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Series / National Bingo Night

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Short-lived ABC primetime Game Show where ordinary people played games of chance against the House to hopefully win fantastic prizes. These were framed around a game of Bingo, a game that many have played near the end of their lives but never quite like this.

Most of these games involved the output of the Bingo game itself (as drawn from a huge Bingo machine), such as predicting if the next ball would be odd or even, guessing the letter of the next ball, trying to rack up a specific target number from the values of the balls, etc. However, at the same time, the entire audience was also playing a standard Bingo game with those numbers, and the contestants had to race to complete their mission until someone gets a confirmed Bingo.

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If a contestant won, they got their prize, usually cash ($50,000 or $55,555 in a certain game), sometimes a trip or car. If an audience member got a Bingo before the contestant's goal was met, the audience member got $5,000 (or sometimes the non-cash prize the contestant was playing for). Wash, rinse, repeat for three games, and you've got a show.

It ran for just six episodes beginning in May 2007 (another week was planned for December 2007, but it was shelved in favor of the new quiz game Duel). The fact that show was slow and plodding, and that TGIF was now an artifact of the now-nonexistent success networks had on Fridays didn't help either.

However, this wasn't the end of the line: the show got Un-Cancelled by GSN as Bingo America, which re-tooled it into a trivia-oriented game with bingo motifs (still featuring an audience game and that giant bingo machine, at least).

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Game Show Tropes in use:

  • All or Nothing: If you got beaten, that was it. Enjoy your 10-15 minutes of fame!
  • Audience Game: One of the few American game shows where the Audience Game was a crucial part of the main game, and not just something tacked on to the show because they had a few minutes at the end of the show.
  • Home Participation Sweepstakes: Viewers could print out cards before the show and play along with the three games, however these were seeded to correspond with the episode's results (edited to remove any "unnecessary" balls), and as such was still a proper sweepstakes. It also resulted in players being One Away where it was impossible from the televised draws.
    • The editing part was averted on one instance, where a contestant won so quickly that they had to draw extra balls that could be used for the home game.
  • Personnel:
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This show provides examples of:

  • Cross Promotion: One game offered a trip to the Indianapolis 500 as the prize. At the time, the race aired on ABC.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Essentially, on both sides of the situation. Then again, it's Bingo, how much more of a luck-based mission can you even get?! note 
  • No Indoor Voice: The Commissioner. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO~ BINGO! Play still on!"
  • Obvious Rule Patch: On the premiere, one game involved determining whether the decals on the next ball would be red or black; at one point, the contestant confused the number color as being what she had to guess. For the rest of the run, the game was slightly altered to make the contestant guess the number's color.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Probably the biggest flaw, and very likely on purpose, was that if the stage player accomplished their task the audience was still checked for any confirmed Bingos. If anybody had one, the stage player still lost, completely negating the past 10-15 minutes.
    • The worst part? This happened right off the bat on the premiere.
  • Scenery Porn: The giant bingo machine.
  • Shout-Out: Its title is a snowclone of ESPN's former branding for NHL game broadcasts, National Hockey Night (given how many Hockey Night in Canada clones there are too).
  • Transatlantic Equivalent: Three countries, but the Australian version was the most infamous - it ran just six episodes primarily due to A Current Affair "exposing" it, claiming the show was rigged. While this was due to the aforementioned "cutting out unnecessary balls" and One Away problems also being present here, they showed two things to prove their point:
    • First, a professional (and legit) booker correctly predicted the numbers that would be called based on their frequency in the dozens of cards he printed out from the show's website.
    • Second, footage clearly showing that the balls coming down the tube were completely different to those displayed by the hostess. Further supporting this was the fact that the various camera cuts meant there was never a "clean" shot of the ball going into the tube and rolling down next to the hostess.

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