Beat the Clock

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Beat the Clock is a long-running game show that first began on CBS prime time. It has reappeared several times since.

The show pits contestants (usually couples or family members) in performing stunts (called "problems" on the show) in a specified time limit. The time was ticked down on a giant clock with a sweep second hand. Prizes were awarded for completing stunts successfully. There were $100 rounds, $200 rounds, followed by a jackpot round, requiring the family member to unscramble a popular quotation. There was also a bonus stunt that started at $100 and went up $100 each week it was not won. In 1956, a Super Jackpot Stunt was introduced. It started at $5000 and went up $1000 each time it was not won.

Substitute hosts on this show included Bob Kennedy, Sonny Fox, Win Elliot, Frank Wayne, Bill Hart and John Reed King.

Beat the Clock started a daytime edition in 1957; it and its nighttime counterpart ended in 1958. The daytime show moved to ABC, where it ran to 1961. The show reappeared in 1969 in syndication with Jack Narz as host, followed by Gene Wood. It was taped in New York during the first season and in Canada (where it also aired on CTV) the other four seasons. In that edition, completing stunts allowed the couples to choose a hidden cash prize on a board. This version employed celebrities who competed in stunts; the contestants wagered on either the celebrity or the clock (an element similar to a short-lived 1956 NBC game show called Can Do).

Beat the Clock returned to CBS daytime in 1979. Here, stunts were worth $500. The top scoring couple vied for $5000 in the Bonus Shuffle, a shuffleboard table with cash amounts. Celebrities were later employed.

In 2006, Beat the Clock was a component of the CBS primetime miniseries Gameshow Marathon. Ricki Lake hosted it.

In 2002, Beat the Clock returned yet again, this time on the upstart network Pax (now Ion). This version used a start-off stunt followed by a question/answer session with 10 seconds added to their time for ensuing stunts. Elimination stunts culminated in the winning couple vying for $25,000 in cash in a chamber where money and prizes are swirled around. Players tried to grab as much as they could.

A new version of Beat the Clock with children as contestants starts on cable/satellite channel Universal Kids in February, 2018.