Joe Seiter (pilots/sub)
|Carruthers Company Productions/|
Warner Brothers Television
"Today, (insert contestants' names) will be risking everything they've won every time they play… SECOND CHANCE! And now, here's the man who gives everyone a second chance, Jim Peck!"
"It's Second Chance, Hollywood's most exciting new game! And here are today's players: (player intro by name and hometown). And each/all three of them will be risking everything every time they play… Second Chance! And now, here's the man who gives everyone a second chance, Jim Peck!"
Second Chance was the original precursor to Press Your Luck.
Three contestants competed in a question/answer game for points which would be turned into spins and traded for cash & prizes on a game board.
In each round, the contestants were asked three questions. On each question the contestants wrote down answers on cards (ala Match Game-style) in five seconds or less and placed them down on their card holder (which were actually their scoreboards for when they went to the board) when they were finished.
Host Peck then told the contestants how well they did (ex: "At least two of you are wrong" or "At least one of you is right") unless (in the series) everybody wrote the same thing; then gave three possible answers (aka Second Chance Answers). This was where the show got its name. Each contestant was asked to either stay with his/her current answer or replace it with one of the Second Chance answers (aka taking a Second Chance). When all was said and done, the correct answer was revealed (usually one of the contestants revealed the correct answer if at least one of them had it).
A correct original answer scored three points, while a correct Second Chance answer scored one point. There were 27 points up for grabs, and all three contestants could earn up to nine points each. All points earned were turned into spins for the game board.
Second Chance Bonus Board
When the question round was over, the contestant island moved over for the contestants to see the game board (which would open up like a book).
The board itself had 18 spaces (just like on Press Your Luck) with thousands of dollars in cash & prizes but with several differences:
- The lights around the squares flashed really fast.
- Whenever the board spun, a disco-like tune that looped continuously (a variation of the theme song) was played.
- None of the squares changed except in later episodes (see below).
- At first there was only one long pattern (64 squares long), which was later replaced with an even longer pattern (128 squares long).
- The prizes were hidden behind gift boxes.
- A bell sounded when a contestant landed on a good square.
- Instead of Whammies, there were devils on the board; a "waa-waa" sound was heard whenever a devil was hit. The devil squares were highlighted in red (just like the Whammy squares in Whammy!). There were three of them on the board; unlike the Whammy, however, the devil would not show any on-screen animation acting; once hit, the contestant's score just cleared out and the character popped up (except on the pilot, where the devil lit up).
In the pilot, the top dollar value was $2,500 in Round 1, and $5,000 in Round 2. Later in the series, Round 2 also rewarded contestants that hit the top dollar value with an additional spin. Later still, the top value in Round 1 decreased to $1,000. In Round 2, a randomizer with an eggcrate display was placed in the big money square and its value could be anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000 in increments of $1,000. Prizes were typically worth less than $1,000 in the first round and significantly more in the second.
In both rounds, the player with the fewest spins or the player at far right in case of a tie always went first.
The contestant in control of the board took as many of his/her earned spins as he/she possible and on each spin the contestant stopped the board by hitting his/her button and by yelling "STOP!" If he/she hit a cash amount it was added to his/her score; if he/she hit a gift box, the prize behind it was revealed and its value was added to his/her score. If at any time the contestant hit a devil, he/she lost all his/her money up to that point, and hitting four devils puts that contestant out of the game. In the pilot, the devil(s) appeared behind the player in lights; in the series, the devil showed up on cards.
If at any point the contestant feared that a devil would show up on the next spin, he/she would pass his/her spins to the player in 1st place; if he/she was in 1st place, however, he/she had to pass them to the 2nd place player. Should both opponents have the same score, the passing player would decide who to pass the spins to. The player with the passed spins had to take them until he/she ran out or hit a devil (at which point the remaining passed spins became earned spins). In the later episodes of the series, each time the passed contestant hit money plus a free spin, the spin just played became an earned spin.
The player with the most money at the end of the game was the winner, and kept all his/her cash & prizes accumulated to that point. Originally, the winner would come back on the next show; however, this, was later changed to having three new contestants competing every day, but with one exception: should a contestant win the game with zero (and with fewer than four devils), he/she was invited back to play on the next show.
This theme was used originally on the short-lived 1976 version of I've Got a Secret.
Bill Carruthers & Jan McCormick
Three pilots were made for Second Chance. Only the third pilot exists. The episodes that aired on May 31 and June 27, 1977, and the series finale (albeit only in audio form) are the only three episodes of the aired series existing to this day. An opening sequence announced by Jack Clark is also available (albeit in audio form).
Not only did Second Chance air for a time in America, but also in Australia as well in the same year on Network Ten, hosted by Earle Bailey and Christine Broadway. It was produced by Reg Grundy.
- Press Your Luck – the well-known cult-classic reboot that aired on CBS from 1983 until 1986, and was revived by ABC for prime-time airing in 2019.
- Whammy!: The All-New Press Your Luck (shortened to Whammy! in 2003) - the short-lived reboot that aired on Game Show Network from 2002 to 2003.
- Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal – a documentary about the late Michael Larson that also aired on Game Show Network in 2003.
- Gameshow Marathon – Press Your Luck was the 4th game of this 7-episode series that aired on CBS in 2006.
- TV Land's Myths and Legends: Michael Larson – A shorter version of the Michael Larson episode that aired on TV Land in 2007.
“Until tomorrow/Monday, this is Jim Peck reminding you: It’s never too late to take a second chance. Bye-bye, everybody.” – Jim Peck (1976-1977)