Lloyd Hayes…John Forsythe…Fess Parker…Judy Carne…Jo Anne Worley…Doc Severinson…Joyce Aker…Dean Jones…Joan Rivers…Sebastian Cabot…Red Buttons…and David Jansen…all revealing their thoughts and opinions about people, places, and things on Hollywood’s Talking!”

“Hollywood’s Talking,” but American viewing audiences weren’t, so it vanished after 13 weeks.

Three contestants compete. They watch a series of videos; in each, celebrities make a series of comments about a subject, starting out with vague descriptions and getting more specific as the tape progressed. At the start of the tape, the value of a correct answer was $150. After 1/3 of the tape had played, the value was reduced to $100, and after 2/3 had played, the value was reduced to $50. Contestants could ring in at any time to stop the tape and answer, but if they’re wrong, they can’t answer for the remainder of the videotape. The first contestant to accumulate $200 or more wins the game and the right to play “Short Subjects.”

The contestant is shown another series of tapes about different subjects, this time much shorter than the main game tapes, about 15 seconds apiece total. The contestant has one minute to solve up to five subjects, and unlike the main game, s/he can ring in to stop the tape and answer as much as they want to. The payoff for every subject guessed is the total money the contestant won in the front game; if they can solve five before the 60 seconds have completely run out, they win that money plus $1,000 bonus.

Wow…this show looks SO much better on paper, doesn’t it? A couple of flaws in execution damage it. First, people watch celebrity shows for the celebrity interaction and for the witty remarks. With pretaped remarks from all the celebrities, there is no interaction, and there’s no witty remarks because the celebrities are there to convey contrived information without a chance to say anything truly amusing. Second, the pacing is lousy, as we watch the tape in its entirety no matter how quickly the players guess it, just in case we might not believe that the subject really was “toes” like Geoff said it was. Third, the bonus round was flawed, as there was no risk preventing the contestant from arbitrarily ringing in every two seconds with a random guess, and with the nature of the clues given, five correct answers is just way too much to ask for.

Geoff is, easily the best thing about this game (though admittedly he didn't have too many elements to fight with for that title), which speaks VOLUMES about the man’s talent given that this is his first game show, and he’s lucky that the higher-ups in TV and radio could see that because an immediate failure like this ultimately didn’t affect his career one bit.

GEOFF REMEMBERS: JACK APPARENTLY DOESN'T LIKE "WORLD'S GREATEST BOSS" MUGS Jack Barry was kind of rough. Jack was an emcee, and why he hired me, I don't know. But we taped the first five episodes, and the next day I came in and he says to me, "You know, you have a really annoying voice. Is there anything you can do about that?...It really bothers me." So I asked him to leave the dressing room. I said "After 13 weeks, don't renew my contract. And don't come back here to say that to me before I'm about to go and do the show."

I guess he felt bad about that, and the next week, after some shows had been taped, he said, "That ad-lib you did? That was really funny. I really liked that." I said, "Oh, Jack, thanks a lot!" Then the next week after that, I come back, and he says, "Remember that thing last week that I told you was funny?" I said, "Yeah." He said, "I've been thinking about that all week. It wasn't funny."


Up two levels to GEOFF EDWARDS' WORLD

Up three levels to GAME SHOW UTOPIA