Series / Bargain Hunters
Short-lived 1987 ABC Game Show
created by Merrill Heatter
and hosted by Peter Tomarken
which tried to combine the essence of the increasingly-popular home shopping craze with that of a certain other game show. Three pairs of contestants competed in three separate minigames, always in this order:
- Bargain Quiz - the players had to guess whether an item at a certain price was a bargain; first to three won the game and a bonus prize.
- Bargain Trap - the players alternated picking from five prizes, avoiding the one marked up from its actual price; the winner kept the prizes they chose.
- Bargain Busters - the players tried to correctly guess the closeout price a certain store gave a stated item; best-of-three won the game and the prizes.
The three winners then played Super Savers, where each player chose three bargain-priced prizes from a group of seven. The player who saved the most won the three prizes they chose, plus a grand prize.
In case you haven't noticed yet, that "certain other game show" was most likely The Price Is Right
, but that's just the tip of the iceberg — every round was followed by a "Bargain Shopper" segment, where the show magically turned into the Home Shopping Network (Oddly enough, HSN also had its own game show, The Home Shopping Game
, in syndication at the same time
, alongside the absolutely terrible Shoppers Casino
) and offered viewers a chance to buy an item from the preceding round at a discount by calling the onscreen phone number.
Aside from the fact that it was three parts game show and two parts infomercial
, Bargain Hunters
wasn't really that good (Tomarken apparently went so far as to call it a "piece of shit"), and the fact that it got preempted several times by special reports about the Iran-Contra affairs didn't help its chances. The series ran from July 6-September 4, and was replaced by reruns of Mr. Belvedere
This series provides examples of:
- Price has done two games prominently involving bargains — Barker's Bargain Bar (now simply called Bargain Game) and $uper $aver. The bonus round of Hunters is very close to the latter, which involved picking four grocery items marked down to various degrees and trying to save a certain amount...except Hunters was competitive and didn't have a target amount.
- And Bargain Trap? Hello, Trivia Trap.
- Minigame Game
- Product Placement: Price has Promotional Consideration in its prize descriptions pretty much by design, but they don't turn into QVC and give you a phone number to buy the items featured on the show! They've done Home Participation Sweepstakes on their website with a similar concept, but its still nothing like this.
- Recycled Soundtrack: The music cue for the home shopping segments turned up again on The Last Word, a Merrill Heatter word game from 1989.