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Trivia / Sale of the Century

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General trivia:

  • The main theme of the British version, composed by Peter Fenn, was titled "Joyful Pete", a nod to the shows' original producer, Peter Joy.

Specific trivia:

  • Executive Meddling:
    • Likely the reason for the Winner's Board and especially the Winner's Big Money Game being implemented, as NBC wanted a more traditional endgame for the show and wanted to save money.
    • During #1573 (March 3, 1989), Jim Perry reminded viewers that they wouldn't be on for the next two weeks due to special programming (specifically, At Rona's, hosted by gossip columnist Rona Barrett), and to tune in on March 20 for the start of Sale's final week. It's not certain why NBC would opt to postpone an outgoing series, but it likely falls under here.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • Very few episodes of the 1969–74 version are known to exist, and those that do aren't circulating (minus some syndicated-era clips in a 1982 pitchfilm).
    • The 1985-86 syndicated run and 1988-89 daytime episodes were aired on the USA Network from 1992-94, but most of it wasn't seen since originally airing. When aired on GSN from 2013-2015, 65 episodes from the 1988-1989 episodes aired, along with most of the 1985-1986 syndicated run; the syndicated episodes are currently airing on Buzzr.
      • GSN stopped airing the syndicated run in March 2015, by which time the run had progressed to February 17, 1986, the eighth day of then-champion Crystal Miller's run. Fans have been clamoring to see the outcome of Miller's run, whether she made it to a 10th day and if so, elected to go for the lot. As a video of February 24, 1986, episode (from its original broadcast), featuring a two-day champion, has been uploaded on video sharing sites, it has sometimes been speculated that Miller made it to a 10th day and either opted to retire with her winnings or play on the 11th show, was defeated and lost all her endgame prizes (per the show's rules at the time).
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    • It's rumored that while NBC stopped wiping in general in 1980, they (or perhaps Grundy's company) wiped Sale up until September 1988. However, this seems extremely unlikely and unthinkable as the entire run of Scrabble (another Reg Grundy series that aired on NBC) exists.
    • After years of fans clamoring for GSN to pick up it and Scrabble, the network finally picked up 65 episodes of Sale beginning April 1, 2013. The lease began at #1496 (November 10, 1988) and went through the March 24, 1989 finale (#1578), skipping shows 1503-1505 (November 21-23), 1516 (December 12), 1521-1530 (December 19-30), 1534 (January 6, 1989), 1552-1553 (February 2-3), and 1556 (February 8) along the way.
    • On November 29, 2013, GSN surprised fans again by airing a Black Friday marathon of the first eight syndicated episodes from 1985, moving to a regular once-a-day slot the following Monday and continuing through #S-068 (April 10, 1985) on February 21, 2014. Seven months later, on September 29, GSN picked up where it left off with #S-069 and went straight through #S-196 (February 17, 1986) on March 27, 2015.
      • Only four episodes were skipped altogether: S-016, S-022, S-026, and S-153.
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    • Buzzr currently airs the syndicated version on weekends. They have aired the GSN-skipped S-016 and S-026...but weirdly enough, Buzzr skips over S-008, which GSN aired with no trouble.
    • On April 30, 2018, Jason Cranmer contacted the director of sales from Fremantle in hopes of finding out if the daytime episodes were saved or not. According to the director, they have 883 episodes. A figure that may or may not include the Syndicated run, and added that no episodes prior to 1985 are at Fremantle. So while, on one hand, this proves that way more than just the August 1988-March 1989 portion exists, as far as the NBC shows goes, it also, unfortunately, raises fear that the 1983-1985 NBC shows may have indeed been wiped.
    • As for the British version, the Anglia version aired on Challenge TV (also the home of the 1997 revival) for a short period in 2002-03; the Sky version doesn't seem to have been rerun and clips are very hard to find.
  • Hey, It's That Sound!: The Fame Game randomizer noise was reused from the short-lived NBC/Grundy game Time Machine (where it was the sound of the clock spinning around in the minigame As Time Goes By).
  • No Budget: Some critics of the latter 1980s formats claim that the ousting of the Shopping endgame was a cost-cutting move. Indeed, many of the cars went from full-size Cadillacs, Mercedes-Benz sedans, and top-end sports cars to less-expensive cars. Although never reaching the subcompact or econocar range, mainstream cars such as the Ford Taurus, entry-level luxury cars such as the Mercedes-Benz 190 or BMW 528i, or compact convertibles including the Chevrolet Cavalier were more common. The big-ticket items such as $13,000 European tours and $21,000 cabin cruisers were replaced with more common game-show fare in the $1,500–$5,000 range.
  • Recursive Import: From the United States to Australia, and back again.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Jim Perry being tapped to host Sale almost didn't happen as, on October 23, 1982 (two months prior to the first Sale taping), he hosted a pilot for Bob Stewart called Twisters.
    • Pretty much everyone who purchased the Cash Jackpot on the NBC daytime version, particularly the ones in 1984, could've gone on to win the Lot. The fact the Cash Jackpot was between the car and the Lot (all six major prizes and the Cash Jackpot), rather than at the end, was clearly a factor; the syndicated Shopping format fixed this by having "Lot + Cash Jackpot" as the final step and "all six major prizes" as the next-to-last.
      • Kathy "Oh, to Hell with the last question" Riley was only $45 away from the Lot note , and she had never scored less than that during any of her previous shows.
      • David Rogers won a record $109,000 Cash Jackpot. Had he decided to continue, he could have possibly broken the all-time daytime game show winnings record set by Barbara Phillips one year earlier (that record would ultimately be broken by Tom O'Brien in 1987).
      • Ian Barondess scored $113 when he won a $58,000 Cash Jackpot. He was only $39 away from the Lot.
      • Future Tournament of Champions winner Stephanie Holmquist was only $37 away from the Lot when she won her $74,000 Cash Jackpot. In fairness, though, she did have a shaky Speed Round during her last game.
      • Susan Wolfe won her $61,000 Cash Jackpot with a score of $95. She was only $57 away from the Lot, and on one prior show she won the game with $139.
      • Bill Fogel won a $61,000 Cash Jackpot after winning his game with a score of $145 (the record for the highest one-day score in American Sale, a record tied by Alice Conkwright...TWICE). He could've gone all the way if he wanted to, seeing that he also only needed $39 to win the Lot.
  • Technology Marches On: Now that a sizable collection of episodes (mainly from the 1985-86 syndicated run) have aired on GSN and are available for viewing online, one can see the show offered as prizes many prototype and early versions of now-common devices, along with state-of-the-art (for 1985-86) devices that have been usurped by newer technology. In addition to then-common game show prizes such as VCRs, computers, and analog-only televisions, the show was known to offer prototype automobile navigation systems note , video jukeboxes note , cellular telephones note , and much more.
  • What Could Have Been: According to Australian host Tony Barber's book, there was a cross-continent tournament planned with Jim hosting in Australia and Tony hosting in America. Perry's agent saw the Australian tapes and said "no deal".
    • There was apparently an attempt to bring the show back in the US taped in 1996 with Robin Leach of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous hosting. Not much is known, but apparently they removed the Instant Bargains.


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