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Series: Hot Potato
Short-lived 1984 NBC Game Show that was both Bill Cullen's last network series and the last new game show format produced by Jack Barry's production company before his death.

Two trios of players, each trio having the same occupation or other common factor, competed to guess the answers to multi-answer questions. In some cases, the contestants were predicting the most popular answers to survey questions similar to Family Feud, but most of the time they were general knowledge ("Name seven of the ten largest countries in the world"). Each question had at least seven answers, though some had more. The player in control could either answer or challenge an opponent to answer; players were eliminated from the round when they answered incorrectly or lost a challenge.

A team won a round by eliminating all three opponents or, less often, by supplying the seventh correct answer. The first team to win two rounds played the Bonus Round, in which the object was to make the correct choices from pairs of answers in a category.

Game Show Tropes in use:

  • Bonus Round: Pick which of these two items weighs more, is larger, etc. Get five right, win $5,000 plus $5,000 every time it isn't won by that team. (This was originally used as a far more complex main game on B&E's unsold 1979 game Decisions Decisions, also hosted by Cullen.) They could pass on one question, and they had the option to stop after every question and take $500 per right answer; one wrong, and they lost the bonus.
    • One risk: if they passed on a question, they had to answer the one following it. If they were down to two questions and hadn't use their pass at that point, there was a risk by going on they'd have to pass on the first and get that last question wrong and lose the bonus (it happened at least once).
  • Bonus Space: The Seven Straight Jackpot, awarded to any team that managed to give seven correct answers without missing or passing. Thanks to the Celebrity format, it was thrown out entirely.
  • Celebrity Edition: The week of February 20-24 had Miss Americas (Susan Perkins, Kylene Barker and Cheryl Pruitt) competing against "All-American Sportsmen" (Rick Barry, Ken Norton and Vince Ferragamo). Celebrities became permanent on April 23 for the last 10 weeks, a change that is generally considered to have been a bad idea.
  • Personnel:
  • Progressive Jackpot: The bonus prize started at $5,000 and increased by that much until it was won or new champions were crowned, effectively meaning that if a team could make it back and win, their previous loss(es) would be completely negated. One team blew the jackpot three times, made it back a fourth time, and won $20,000.
    • The Seven Straight Jackpot, which began at $500 and increased by that amount after every match in which it went unclaimed.

This show provides examples of:

  • Catch Phrase: "Hooooooooooot Potato!" As steam/smoke arose from the on-set logo.
  • Grand Finale: Covered by The A.V. Club's "A Very Special Episode".
  • One Steve Limit: Defied by the Bee Keepers, whose nametags read "Tim 1", "Tim 2" and "Glen".
  • Time Out: Eliminated players have to sit on a bench behind their team until the current question is finished.

Bullseye USCreator/Jack BarryBumper Stumpers
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