Ron Pearson
Burton Richardson
Family Channel (Daily): 9/30/1996 – 12/26/1997 (with reruns until 8/14/1998)
Jay Wolpert Enterprises/
MTM Enterprises, Inc.

Shopping Spree (not to be confused with the currently active Pricing Game from The Price is Right of the same name) was a two year old shopping game show where contestants shopped for prizes for their unacquainted partners.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Main Game[edit | edit source]

Before the show, two contestants (one from each team) each picked the one prize from a choice of four they would each like to have from each of the six stores on a fictional street on stage. They wore clues about themselves to help their partners (who they never met before) get them those prizes.

At the beginning of each half of the game, the contestant in control and host Pearson stood on the "town square" (the contestant stood on a pedestal) and went over the items the contestant was wearing. When they were done, the "strangely-dressed" contestant was asked to strike a pose after the count of three after which the shopping partner was brought out. The shopper was given 20 seconds to analyze the items on the contestant who was still posing. When the 20 seconds expired, the contestant was released from his/her pose, stepped off the pedestal and met his/her partner for the first time. Aside from greeting, the strangely-dressed contestant was not allowed to communicate by word or gesture.

When all was said and done, a clock was set depending on whose turn it was (for the first team it counted up, and for the second team it counted down from the time set by the first team). When the host said "GO!" the shopper's job was to run to each of the six stores one at a time and pick a prize he/she thought was what the "strangely-dressed" contestant wanted. After choosing each prize, the shopper ran back to the "town square" and showed the prize he/she chose. If the prize was correct, he/she dumped it in the shopping bag and ran to the next store, if the prize was incorrect, the host read a clue about the right item to the shopper, who ran back to the store he/she was currently on to try again. Once the shopper chose the right six prizes, the clock stopped.

Denise/Dennis DuJour[edit | edit source]

In the first half of the game after going over the clues for the member of the first team, a randomly selected member of the studio audience (who was given the name "Denise DuJour" in case of a female, whereas in the case of males it was "Dennis DuJour") modeled the six stores in play for that day's show.

Season 2 Changes[edit | edit source]

  • The "strangely-dressed" contestant would strike a pose after the partner came out. The identity of the contestant's pose was revealed to the home and studio audience. The partner guessed what the pose was before the 20 second inspection (host Pearson made a funny guess of his own). Giving away too much of a hint in their pose incurred a 10-second penalty.
  • If the shopper got matched six prizes correctly without a mistake, the team won $500 each ($1,000 in total).

The object of the game was to shop for the right six prizes in a faster time than the opposing team. The first team who won the coin toss backstage before the show set the time, while the second team tried to beat the time. The team with the faster time won the game. The shopper of the winning team won a gift certificate for his/her own $500 shopping spree, while their "strangely-dressed" teammate kept all the prizes chosen by him/her at the start. The winning team also won a chance to play the bonus round called "The Birthday Party" for a cash prize, plus a fabulous vacation package.

The Birthday Party[edit | edit source]

The Birthday Party was a bonus game where the winning team shopped for seven gifts related to seven celebrities.

Denise/Dennis DuJour's Double-Up Derby[edit | edit source]

This debuted after the first several episodes were taped. In this game, the winning team played a special game affecting the grand prize shopping spree entitled "Denise/Dennis DuJour's Double-Up Derby." Before the show, that day's Denise/Dennis chose which prize from one of the day's stores he/she would most like to have. Denise/Dennis came out while announcer Burton Richardson read a description about that day's Denise/Dennis. When all is said and done, the winning team pointed the to prize they thought Denise/Dennis picked.

The prize Denise/Dennis picked was then revealed (by virtue of a shot of Denise/Dennis zooming out onto the selected prize), and if it matched the winning team's choice, the value of the shopping spree was doubled and that day's Denise/Dennis won that chosen prize. Win or lose, Denise/Dennis won a $100 salary.

NOTE: In Season 2, a special store was created called, "Toujours DuJour," and it replaced the fifth store of the day.

Main Bonus Game[edit | edit source]

The three parts of the set turned 180 degrees from the town shopping center to reveal the Birthday Party. The left side revealed the playing area, the center piece held a large representation of a birthday cake, and the right side showed "The Birthday Board" which was a purple wall of 12 to 14 items. The items were gone over by host Pearson, who would sometimes do a crazy act with some of the items.

After all said and done, the winning team had 75 seconds (1:15) to shop for the seven famous guests of honor. One team member shopped for the gifts while the other wrapped and delivered the gifts. A caricature of a famous person (real or fictional, past or present) would appear at the head of a table, then the shopper took down an item from the board that he/she thought was connected to the guest in some way (for example, the letter "E" would be connected to Vanna White) and threw it to the wrapper. If the wrapper disagreed, he/she threw it back, but if the wrapper agreed, he/she then placed it in the box and slid it down the table to the Guest of Honor. If the gift was correct, it was accepted, dropped into the prize pile and the next guest appeared; if not, the guest would "reject" that gift and push it back. The team could pass on as many guests as they wished, but if time permitted, those guest would come back to "haunt them" as they would go back to the guests they passed on. The shopper was not allowed to cross a yellow line, if and when that happened, the team was assessed a five-second penalty.

Each correct gift was worth $100, and matching the correct gifts to all seven guests before the time expired won each player on the winning team a vacation package for two and a $1,000 shopping spree, but if the team won the Double Up-Derby, the shopping spree was doubled to $2,000.

Music[edit | edit source]

Mark Northam

Studio[edit | edit source]

Empire Burbank Studios, Burbank, CA

Inventor[edit | edit source]

Jay Wolpert

Trivia[edit | edit source]

The "strangely-dressed" contestants first stood in front of the door of the Ice Cream Parlor at center stage with their backs to the audience. This coincided with the end of the animated opening sequence, in which two window-shopping cartoon women had their backs to the camera when it zoomed out to show a whole animated version of the street. The cartoon disappeared Bonanza-style (except with magic balls instead of flames) to reveal the set, the computer-animated logo attached to a hot air balloon crossed the screen (it would cross again going into the third and final commercial break), and the contestants spread out to either side of the street to make room for Pearson's entrance through the ice cream parlor door.

The partners in the first season wore their own clothes. While in the second season, the partner wore t-shirts with the show's logo on them (light blue for Partner #1 and red for Partner #2).

For the first taped episodes without the Double-Up Derby, the show went to the first commercial break after meeting the "strangely-dressed" contestants for both teams, and after the first commercial break, the first team's "strangely-dressed" contestant would play first. When the Double-Up Derby was added, to make time for the Double-Up Derby, after meeting the "strangely-dressed" contestants, they would go straight to the first team's "strangely-dressed" contestant's description; the first commercial break was not taken until after the first team finished shopping.

When going into the first commercial break (the second commercial break for the first taped episodes without the Double-Up Derby), Denise/Dennis pulled down a shade on a door at the general store that had the show's logo on it surrounded by the words "WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK" above it. In Season 2, the show's logo was replaced by the cartoon window shoppers.

When entering and exiting the set, contestants would go through the Ice Cream Parlor at center stage. The "store" had hidden doors on the side for contestants to enter and exit through; those doors would be locked shut for the "Birthday Party" reveal.

For the "no Double-Up Derby" shows of the first season, while Ron was inspecting the items, the contestant's clues would be circled with the use of an electronic pen (ala Now You See It and football instant replays).

Just prior to each run, the pedestal was taken away from the "town square" off camera.

Late in the first season (mostly in the second team's run) and in all of the second season, viewers saw the shopping bag (the show's logo), but in a different pattern (to which all the correct prizes went in) slide in from stage right in front of the "town square"; the bag zoomed in going into the second commercial break. Occasionally it was shown again in front Denise/Dennis whenever there was a bonus grand prize involved.

Also late in the first season and in all of the second season, when Ron Pearson told the second team to beat the time the first team took to finish before the second team began shopping, a cue card was held in their hands with their set time written on it. Additionally, the Double-Up Derby also had Denise/Dennis holding a cue card with a joke response after Pearson explained about the $100 salary prize for him/her.

The birthday cake in the first season had flame-like light bulbs. When the show returned for the second season, the bulbs were replaced with strobes (a common feature on certain game shows) with a pretty cool lighting effect.

The sound effect used for an incorrect prize in the main game was used in the 1988 game show Blackout.

Also in Season 2 new sound effects were used. However, for the first taped episodes (without the Double-Up Derby), only a series of buzzers sounded for the Birthday Party game when time ran out; around the time the Double-Up Derby was added, they added ominous-sounding horns which would segue into the theme song continuing to the closing. Additionally, beginning in the second half of Season 1, for the Double-Up Derby, in addition to the drumroll and "boing" (for wrong answers) or "cymbals" (for right answers), a xylophone tinkle was added for the translation from the on-camera image of Denise/Dennis where that picture would zoom out to the prize he/she chose.

At the end of all episodes, Ron Pearson juggled things (Ron is a real life professional juggler) and sometimes balanced things on his nose. Occasionally, he would do crazy stunts using items from the Birthday Board (the winning team and that day's Denise/Dennis DuJour could also join in).

Drawings[edit | edit source]

Additional Page[edit | edit source]

Shopping Spree/Catchphrases

Links[edit | edit source]

The Unofficial Shopping Spree Homepage
Rules for Shopping Spree
Host Ron Pearson's Official Website

YouTube Videos[edit | edit source]

Clip of the Birthday Party round

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