If it was news and you know it, you could win some heavy cash on Headline Chasers!
After leaving Tic-Tac-Dough in 1985, Wink Martindale branched out into producing his own game shows. In his first effort, the syndicated Headline Chasers (co-produced with Merv Griffin's production company), Martindale tested couples' knowledge of current and historical events.
The first round had newspaper headline puzzles like those on Wheel of Fortune. The more quickly a couple solved the puzzle, the more money they scored.
The second round consisted of partly blurred magazine covers and pixellated video clips, along with a clue given by Martindale for each one. Again, the more quickly a couple identified the mystery subject, the more money they scored.
The third round was similar to the first, but with higher stakes and a chance for both couples to wager part or all of their scores on one last question.
At the end of the game, the higher-scoring couple played the "Headline Extra" Bonus Round, in which they could win up to $5,000 by solving one more headline.
Game Show Tropes in use:
- Bonus Round: The Headline Extra end game
- A Day in the Limelight: Johnny Gilbert was the host of a rehearsal game viewable on YouTube at one point.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: If Merv Griffin's involved, you can expect this. The title he gave it was "Samba de la Nocha" and appeared on his 1986 album Themes I've Dreamed.
- Opening Narration: (after stock typewriter sound effects type out the title) "If it was news and you know it, you'll win some heavy cash on Headline Chasers! And now here's our headliner, Wink Martindale!"
- Pixellation: Used in video clips in the second round. As the clip's resolution increased, its dollar value decreased.
- Rouge Angles of Satin: This episode has "Mother Teresa" spelled as "Theresa" in the Bonus Round.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: For a news-themed game show, it had a mostly subdued, mellow electric guitar theme, composed by Merv Griffin himself. It does sound like a TV news theme, however...
- Spiritual Successor: The "Headline" category on Wheel of Fortune, also created by Merv Griffin, can be seen as a distillation of the show's concept.