Grand Slam (U.S. game show)

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Grand Slam
Format Game show
Starring Dennis Miller
Amanda Byram
Pat Kiernan (off-camera)
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 8
Production
Running time approx. 44 minutes
Production company(s) Embassy Row Productions
Broadcast
Original channel GSN
Original run August 4, 2007 – September 8, 2007

Grand Slam is an American game show based on the British series of the same name. Unlike the British series, which was played as a regular quiz show, the American version was conducted as a super tournament featuring contestants who had earlier appeared on other game shows.

Grand Slam aired on GSN for eight episodes from August 4, 2007 until September 8, 2007. Dennis Miller and Amanda Byram hosted the program but did not participate in the games themselves, instead providing commentary in between rounds. The questions were asked by Pat Kiernan (host of the short-lived Studio 7 game show), who was never seen on camera. The series is produced by Embassy Row Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television and GSN. Legendary Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings was the winner of the Grand Slam tournament, defeating Ogi Ogas in the final round.

Premise[edit]

The program features 16 of the biggest winners in United States game show history in a single-elimination style tournament. The contestants are seeded by the amount of money won on their original show(s). The sole winner takes home the $100,000 Grand Prize and a crystal trophy.

Gameplay[edit]

The contestants face off against each other in a rapid-fire style series of questions. There are four rounds of questioning: General Knowledge, Numbers and Logic, Words and Letters, and "Mixed" (questions from all of the previous categories). Exclusively for the final match, a fifth "Contemporary Knowledge" round was added as round #3, between "Numbers and Logic" and "Words and Letters". In each round, the players are given one minute on their clocks, and the first contestant (determined by coin toss for the first round; alternates for each subsequent round) is asked a question by the off-camera "Questioner", and his clock starts counting down. The timing mechanics are similar to that of a chess clock; if a contestant answers correctly, his clock stops, and his opponent's clock starts running. However, if the active contestant answers incorrectly or passes, their clock continues to run and another question is asked.

When one contestant's clock expires, the round ends and whatever time the other player had remaining is carried over. At the beginning of the final round, whatever carried-over time the players have is added to the one minute base time. Once a player's clock runs out, the other player is declared the winner and moves on to the next round of the tournament.

Each contestant is given three "switches" at the beginning of the game, and one more before the fourth round; a contestant can use one by saying "switch" during their turn. This stops their own clock and begins their opponent's turn with the current question. Switches can be used consecutively (by saying "switch back") to switch the question back and forth between contestants.

List of Players[edit]

The list is shown in the order the players were seeded in the tournament.

  • Brad RutterJeopardy! champion with $3.255 million. At the time, Rutter was the record-holder for biggest winner on an American game show, which he set in 2005 after winning the Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions and its $2 million top prize. Rutter also won the 2002 Million Dollar Masters tournament.
  • Ken JenningsJeopardy! champion, winning more than $3 million over 74 games. In his initial run as champion Jennings set a new all-time winnings record.
  • Kevin Olmstead—Contestant on Jeopardy! and on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. Olmstead is the biggest winner on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, taking home a jackpot of $2.18 million; this broke a record set by David Legler and stood until Jennings topped it.
  • Ed Toutant—Winner of $1.86 million on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? in 2001. At the time his win made him the second biggest winner after Kevin Olmstead.
  • David Legler—Won $1.765 million on Twenty One in 2000. Legler's win broke a record set by Curtis Warren, who won $1.41 million on Greed and over $100,000 on Sale of the Century and Win Ben Stein's Money.
  • John Carpenter—First contestant to win $1 million on the American version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? in 1999. Carpenter later won $250,000 during Millionaire's Tournament of Champions. Carpenter was the first contestant to win $1 million in a single appearance on a game show.
  • Rahim Oberholtzer—Won $1.12 million on Twenty One in 2000. At the time of his win, Oberholtzer was the first contestant to win over $1 million on a game show.
  • Nancy Christy—First female winner of $1 million on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, accomplishing this feat in 2003.
  • Ogi Ogas—Won $500,000 on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? in 2006.
  • Phyllis Harris—Won $497,150 during appearances as a contestant on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Super Greed, Wheel of Fortune, Trivia Trap, Scrabble, and Card Sharks.
  • Thom McKee—Won $312,700 during 46 appearances on Tic-Tac-Dough in 1980. His total winnings and win streak set a game show record that went unbroken for nearly twenty years.
  • Frank Spangenberg—Former Jeopardy! record holder for most won in a five-day period, with winnings totaling $269,596. Was the first contestant to win over $100,000 in regular Jeopardy! play.
  • Leszek Pawlowicz—Won $194,700 during appearances as a contestant on Jeopardy!, Win Ben Stein's Money, The Challengers, and History IQ. Pawlowicz won the 1992 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions and finished second in the Tournament of Champions on History IQ in 2001.
  • Michelle Kitt—Won $107,500 on the American version of The Weakest Link in 2001.
  • Victor Lee—Member of a three-person team that shared a $250,000 prize for winning the 2007 The World Series of Pop Culture.
  • Amy Kelly—Member of a two-person team that shared $41,000 on Lingo in 2007.

Tournament Bracket[edit]

The listed score is the number of seconds the winner had remaining at the end of the match.

Round of 16 Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
                       
1 Brad Rutter 2:14.09
16 Amy Kelly
1 Brad Rutter
9 Ogi Ogas 16.82
8 Nancy Christy
9 Ogi Ogas 1:50.09
9 Ogi Ogas 1:37.48
5 David Legler
4 Ed Toutant
13 Leszek Pawlowicz 50.67
13 Leszek Pawlowicz
5 David Legler 44.55
5 David Legler 1:02.86
12 Frank Spangenberg
9 Ogi Ogas
2 Ken Jennings 1:27.67
2 Ken Jennings 36.10
15 Victor Lee
2 Ken Jennings 2:19.77
10 Phyllis Harris
7 Rahim Oberholtzer
10 Phyllis Harris 1:21.42
2 Ken Jennings 2:45.45
14 Michelle Kitt
3 Kevin Olmstead
14 Michelle Kitt 3.34
14 Michelle Kitt 9.18
6 John Carpenter
6 John Carpenter 55.31
11 Thom McKee

Results[edit]

Games are listed in the order in which they aired.

First Round[edit]

Contestant Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Start End Used
2 Ken Jennings 31.62 1:31.62 36.10 55.52
15 Victor Lee 8.70 8.28 1:16.98 0.00 1:16.98
Contestant Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Start End Used
3 Kevin Olmstead 17.98 11.68 1:29.66 0.00 1:29.66
14 Michelle Kitt 18.15 1:18.15 3.34 1:14.81
Contestant Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Start End Used
1 Brad Rutter 46.36 4.43 51.68 2:42.47 2:14.09 28.38
16 Amy Kelly 1:00.00 0.00 1:00.00
Contestant Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Start End Used
4 Ed Toutant 1:00.00 0.00 1:00.00
13 Leszek Pawlowicz 19.06 16.83 25.58 2:01.47 50.67 1:10.80
Contestant Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Start End Used
7 Rahim Oberholtzer 1:00.00 0.00 1:00.00
10 Phyllis Harris 3.55 39.31 10.83 1:53.69 1:21.42 32.27
Contestant Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Start End Used
6 John Carpenter 31.50 55.25 2:26.75 55.31 1:31.44
11 Thom McKee 36.27 1:36.27 0.00 1:36.27
Contestant Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Start End Used
8 Nancy Christy 1:00.00 0.00 1:00.00
9 Ogi Ogas 16.23 39.64 31.03 2:26.90 1:50.09 36.81
Contestant Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Start End Used
5 David Legler 41.38 3.01 1:44.39 1:02.86 41.53
12 Frank Spangenberg 6.25 1:06.25 0.00 1:06.25

Quarterfinals[edit]

Contestant Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Start End Used
1 Brad Rutter 18.63 14.20 1:32.83 0.00 1:32.83
9 Ogi Ogas 39.08 1:39.08 16.82 1:22.26
Contestant Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Start End Used
13 Leszek Pawlowicz 6.94 1:06.94 0.00 1:06.94
5 David Legler 25.38 21.54 1:46.92 44.55 1:02.37
Contestant Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Start End Used
2 Ken Jennings 35.49 32.36 47.88 2:55.73 2:19.77 35.96
10 Phyllis Harris 1:00.00 0.00 1:00.00
Contestant Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Start End Used
6 John Carpenter 1:00.00 0.00 1:00.00
14 Michelle Kitt 15.34 14.65 20.41 1:50.40 9.18 1:41.22

Semifinals[edit]

Contestant Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Start End Used
9 Ogi Ogas 28.83 32.73 23.20 2:24.76 1:37.48 47.28
5 David Legler 1:00.00 0.00 1:00.00
Contestant Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Start End Used
2 Ken Jennings 35.50 27.69 54.09 2:57.28 2:45.45 11.83
14 Michelle Kitt 1:00.00 0.00 1:00.00

Finals[edit]

A fifth round, Contemporary Knowledge, similar to the first round of the British series, was used in the Finals only.

Contestant Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5
Start End Used
9 Ogi Ogas 0.14 2.96 1:03.10 0.00 1:03.10
2 Ken Jennings 48.64 9.67 1:58.31 1:27.67 30.64

External links[edit]

References[edit]