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Series: Second Chance
"Don't say 'Devil'!" "I didn't!"

Game Show created by Bill Carruthers and hosted by Jim Peck which ran on ABC from March 7-July 15, 1977 for 95 episodes. The game consisted of two rounds:

In the first half of each round, Peck read three general-knowledge questions to three contestants. The contestants had five seconds note  to write their answers on cards, which they placed in front of them; following this, Peck gave a hint as to how many were right/wrong (e.g., "At least two of you are right.") and read off three possible answers, one of which was correct. Players got three spins if they stuck with their original answer and was correct, one spin for choosing the correct answer on the "second chance".

The second half of each round had the players using their spins on the Bonus Board, which had 18 squares containing either cash, a prize (hidden under wrapped-but-generic gift boxes), or a Devil. Stopping the light on a Devil took away all of that player's accumulated money and prizes, with four Devils eliminating that player from the game. The contestant with the highest score after Round 2 won the game.

Chance was replaced by Goodson-Todman's The Better Sex (which got canned six months later), and subsequently victimized by the era's wiping practices. Six years later, Carruthers reworked the format and CBS bought the result: Press Your Luck.

Today, with just two episodes known to exist (plus a third, and the opening of a fourth, on audiotape), Chance is an obscurity to most, including some fans of both revivals. It's not without its fans, however, and if nothing else it shows how a classic was originally rough around the edges.


Game Show Tropes in use:


This show provides examples of:

  • Catch Phrase: "Stop!"
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The logo on both the inside and outside of the Bonus Board read "SECOND CHANCE SECOND CHANCE".
  • Foreshadowing: The show's biggest winner caused the network to add more patterns so nobody else could take them to the cleaners in a similar single-appearance feat. Seven years later...
  • Four Is Death: Getting four Devils knocked you out of the game. Unlike its successors, there was no opportunity to lose a Devil.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The pilots used a single 64-square pattern that went very fast, and while the series began with nine patterns they got more after the aforementioned huge winner...but by June 27 went to a single 128-square pattern. Of course, since the light moved faster than Press, making it even less likely to be memorized.
  • Obvious Beta: In hindsight. Some of Chance's elements were retained for its revivals.
  • Opening Narration:
    • Pilot #3: "Today Maggie Brown, Jack Campion, and Lynn Kline will be risking everything they've won every time they play Second Chance! And now here's the man who gives everyone a second chance: Jim Peck!"
    • Series: "It's Second Chance, Hollywood's most exciting new game! And here are today's players: [players' names, occupations, and hometowns]. And each of them will be risking everything every time they play...Second Chance! And now, here's the man who gives everyone a second chance: Jim Peck!" note 
  • Pilot: Three were done in November 1976, with the last being recorded on the 9th.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: The Theme Tune was recycled from the 1976 I've Got A Secret, and later remixed for the Australian Family Feud.
  • Scenery Porn: Though not quite up to the standards of its first revival, the Chance Bonus Board was capable of folding in half.
  • Transatlantic Equivalent: An Australian version by Reg Grundy aired for a time in 1977, hosted by Earle Bailey and Christine Broadway. While almost nothing is known about it, Grundy's track record suggests it held very close to the American series, which makes it a shame that it seems to be gone.


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