|Geoff Edwards & Meredith MacRae|
|Bob Stewart Productions|
"10, 20, 30, 40, (it's) $50,000 a Minute, with (insert celebrities), and your hosts: Meredith MacRae and Geoff Edwards!"
$50,000 a Minute was the unsold pilot of Bob Stewart's where contestants give & answer questions & clues to win big cash prizes.
Two teams of two (consisting of one celebrity & one contestant) compete in a contest to see who would go on to play for up to $50,000. One host manned one team, and the other manned the other.
On a team's turn, the celebrity saw a series of answers on his/her secret monitor. The host for that team gave the first half of a question and then the celebrity must come up with the remainder of the question after which his/her contestant partner must give an answer or pass. Each time the contestant gave the correct answer he/she lit up a check mark. The team's round ended when the contestant gave seven correct answers, lighting up seven check marks. While all this was going on, a clock that started at zero was ticking. When the clock stopped via the seventh correct answer, the time it took the first team to get seven became the time the other team had to beat. The team with the fastest time won the round indicated by the star lit in front of them.
The jobs of giving & receiving alternated throughout the game. What made this show far more different is that the team must win the game by winning two consecutive rounds other than the traditional best two out of three. The first team to do that won the game and a chance to play the bonus round.
In the bonus round, one member of the winning team faced a circular board with nine circles inside it. Contained in each circle was a set of initials to a common phrase, title or name. The giver saw the complete answers in a secret monitor in the winning team's podium, and gave incomplete sentences for each one to get his/her partner to say the answer. Each time the receiver is right, he/she turned those initials into a check mark. Either team member can pass and can come back to it with time leftover. Each correct answer/check mark was worth $200.
If the team can get all nine in one minute (60 seconds), the contestant won $10,000. Subsequent bonuses were worth $10,000 more unless the player won less than that in the previous bonus, in which case a win augmented all prior earnings to the grand prize played for (EX: $1,600 in the first bonus meant that the second was worth $18,400 more for a total of $20,000), with the fifth and all subsequent bonus rounds played for a total of $50,000. Hence the title, $50,000 a Minute.
Championship players stayed on the show until they lost the main game or won the $50,000.
Two pilots were made, and they both exist among tape traders.
Main theme - "Jet Set" by Mike Vickers, KPM Music
Opening spiel - "Patterns", from the NBC Background Music Library
Geoff Edwards & Meredith MacRae worked together before the pilot in a local TV show Mid-Morning LA.
The bonus round concept of giving incomplete statements to get the partner to say what a group of initials stand for found its way to the short-lived Double Talk.
The theme music, Mike Vickers' "Jet Set" had been used as the theme music for the NBC version of Jackpot.