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 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, with Tomarken apparently going so far as to call it a "piece of shit". While the series debuted on July 6, it was preempted frequently during its first few weeks by special coverage on the Iran-Contra affairs, which meant it never really gained a foothold with viewers. The show ended on 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
- Pilot: Taped May 28, 1987, with some different graphics and a slightly different format for Bargain Quiz.
- Recycled Soundtrack: The music cue for the home shopping segments turned up again on The Last Word, a short-lived Heatter word game from 1989.