Double Dare (CBS game show)

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This article is about the CBS game show. For the unrelated 1986 children's game show aired on Nickelodeon, see Double Dare (Nickelodeon game show).
Double Dare
Created by Jay Wolpert
Directed by Marc Breslow
Paul Alter
Presented by Alex Trebek
Narrated by Johnny Olson (1976-1977)
Gene Wood (1977)
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 96[1]
Executive producer(s) Jay Wolpert
Producer(s) Jonathan Goodson
Location(s) CBS Television City
Hollywood, California
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions (now FremantleMedia North America)
Original network CBS
Original release December 13, 1976 – April 29, 1977

Double Dare is an American television game show, produced by Mark GoodsonBill Todman Productions, that ran from 1976 to 1977 on CBS. Alex Trebek was the host, with Johnny Olson and later Gene Wood announcing. The show was created by Jay Wolpert.

Game play[edit]

Main game[edit]

Two contestants, each in separate isolation booths, attempted to correctly identify a person, place or thing based on one-sentence clues that were given to them, one at a time, on an electronic gameboard. The correct response was shown to the home audience before the first clue was given. The clues would typically begin with an obscure bit of trivia concerning the subject, with each subsequent clue offering more information and making it easier for the contestants to identify the subject. Each subject had ten total clues associated with it.

Both contestants had a lockout buzzer in their booth. A contestant that buzzed in was given a chance to guess the subject while the opposing booth was closed off so the other player could not see or hear anything. If the guess was incorrect, that contestant had his/her own booth closed off and the opponent's booth was reopened. Trebek would then inform the other contestant of the incorrect guess and the next clue was shown to him/her unopposed. This was referred to as a "penalty clue", and the contestant was given a free guess.

The contestant who ultimately identified the subject won $50 and was then shown the next clue in the sequence and given the opportunity to dare his/her opponent to guess the subject based on that clue. If the correct answer was given on a penalty clue and the contestant elected to dare, the penalty clue was shown to the opponent. If the contestant chose to dare, the opponent's booth was re-opened and he/she had five seconds to study the clue before Trebek asked for a guess. A correct guess by the dared opponent was worth $50. If incorrect, the contestant who made the dare won an additional $100 and his/her opponent's booth was closed once more while he/she pondered whether or not to make a double dare for more money on the next clue. If the contestant made the double dare, the opposing contestant's booth opened again and he/she was shown the clue. This time, a right answer was worth $100 to the opponent with a wrong answer paying $200 to the daring contestant.

Play on a particular subject would end when any of the following occurred:

  • A contestant identified the subject, but chose not to dare or, if a dare was successful, chose not to double dare
  • A dared opponent identified the subject on either the dare or the double dare
  • A double dared opponent still had not identified the subject
  • All ten clues were played without the contestants identifying the subject

The first contestant to accrue $500 or more won the game and moved on to the bonus round for a chance at $5,000 more. Both contestants kept their accrued money, and the loser of each game also received parting gifts. Champions stayed on the show until defeated, but Alan Lusher was retired as champion after winning over $20,000.[2][better source needed]

Beat the Spoilers[edit]

The winner of the main game competed in a bonus round against the Spoilers, a panel of three Ph.Ds. Like the contestants in the main game, each Spoiler was in an isolation booth that was set up so they could not see each other. After Trebek introduced them to begin the round, all three booths were turned off so the Spoilers could not see or hear anything.

The gameboard for this round contained eight numbered clues to a particular subject in random order of difficulty, and was placed so that the Spoilers could not see it. The contestant was presented with the subject and chose one clue at a time to be revealed. After hearing a clue, he/she had to decide whether to pass or give it to the Spoilers. The contestant was allowed to pass up to four times in the round and any passed clues were immediately discarded from play. If the contestant decided to give the clue to the Spoilers, their booths would be turned long enough for Trebek to read the clue to them. Then, beginning with the Spoiler sitting furthest left, Trebek would call upon them one at a time to give an answer. Each time a Spoiler gave an incorrect answer, the contestant won $100 and the Spoiler's booth was turned off until the contestant decided to give another clue. If a Spoiler answered correctly at any point, he/she won $100 and his/her participation in the round ended.

As long as there was at least one Spoiler who had yet to identify the subject, the round continued. If all three Spoilers managed to identify the subject, the contestant lost the round but received any money accumulated to that point from the Spoilers' incorrect guesses. If the contestant managed to give away four clues and there was at least one Spoiler that could not identify the subject, the contestant won the round and $5,000.

Broadcast history[edit]

Double Dare premiered on December 13, 1976 and replaced Gambit on CBS' daytime lineup at 11:00 AM Eastern (10:00 Central) following The Price Is Right. Facing NBC's popular two-year-old Wheel of Fortune, it did not draw the audience Gambit had. On March 7, 1977, Double Dare shifted back one hour from its original time slot in order to accommodate the hour-long Price Is Right taking the 10:30 AM timeslot. CBS saw no further success for the show at the earlier hour and decided to cancel Double Dare after twenty weeks and ninety-six total episodes. The final episode aired on April 29, 1977.

Reruns of the series aired on GSN from 1996 to 1997, as well as in several one-off airings between 1998 and 2000, as well as from 2007 to 2009. Buzzr then aired several episodes of Double Dare, including one of the 1976 pilot episodes, as part of its "Buzzr Lost and Found" special in September 2015. The series later won a slot on the network's Sunday night lineup by viewer vote through their Pick & Play Sweepstakes, with two episodes airing Sundays at 10 PM (EST).


Jay Wolpert was acknowledged as the series' creator in the closing credits. Wolpert later created his own production company. This series also marked the debut of Jonathan Goodson as a producer.

Markie Post was an employee of Goodson-Todman at the time and was an associate producer on Double Dare.

Virtually all of the show's music and sounds were recycled for other Goodson-Todman shows. The show's theme music, composed by Edd Kalehoff for Score Productions, was reused one year later for Card Sharks. Kalehoff also composed the theme for the 1986-1989 version of Card Sharks, and the unrelated Double Dare game show on Nickelodeon in the 1980s.

The sound effect for the opening of the clue board and the isolation booths found its way on both the game board for The Price is Right's Penny Ante and Vend-O-Price pricing games, as well as the bonus round level "wind-up" sound on the Jack Barry-produced game show The Joker's Wild. A truncated version of the "losing horns" from Price was also used for bonus round losses.

The show's taping alternated between Studio 31, Studio 33 and Studio 41 at CBS Television City in Hollywood, California during its run.[3]

Episode status[edit]

All episodes are reported to exist, and the series has been shown on GSN. A clip from the finale, where sexually-suggestive clues to "a boomerang" were presented, appeared on VH1's Game Show Moments Gone Bananas in 2005.

The show is also currently being broadcast on Buzzr, an American digital broadcast television network rebroadcasting game shows from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.


  1. ^ "Apps - Access My Library - Gale". Access My Library. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  2. ^ Double Dare, week of January 3, 1977. Champion Alan Lusher was retired after passing $20,000 mark, but did not win bonus round.
  3. ^ "Shows–CBS Television City". Retrieved 25 July 2011. 

External links[edit]