Grand Slam (U.S. game show)

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For the 1976 NBC game show, see 50 Grand Slam.
For other uses, see Grand Slam (disambiguation).
Grand Slam
Starring Dennis Miller
Amanda Byram
Pat Kiernan (off-camera)
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 8
Production
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Embassy Row Productions
Sony Pictures Television
Release
Original network GSN
Original release August 4 – 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 appeared on other game shows.

Grand Slam aired on GSN for eight episodes from August 4 to September 8, 2007. Dennis Miller and Amanda Byram hosted the program and provided commentary between rounds. The questions were asked by Pat Kiernan, who was never seen on camera. The series was produced by Embassy Row Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television and GSN. The 74-game Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings won the Grand Slam tournament, defeating Ogi Ogas in the final round.

Premise[edit]

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

Gameplay[edit]

The contestants faced off against each other in a rapid-fire style series of questions. There were 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 were given one minute on their clocks, and the first contestant (determined by coin toss for the first round where the loser goes first; alternates for each subsequent round) was asked a question by the off-camera "Questioner", and his clock started counting down. The timing mechanics were similar to those of a chess clock; if a contestant answered correctly, his clock stopped, and his opponent's clock started running. If the active contestant answered incorrectly or passed, their clock continued to run and another question was asked.

When one contestant's clock expired, the round ended and whatever time the other player had remaining carried over. At the beginning of the final round, players' carried-over time was added to the one-minute base time. Once a player's clock ran out, the other player was declared the winner and moved on to the next round.

Each contestant was given three "switches" at the beginning of the game, and one more before the fourth round: by saying "switch", a player could stop their own clock and start their opponent's with the current question. Switches could be used consecutively (by saying "switch back") to switch the question back and forth between contestants.

List of players[edit]

The players were seeded in the following order:

  • Brad Rutter—At the time of the premiere, Rutter was the biggest money winner on any American game show, with a total of $3.255 million won on Jeopardy!. Rutter won the 2001 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, the 2002 Million Dollar Masters tournament, and the $2 million Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions in 2005.
  • Ken JenningsJeopardy! champion, winning more than $2.5 million over 75 games. In his initial run as champion Jennings set a new all-time winnings record. His 74-game winning streak remains a show 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 combined on Sale of the Century and Win Ben Stein's Money but did not participate in Grand Slam.
  • 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. As of 2015, she is the last player to do so in a non-tournament setting.
  • 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 money won in a five-day period. 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—won over $80,000 on The World Series of Pop Culture in 2007. Lee's team, the Twistëd Misters, won the $250,000 top prize.
  • Amy Kelly—Won $20,500 on Lingo in 2007. Kelly and her partner split a $41,000 cash prize for making a line with their first draw in Bonus Lingo.

Tournament bracket[edit]

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

First round 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]