NBC Daytime: 1/6/1975 – 7/4/1975
|Jack Barry Productions|
Pilot Intro: "Over $50,000 at stake for the check writer and these challengers, in the game where the studio audience gets a chance to win thousands of dollars in fabulous prizes, playing BLANK CHECK! And now, here's the star of Blank Check, ART JAMES!"
Series Intro (1): "These numbers remain for our players to use. They could mean a fortune for the check writer playing these challengers. In this game of ESP, where the studio audience can also win fabulous prizes, playing… BLANK CHECK! And now, here's the star of BLANK CHECK, ART JAMES!"
Series Intro (2): "It's BLANK CHECK! And here's the star of our show, ART JAMES!"
Blank Check was a short-lived game show where contestants fill in numbers for a large check.
Six contestants competed for one whole week trying to win big cash prizes by filling in a four digit check.
One contestant was dubbed the "Check Writer" and stood in front of a giant check behind a podium. To start, five digital randomizers spun a series of numbers, and the "Check Writer" stopped them by hitting a button in front of him or her. When the numbers stopped, he/she then chose a number to put into the check after which Art read a riddle (usually a common relation between two things) to the other five contestants seated in a gallery. The first player to buzz in with a correct answer then got to choose which number the check writer had selected. If successful, then that contestant became the new check writer and started a new check; otherwise, the current check writer would stay the check writer and the actual number was placed into the check. The process continued for the next two numbers (tens then hundreds) until the check writer came up to the thousands column. At that point, an audience game came into play.
In the audience game, one member of the studio audience came up on stage to play for up to four prizes. The four prizes were shown to both the audience member & check writer. The check writer's job was to guess which prize the audience member had chosen. The audience member kept every prize he/she had chosen should the check writer make a mistake, and if the check writer made three mistakes, the audience member won all four prizes. However, if the check writer got at least one right before getting three wrong, one final riddle was asked to the gallery. If the gallery player who came up with the correct answer couldn't guess the right digit, the final digit was placed, and the check writer won the amount of the check.
NOTE: Should the check writer lose his/her position, he/she still won the check amount shown up to that point, and after the check was completed or if the audience game was won by the audience member, a toss-up riddle was asked to the gallery for the position of the new check writer.
When spinning & stopping the numbers, if the numbers landed on formed a straight, the check writer won a prize.
At the end of the week, the player with the largest check amount won a bonus prize, usually a car.
Art James Sign
NBC Studios, Burbank, CA
At one time, Jack Barry's longtime producer partner Dan Enright sued Mark Goodson Productions and their long-running hit show The Price is Right and its host Bob Barker, because one of the pricing games on that show was called Blank Check. Because of this lawsuit, in 1987 The Price is Right decided to change the name to Check Game.
Blank Check was replaced with another Art James-hosted show, The Magnificent Marble Machine.