Love Me, Love Me Not (game show)
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|Love Me, Love Me Not|
|Presented by||Ross Shafer|
|Narrated by||Jane MacDougall (earlier episodes)
Marilyn Smith (later episodes)
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of episodes||130|
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Original release||September 29, 1986– September 11, 1987|
Love Me, Love Me Not is a Canadian game show based on the Italian game show, M'ama Non M'ama, which in English means "love me, love me not". The program originally aired in Canada in 1986 and debuted on the USA Network in the United States (US) on September 29, 1986. Ross Shafer was the host and Jane MacDougall was the co-host/announcer; MacDougall was later replaced by Marilyn Smith.
The series was the first game show to be produced by Blair Murdoch and was taped at CKVU-TV in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Kathy Morse worked on the show as an assistant to the producers and later became the Mayor of Maple Ridge, Canada.
Two contestants of the same sex compete, each facing a panel of three members of the opposite sex. Each game alternated between men "chasing" women and women chasing men. The two members of the same sex competed to capture panel members, who, in turn, did their best to avoid capture.
Panelists start with $100. The champion contestant chooses one of the three panelists, who asks a "true/false" question pertaining to topics such as love, sex and relationships. The contestant is required to correctly judge the truth of the statement in order to capture the panelist; otherwise, the panelist receives the $100. The challenger then undertakes the same process with one of the remaining panelists, while the champion tries to capture the remaining panelist.
Starting with the challenger, each player tries to capture the uncaptured panelists. In this round, if a contestant fails, the panelist is given $200 (later avoiding a capture was worth $100, a total that increased to $200 if all three of the panelists are captured). Once all three players are captured, each player tries to capture one of their opponent's panelists until one player captures all three. The game limits the competition to ten questions (this total is nine, if the champion was ahead when all three panelists were first captured). The winner receives $1,000 and, together with the panelist with the most money, advances to the bonus round, the "Chase Around the Daisy." The winning panelist keeps his/her money, the others each receive $100 and remain on the panel until having played five games, or advancing to the endgame.
The US producers expanded the limit to twelve questions. Also, in round two, each panelist earns $100 for evading a contestant; plus, even if all three panelists were not captured, they can still try to capture their opponents' panelists.
If a tie occurs, in which the contestants make the same number of captures, the hostess asks a question with a numerical answer. The champion is required to provide a guess, followed by the challenger, who needs to determine if the correct answer is higher or lower. If the challenger is correct, he or she wins the game.
If two or more panelists tie, each panelist in turn reads the winning contestant a statement. If either one fools the contestant, that panelist received $100, otherwise the contestant received a $100 bonus. This continues until the tie is broken or until all questions are exhausted. At this point, the contestant closer to the left gives the first guess to a numerical question and the other determines if the correct answer was higher or lower.
In the event that a tie exists between all three panelists, they get ten seconds to write down their best guess to a question with a numerical answer. The winning panelist gains an extra $100.
The Chase Around the Daisy
The winning contestant and panelist play on a giant daisy structure consisting of eight petals, numbered clockwise from 1–8. The contestant starts at petal #1 and the panelist starts on petal #6. The host asks the contestant a series of true/false questions and the contestant advances one petal for each correct answer, while the panelist advances one petal for an incorrect answer. The contestant must catch the panelist in 50 seconds (later 45, then 40 on the US version) or less. If the contestant succeeds, that contestant wins a new car (and $700 in early episodes). If the timer runs out, the panelist wins $100 of the contestant's $700 for each petal that separated them in whichever direction is the greater distance; later in the series, the contestant did not receive money for failing to capture the panelist.
If the panelist catches the contestant due to too many incorrect responses, the game ends and the panelist receives $1,400 (later a trip). The panelist returns as the next game's challenger, regardless of the outcome and players remained as contestants, until eliminated or until the bonus round is won.
Games often straddled episodes; that is, games would stop when time ran out and would resume on the next episode.
1984: M'ama Non M'ama
A pair of pilots (one with men chasing women, the other with women chasing men) were produced by Pasetta Productions for ABC on December 7, 1984. Alex Trebek hosted the pilots and John Harlan was the announcer. The episodes were taped in Los Angeles, US.
The two pilot episodes consisted of four panelists who were to be captured. At the start of the game, one player chooses one of eight petals from a daisy, which either reads "Love Me" (which allows that player to start the game) or "Love Me Not" (which means that the opponent starts). Each petal has been assigned a dollar amount between $50 and $150, amounts that have been deposited into the bank to start the game. The chosen panelist selects a category from a daisy that the player is most likely to answer; in addition to providing the contestant with a romantic statement. On each occasion that a panelist is captured, the "pot" (accumulated amount of money belonging to no particular individual prior to being won) doubled.
After the first round, the players take alternate attempts at capturing the remaining panelists, with the player who makes two mistakes losing a panelist to the opponent. The first contestant to capture three panelists wins the game, in addition to the money in the pot. The winning contestant then chooses which of the three captured panelists he/she splits the won money with and advances to the bonus round after posing a question to all three panelists; the other two panelists become contestants on the next game.
The bonus round is the same as before, except that the panelist helps the contestant. If the contestant catches the panelist in 50 seconds or less, the two players split $1,000 for each correct answer given and team up to answer a bonus question for the chance to win a car each.
This series was considered a replacement for Family Feud, until ABC renewed the latter.
1985: Love Me, Love Me Not
Steve Carlin produced another pair of pilots on December 20, 1985, in New York, with the same title, set, and music as the eventual series. Ross Shafer was host and Jackson Beck was the announcer. There were four panelists, and the front game rules were the same as the U.S. version, with the first player to capture three panelists winning the game.
The "bonus round" was played the same as on the ABC pilots, with the contestant winning a car if successful and the panelist winning $1,000 for each of the contestant's correct answers. Otherwise, the contestant received $100 for each correct answer.
USA Network picked up this set of pilots for a series.
Archives include all series, including all four pilots. The Canadian network, TVtropolis, then known as Prime, aired reruns of the series, along with other Canadian game shows in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The series also aired on GameTV from 2007-2012, but the network ran less than half of the entire run.
A British version was produced by TVS for ITV in 1988, with Nino Firetto and Debbie Greenwood as co-hosts. The format was similar to its North American counterpart, except contestants earned a "daisy" rather than cash and the competitors were all new for each edition. The grand prize was an overnight stay in a top London hotel (in separate rooms), or cash if preferred.