Friday, May 10, 2013

Game Time: Way Out Games (1976)

In the wake of the success of ABC's Almost Anything Goes, the network ordered a Saturday morning version for kids, hosted by comedy legend Soupy Sales. CBS, on the other hand, wanted their piece of the action, too.

Way Out Games, like its competitor, lasted just one season. The CBS affiliate at the time in my district opted to carry the show at an earlier time (7:30 AM ET) than advertised in order to clear the lunch hour block for syndicated programming, and, assuming this was a trend in a lot of cities, that contributed to the show's quick demise. Sonny Fox (ex-Wonderama) was tapped as the series host, and it would be the last time Fox would appear in front of the cameras, as he took an executive's job with one of the networks soon after. The series was produced by game show moguls Jack Barry & Dan Enright (Break The Bank, The Joker's Wild), marking Barry's return to Saturday morning television, as he'd hosted Winky Dink & You and Juvenile Jury in the past. Gilmore Box uploaded this hard to find open:

The fact that the show was earmarked for the lunch hour block was a bad sign, as it could've benefited more from airing in an earlier time slot nationally, not just in certain regions.

Rating: B.

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