ABC Primetime: 1/18/1971 – 5/3/1971
|Jack Barry Productions|
Four Star Television
"From the headlines and headliners of the past and present, comes television's most fascinating new show, The Reel Game! And now, here's the host of our show, Jack Barry!"
The Reel Game was a short-lived primetime game show where three contestants competed, featuring film clips to illustrate the answers.
Three contestants competed in a quiz game in which the answers came from film clips.
The contestants were given $250 to start, then they were given a subject after which they wagered any part of their current score. Once the bets were placed, host Barry posed a question, after which the contestants wrote down their answers. When the answers were written down, a film clip was shown to reveal the correct answer. When the clip was finished, the contestants then showed their answers. A correct answer won the contestant the amount wagered whereas an incorrect answer deducted the wager.
$25 Toss-Up Round
Four film clips were played and after each one, host Barry read three toss-up questions in which players buzz-in to answer. A correct answer added $25 to the player's score, while an incorrect incurred no penalty, but gave the other players a chance to answer.
After the fourth clip was played, a celebrity from that clip came in to ask the three toss-up questions. Correct answers were still worth $25.
In the Grand Finale one last film clip was played but without toss-ups. For this round, the bets were written in secret by the players before writing down their answers, after the final question was asked. Then the film clip was shown with the correct answer to the question. When the clip was finished, the players showed their bets & answers.
All players kept their cash, but the player with the most money won the game and returned the next week to play again. Players who went broke at the end of the game still received $25. Any contestant who won three games received a new car, which nobody was able to achieve during the show's brief run.
Bonus Film Clip Round
Each show ended with a bonus film clip round in which the top winner answered six questions worth $50 each.
The possible maximum amount offered per show was $10,550, so a contestant playing a perfect three games would win $31,650 and a new car.
Copies of three episodes are known to exist: the 1970 pilot, the March 8 episode, and the Finale. All three are held by the UCLA Film and Television Archive; however, the Finale has also been found among private collectors.
This show marked Jack Barry's return to television production after his 13-year hiatus from television after the quiz show scandals of the 1950s.
On the last episode, Jack announced that ABC had given the show a 16-week contract, and that this was indeed the last show of that contract.