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Fifty Grand Slam
1976 NBC attempt to recapture the drama and suspense of a 1950s Game Show (well, most likely The $64,000 Question), hosted by Tom Kennedy. Pairs of contestants sharing a certain specialist subject competed to see who could answer more of a four-part question in their respective category (one contestant answered first, while the other was placed in an isolation booth). The winner progressed up a money ladder ranging from $200 to $50,000, and could walk away with their winnings or risk it to come back the next day.

It took eight victories to win the $50,000 grand prize, assuming the pool of opponents didn't run out first. Despite the show's brief run (October 4-December 31), five people managed to win the $50,000: Stanley Green and Wayne Bryant (both in American Musical Theater), Jonathan Colgate (American History), Richard McNelly (The Bible), and Louis Segal (Shakespeare).

Slam debuted on the same day as Allen Ludden's new show Stumpers, which was pretty much Lin Bolen doing Password Plus before Goodson-Todman did. Both shows were canned on the same day, with Slam promptly replaced by a new daytime Name That Tune also hosted by Kennedy.

Game Show Tropes in use:


This show provides examples of:

  • The Cameo: Allen Ludden made an appearance during the premiere to promote Stumpers, which had debuted the same day (and aired prior to Slam). Kennedy had appeared on the Stumpers premiere to promote Slam.
  • Grand Finale: The last episode had all players keeping what they had won, regardless of whether they were defeated. At the end of the show, Tom noted that it was the end before saying "We'll see you Monday on Name That Tune."
  • Pilot: Two were taped on July 21, 1976.
  • Pun-Based Title: 50 Grand, Grand Slam?
  • Retraux: Despite having a glitzy 1970s look, the game itself carries traits of 1950s game shows such as frequent use of isolation booths (21), multi-part questions sharing the same category throughout a player's run (The $64,000 Question), and having to come back the next day to keep playing (also Question, except that one was weekly).
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: A pair of golfers in the premiere faced a slightly different task than usual, namely trying to chip five golf balls into a target 25 feet away. Best score won.

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