Game Shows Wiki
David Sparks
Linda & Lisa Yokubinas
Gene Wood
On a Roll.jpg
Unsold Pilots for CBS: 2/23/1986
Mark Goodson Productions

"Hi, we're Linda & Lisa, and we're a pair. With these dice, we're on the air with ON A ROLL! And here's the star of our show, DAVID SPARKS!"

On a Roll was an unsold game show pilot that is a cross between High Rollers, Wheel of Fortune, Password Plus, Super Password and Number Please.


Main Game[]

Two players competed in a game of word puzzles & craps shooting.

To start, they play a toss-up round called the "Name Game". When playing the "Name Game", a flap on the dice table went up and acted as a backdrop for the answer. Plus, it also hid a secret monitor for the contestants to see the puzzle. A hidden word which was always the last name of a celebrity was shown, with the letters revealed backwards. The first player to buzz-in with a correct answer got control of the dice and received four rolls.

When controlling the dice, the contestants were shown a large word puzzle with three rows of hidden letters which represents three clues to a famous person, place or thing. Each letter was numbered 1-12, while one letter in each clue was marked with question marks and cannot be revealed until a clue is solved. Spaces indicated more than one word in each row. The player in control took his/her rolls to reveal the letters. Unlike High Rollers the player was restricted to only pick the numbers shown on the dice or the total number when selecting the combination. A roll of doubles or a bad roll gives control (and a free letter) to the opponent. When it became more difficult to make the rolls, the player in control can pass the dice to his/her opponent if s/he wished. After each selection, the player is allowed to make a guess at (either of) the clue(s) the letter(s) were revealed in. When the player uses all four rolls, another "Name Game" is played. Upon solving a clue, the player gets to guess at the master puzzle. The first player to solve the puzzle wins the round.

Two out of three rounds wins the game, $1,000 and a chance to play the "Lucky 7" bonus game.

Lucky Seven[]

Before the endgame, the winning player rolls one more time to determine the grand cash prize. Whatever the number s/he rolled would be multiplied by $1,000 (ex: a roll of 10 meant the player is playing for up to $10,000).

In the Lucky 7 bonus game, the winning player was presented with seven mystery words/phrases/names linked by a theme. As in the "Name Game", each word is revealed backwards. The player gets $100 for each puzzle. If s/he can solve all seven puzzles in 60 seconds or less s/he wins the grand cash prize up to $12,000.


"Working Girl March" by Dave Grusin, originally used as the pilot theme for Star Words along with the 1983 pilot of Body Language (and before that, the movie Tootsie).

Puzzle Solved Music - "Dig We Must" by Score Productions, generally used as the Showcase Showdown Outro music for The Price is Right.


CBS Television City, Hollywood, California


  • This was David Sparks' first game show as host before the revival of Crosswits in the same year.
  • On July 10, 2014, Pilot #3 of this show was uploaded to YouTube by veteran game show host Wink Martindale. On September 8, 2015, Pilot #1 aired on Buzzr as part of their "Lost & Found" week.
  • In 2016, a clip of the pilot aired in a promo for Buzzr's Celebrating 75 Years of the TV Game Show.
  • The bonus round called Lucky Seven shares its name with a popularly active rotating TPIR Pricing Game of the same name. In addition, it also shares the name of the bonus round from another failed Goodson-Todman pilot called Spell Binders.
  • In the Sound Effects department, the ring-in SFX for the "Name Game" toss-up was borrowed from the "Face-Off" ring-in sound from Family Feud; this was also used on Star Words. In addition, the SFX for when a player guess one of the three line puzzles or the master puzzle incorrectly was borrowed from Pathfinder, one of the many popularly rotating active pricing games from The Price is Right and before that, Trivia Trap. The synth-glissando used to reveal the number of letters in words during the "Name Game" and "Lucky 7" would eventually be used on Blackout about two years later. (Many of the sounds on this show were commonly used by CBS at the time.)
  • The main theme cue was also reused from Star Words and the Body Language pilot.
  • The win cue is the ending to the Showcase Showdown win cue called "Dig We Must", also borrowed from The Price is Right.
  • Twin sisters, Linda and Lisa Yokubinas are the world famous Doublemint Twins having appeared in the Wrigley's Doublemint Gum commercials. Today they are both married and have new careers.


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YouTube Links[]

Pilot #1 (Sharon vs. Tim)
Pilot #3 (Sharon vs. Bret)