|Dr. Bergen Evans (1951–1956)|
Bill Cullen (NBC, 1956)
Phil "The Scooter" Rizzuto
CBS Primetime: 6/11/1955 – 9/3/1955
ABC Primetime: 9/15/1955 – 6/14/1956
NBC Primetime: 6/16/1956 – 9/8/1956
|Louis Cowan Productions|
Down You Go was an EARLY precursor to Wheel of Fortune where four celebrity panelists played a game based on the parlor game "Hangman".
Down You Go was similar to "Hangman", with a group of four celebrity panelists who were asked to guess a word or phrase submitted by a home viewer. The host would give a wordplay-laden clue to the panel, who could then ask a question of any sort about the phrase, for which the host would have to ad lib an answer. After two questions, the second panelist would begin calling out a letter. Guessing a letter in the puzzle kept the panelist alive; if the panelist guessed a letter not in the puzzle, they would be eliminated and would pull down a lever on their lectern replacing their name with the phrase "DOWN YOU GO." Once two of the four panelists went down, the remaining panelists could ask another clue. At any time, a panelist could solve the puzzle and, if correct, end the game. The panel and host would then lightheartedly discuss the phrase for a minute or so before the next round began.
Home viewers received a $5 wire transfer and an encyclopedia set valued at $25 if their puzzle was used on-air, plus an additional $50 bonus if the puzzle was sent in along with a boxtop from one of the show's presenting sponsors and an additional $5 for each panelist they eliminated.
The panelist with the most knockdowns (the most times they were eliminated) had to identify a penalty puzzle drawn from a treasure chest within a time limit. If they were unsuccessful, the money awarded to the viewers with the unidentified puzzles was doubled.
A single home game was released by Selchow & Righter in 1954.
A British version aired from 1953–1954 on BBC hosted by Marcus Dick.
Until very late in 1954, the show was produced at WGN-TV in Chicago, IL. The rest of the run was produced in New York City, NY.
In the Summer of 1956 this show replaced another former Louis Cowan produced game show on NBC called The Big Surprise.