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Trivia / Password

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  • Banned Episode: Episode #008 of Plus from January 17, 1979 was shown by Buzzr a couple of times in February 2017, but then all of a sudden abruptly pulled from the rotation. Buzzr had just instituted a practice to either censor or skip over any episode of any show that contained content that may possibly offend people; said skipped episodes aren't even included in the Amazon Prime uploads. Since episode #008 had "Ku Klux Klan" as one of the puzzles, and a November 1979 episode with the same solution was skipped over entirely, it was easy to see why the episode was pulled.
  • Blooper:
    • Tom Kennedy on Plus managed to blurt out the answer to the Password Puzzle a couple times, resulting in a round that had to be thrown out but still aired.
    • Bert Convy was even worse at blurting out the password or puzzle answer on Super.
    • Super's set was almost ridiculously prone to breakdowns, few of which were edited out of the broadcast: the door behind Convy's podium sticking, the whole puzzle board accidentally being revealed, etc. Such bloopers would often send Convy and the celebs into long fits of laughter.
  • Died During Production: Allen Ludden passed away from stomach cancer less than a year before Plus was cancelled.
  • Executive Meddling: Originally, the primetime version had two players playing for the entire episode. But after three contestants won over $1,000, CBS got nervous. They felt there was another quiz show scandal in the works. So starting with the November 4, 1962 show, each episode now had two players playing each game.
  • Hey, It's That Sound!: Once when Pat Sajak was on Super Password, the "category" sound from Wheel of Fortune was used when displaying one of the words.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Most of CBS (daytime) was destroyed, with the last season put into syndication. ABC is even worse off, with only four episodes circulating and not many others held by archivists (plus the 1972 episode of The Odd Couple, which occasionally shows up on MeTV).
    • Several episodes, in addition to a few whole weeks of Plus and Super, never aired again after the original airings. Either the tapes weren't in good enough condition for GSN to air, or some of the celebrities refused to clear their appearances; examples of the latter include Betty Thomas, James B. Sikking, and David Leisure. According to recollections of Sikking and Leisure's appearances, they played the game very poorly.
    • Buzzr has aired limited cycles of Plus and Super, looping back to the premiere once each ends. They started with the first six months, but these days about a year airs in rotation.
  • Missing Episode:
    • Episode #111 of Plus where George Peppard ranted about NBC's standards and practices, which he thought were like a "police mentality", never aired during the show's original run (didn't help that one of the puzzles used "Suck" and "Blow" as clues). It wouldn't see the light of day until GSN aired it in the mid-90s. Goodson-Todman banned Peppard from appearing on any of their shows for that incident, which cost them a lot since they had to film an extra episode two weeks later to make up for the pulled episode. However it's especially regrettable as the pulled episode contain a win in the alphabetics round right at the start of the show.
    • February 6, 1981: An entire round was mistakenly erased due to a tape error. The show dubbed in a clip of Tom summarizing the round while celebrity guests Wink Martindale and Gene Rayburn ribbed him.
    • Half a Million-Dollar episode with William Shatner and Aisha Tyler was chucked due to Shatner bombing spectacularly in the Bonus Round despite having a Super champ as his partner. More info here.
  • No Budget: Million Dollar Password, and it showed when they brought in air-headed celebrities such as the aforementioned William Shatner and Monique Coleman.
  • Real-Life Relative: On the original Lucille Ball & Gary Morton (and in one instance joined by Lucy's kids), Jimmy & Gloria Stewart, Steve & Carol Lawrence, Jayne Meadows & Steve Allen, Jack & Joan Benny; On Plus, John and Patty Duke Astin, and Elizabeth Montgomery and Robert Foxworth. And, of course ... Betty White & Allen Ludden.
    • On Super, Mary Ann Mobley & Garry Collins.
  • Romance on the Set: Shortly after Ludden began hosting Password, Betty White made her first appearance as a celebrity guest. Ludden, a widower, proposed to the twice-divorced White before she accepted and the two married in 1963. After Ludden's death in 1981, White did not remarry.
  • Saved from Development Hell: A new version was announced by ABC in May 2016, but it didn't get off the ground until 2021. Contestant casting calls were sent out shortly after Jimmy Fallon was announced as executive producer.
  • Screwed by the Network: It's happened to every single version.
    • CBS' downfall can be traced back to the morning of July 11, 1966, when it was pre-empted in favor of a press conference by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara regarding the progress of the Vietnam War; as NBC and ABC didn't give their news divisions the same leeway that CBS gave its news division, viewers began defecting to both NBC's recently debuted Days of Our Lives and the debut of The Newlywed Game on ABC, giving the latter a larger sampling than it likely would've had otherwise.
      • Further problems arose when CBS' then-vice president for daytime programming, Fred Silverman (who actually openly hated game shows), wanted the show permanently moved to Television City and Mark Goodson refused. This resulted in both the daytime and nighttime versions getting cancelled in 1967.
    • ABC went into a massive gimmickfest on July 15, 1974, then changed to All-Stars on November 18 and drove even more viewers away (which in turn dragged down the show's lead-out, Split Second (1972)). Unlike many other games which went to an all-celebrity format, ABC changed on February 24, 1975, to a big-money civilian-based format...but at that point, despite getting another 18 weeks, it was too late.
    • Plus and Super were both slotted at Noon, often getting screwed over due to local news. Both managed to thrive in the Noon slot, even with preemptions, mainly due to independent stations stepping in to air both programs in lieu of the preempting NBC affiliates.
    • Million-Dollar, while usually winning its timeslot, earned the ire of CBS for drawing the "wrong" demographic.
  • Schedule Slip: Plus and Super preemptions. This started after one episode was unaired due to George Peppard's rant, and the show made up for this by taping 6 episodes awhile later. However, things got worse in the Summer of 1980, resulting in weeks of shows often beginning on Friday and ending on Thursday. After the Jack Narz & Steven Ford week, which ended on a Wednesday, the last two weeks had 6 episodes each. In contrast, Super was really good about getting back on track as soon as possible.
  • Scully Box: Inverted on Plus, where Ludden was placed in a depression so as not to appear as tall. This was pointed out on one episode, where a contestant walking back from the Bonus Round tripped and fell into Allen's "pit". Also, celebrity guest Ross Martin tripped and fell there as well, while walking to his seat after playing Alphabetics. Taking it in stride, Ross joked, "I fell for Lee Meriwether!". Lee was his opponent that week.
  • Throw It In: This was how Plus was added to the show's title in 1979. While the show was in development as Password '79, Carol Burnett looked the format over and said, "This is more than Password, it's Password Plus!" Her remark was even paraphrased in the Opening Narration.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The Plus format was a bit different originally— instead of puzzles being worth an increasing amount of cash, they were originally going to be valued with an accumulating bank like Family Feud (points being earned with each solved password, therefore the puzzle would be worth more as clues were revealed. Longtime G-T employee Ira Skutch thought this was counter-intuitive for the puzzle to be worth more as it became easier to solve, so this system was scrapped prior to the pilot and first few episodes taped; the original scoring displays were still left in the desk (albeit not hooked up and covered up with paneling) for the show's first few weeks.
    • Password Plus was nearly cancelled in 1980 (along with Wheel of Fortune and Card Sharks) to make room for a morning talk show hosted by David Letterman (the victims ended up being High Rollers, The Hollywood Squares, and Chain Reaction). Would we have seen Super Password if it was? Keep in mind, Plus was the only incarnation of Password to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show (it won in 1982, the same year its run ended).
    • Bill Cullen subbed for Allen Ludden on Plus for four weeks in 1980. By the time Ludden was forced to retire permanently later that year, Cullen was already hosting Blockbusters, also on NBC. Tom Kennedy took over instead and emceed Plus until its cancellation in 1982.
      • Around this time, Gene Rayburn was also considered to replace Ludden.
    • Similarly, Kennedy was also considered to host Super but was already helming Body Language on CBS. Bert Convy, who regularly played on Plus as a celebrity, was chosen to host and did so throughout its 4½-year run.
  • Written-In Infirmity:
    • When Bill Cullen appeared on Plus as a guest or substitute host, the camera angles were modified to accommodate his limp so it wouldn't appear while filming, such as having him (and the other guest, when applicable) appear already standing/sitting at their seats when the episode began. The contestant plug would also be done during transitions from the upfront game to Alphabetics.
    • In the ninth week of Plus, Betty White twisted her ankle making her entrance on the Monday episode. The remainder of the episodes were filmed with her already seated.