GAMBIT (Unsold pilot)
Tape date: 1990
Host: Bob Eubanks
Assistant: Susie Parker
Two players, a challenger and a returning champion, compete. The object of the game is to create a hand closest to or worth 21 points. Face cards are worth 10, aces worth 1 or 11, the rest worth face value.
The assistant reveals the first card. Two answers are put on the board and Bob reads a statement. The first to buzz-in either guesses the statement applies to both of them, one (naming that one in the process) or neither. If they’re right they get control of the first card, if not their opponent does. They can keep it or pass it to their opponent. The rest of the cards in the game are not shown. Now after getting control, the contestant decides where an unknown card goes. If they go over 21 at any time, they lose. A player is allowed to freeze their hand after two cards if they feel they have enough to win. That forces the other into solo play where they must keep answering questions to receive cards. They must beat their opponent without busting to win. If they bust or fail to answer a question, their opponent wins $100 and one game. If they beat the score they get the game. If anybody scores 21 on the nose, they win the game plus a jackpot that starts at $1,000 and grows $500 per match. First to win two games goes to the bonus.
The third game in a match, if needed, is played differently. The champion decides where the first unknown card goes. Then they receive the next card by default. Following this, questions are brought back into play as above.
In the bonus round, the winner tries to beat the dealer. They get five chances for cards. Three answers are now revealed, and they have to decide whether statements apply to none, one, two or all three items. If they get a question right, they earn a card. They can continue up to five cards or when they want to freeze. After their hand is set, the dealer begins drawing cards. They draw as long as their total is 16 and below and stay at 17 and above. If the dealer busts or does not beat the player, the contestant gets $5,000. If the player gets 21 in drawing cards, they automatically win and receive $10,000.
Bob Eubanks is best known for his stint on the “Newlywed Game,” but was most recently seen on the public speaking circuit, as well as playing host on “Most Outrageous Game Show Moments.”
This pilot was done for ABC and produced by Merrill Heatter.
Well, it was okay at best. Bob Eubanks does his usual job and that’s a good thing. The set is kinda barren and cheesy. The music is your basic fare for the time. The game was still fun, but the rest was blah.
Cast - 1.5
Game - 2.0
Bells and Whistles - 0.5
Prize - 1.5
Tilt - 1.5
[ 07.0 ]
Might’ve developed into a semi-hit if it sold, and would’ve been a neat pair to MG 90 perhaps. Given how the rest did this year...