3rd Degree (game show)
|Created by||Bert Convy
|Presented by||Bert Convy|
|Narrated by||Bob Hilton|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||195|
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Burt and Bert Productions
Kline and Friends Productions
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television|
|Original release||September 11, 1989– June 8, 1990|
3rd Degree is an American game show that aired in syndication from September 11, 1989 to June 8, 1990 (with repeats airing until September 7). The series was hosted by Bert Convy, while Bob Hilton served as announcer. It was the final game show hosted by Convy (although he was slated to host the 1990 edition of Match Game for ABC), who died thirteen months after the series was cancelled.
The show was produced by Burt & Bert Productions, Kline & Friends, in association with Lorimar Television, and distributed by Warner Bros. Television. The series was similar to the Goodson-Todman panel games What's My Line? and Make the Connection. 3rd Degree was taped at Studio 31 at CBS Television City in Hollywood.
A panel of four celebrities who were split into two teams (two men, two women) faced a team of two contestants who have a special relationship between them. Two rounds were played for each civilian team; in each round, each team of celebrities had a limited time to question the contestants (or give them "the third degree", hence the name of the show). In the first round, each team of celebrities had one minute to question the contestants, and in the second round, the time was cut to 30 seconds.
When the time was up, the celebrity team in control then got to guess the relationship (or when Bert Convy asked the question, "What's the relationship?" when they were getting close to the correct relationship). An incorrect guess awarded $250 to the contestants, and stumping the panel completely won $2,000.
- I Love Lucy writers Madelyn Pugh Davis and Bob Carroll, Jr. appeared as contestants on the show's premiere.
- Later in the premiere week, famed film composers Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman appeared as contestants and completely stumped the panel, who failed to identify them as having written "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" (from the 1964 Disney film Mary Poppins).
- Michael Burger, then of Straight to the Heart, and David Ruprecht of Supermarket Sweep appeared on the show as contestants.
- Don Messick and Lucille Bliss appeared as contestants on the show and the panel knew after the first minute that they are voice stars from the Smurfs. Don and Lucille had to settle for parting gifts on the show, but did the voices of Papa Smurf and Smurfette, respectively, when heading off to a commercial break.
- Henry Corden and Jean Vander Pyl were featured as contestants as the panel had to know that they are the voices of Fred Flintstone and Wilma from The Flintstones, respectively. The panel got their relationship, after they have won $500.
- Thurl Ravenscroft, who did the voice of Tony the Tiger for Frosted Flakes cereal commercials, was a contestant on the show, and he and his teammate stumped the panel and won $2,000.
- A team of four men, all of whom played the character Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th movies, were contestants and stumped the panel to win $2,000.
- One team attempted to perform a magic trick by sawing Bert Convy in half.
- Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin were contestants on the show and ran footage of Bigfoot that they spotted.
Peter Marshall hosted the pilot, but was forced out after Bert Convy left his other show Win, Lose or Draw to make room for new host Robb Weller. Marshall sued in retaliation, but dropped his claim after Bert was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.