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Series / 50 Grand Slam

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1976 NBC Game Show hosted by Tom Kennedy that tried to be a Spiritual Successor to The $64,000 Question. Pairs of contestants sharing a certain specialist subject competed to see who could answer more of a four-part question in their respective category (one contestant answered first, while the other was placed in an isolation booth). The winner progressed up a money ladder ranging from $200 to $50,000, and could walk away with his winnings or risk it to come back the next day.


It took eight victories to win the $50,000 grand prize, assuming the pool of opponents didn't run out first. Despite the show's brief run, five people managed to win the $50,000: Stanley Green, Wayne Bryant (both in American Musical Theater), Jonathan Colgate (American History), Richard McNelly (The Bible), and Louis Segal (Shakespeare).

Slam debuted on October 4, the same day as Allen Ludden's new show Stumpers! (which was pretty much Lin Bolen doing Password Plus before Goodson-Todman did). Both shows were canned on December 31; Slam was replaced by a new daytime version of Name That Tune also hosted by Kennedy.


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This series provides examples of:

  • The Cameo: Allen Ludden appeared during the premiere to promote Stumpers!, which had debuted just prior to Slam. Likewise, Kennedy had appeared on the Stumpers! debut to plug Slam.
  • Grand Finale: The last episode had all players keeping what they had previously won, regardless of outcome, and Tom wished them a Happy New Year. At the end of the show, Tom noted that it was the end before saying "We'll see you Monday on Name That Tune."
  • Pilot: Two were taped on July 21, 1976.
  • Pun-Based Title: 50 Grand, Grand Slam?
  • Retraux: Slam featured elements inspired by the big money game shows of the 1950's, such as frequent use of isolation booths (21, The $64,000 Question), multi-part questions sharing the same category throughout a player's run (The $64,000 Question), and having to come back the next day to keep playing (also Question, except that one was weekly).
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  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: A pair of golfers in the premiere played a skills competition instead of trivia: chip five golf balls into a target 25 feet away. The better score won.


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