This Break the Bank Game Show
format is unrelated to the two others of the same name, but it's the one most adults today remember. As on The Hollywood Squares
, a man and a woman compete in a game with nine celebrity panelists. Two panelists answered each question, but only one gave the right answer. Matching three like dollar amounts (always adjacent to one another) won the game and the right to face another challenger. Collecting three of the five money bags not only won the game, but also "broke the bank" and awarded a large cash/prize jackpot.
Tom Kennedy was the host on ABC
from April 12 to July 23, 1976; Jack Barry
took over when the show went into syndication a few weeks later.
Despite its short run on American TV, the format has had two Greek remakes: How About You?
, hosted by Kostas Rigopoulous in 1987/88, and Tilemplofes
, hosted by Claus Tsivilikas in 1989.
- Bonus Round: On the syndicated version. See Luck-Based Mission below.
- Bonus Space: The money bags; collecting three of them broke the Bank, which started at $5,000 and increased by $500 (later $250) per game until won. On the Barry version, the Bank was always $10,000 in prizes (including a car). Breaking the Bank was an automatic win.
- The Wild Card could be used as a money bag or to match any dollar amount.
- Game Show Winnings Cap: As was ABC's policy, champions retired after winning $20,000 (but were allowed to keep up to $30,000).
- Whammy: The BUST card, during the syndicated run.
This show provides examples of:
- Cool Shades: Barry wore these because the set was so bright. Similarly, Kennedy had his glasses tinted.
- Follow the Leader: Suspiciously similar to The Hollywood Squares in nature, isn't it?
- Luck-Based Mission: Any Barry & Enright bonus round is just that; here, pick panelists to win money so you can reach or exceed $2,000 without finding the BUST card, which makes you lose everything. Stop after any safe pick and keep the money, or reach the $2,000 goal to have your bonus winnings increased to $5,000.
- Screwed by the Network: The series was the 3rd-highest rated series in daytime, but was cancelled after only 15 weeks just to make room for expanding soap operas. Tsk, tsk, tsk...
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: A variant. If the male contestant claimed a square, it got a mustache; if the female one did, it got a set of lips.