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Chain Reaction (1980)

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Chain Reaction (1980)
Premiere January 14, 1980
Finale June 20, 1980
Creator Bob Stewart
Host Bill Cullen
Network/Provider NBC
Style 30-minute game show
Company Bob Stewart Productions
Episodes 5 per week
Origin USA

Chain Reaction was a game show airing on NBC daytime. It was the first of four different Chain Reaction shows.

This edition pitted two teams, each of a contestant and two celebrities. A board with eight readouts is shown and a word is placed in the first and last spots. The first team selects a letter to be placed in the first spot of below the first word or above the last. The word to be guessed is an association with the displayed word. Correctly guessing the word scores points based on the number of letters in the word. Teams keep selecting as long as they get correct words. Incorrect guesses or passes means the opposing team selects. Words with plus signs doubles the point values.

The first team to 50 points wins the game. The contestant now tries to for $10,000 by guessing ten words or phrases in sixty seconds. The celebrity partners are shown each answer and must formulate their questions one word at a time in turn. This bonus game would be reused as the main game in Bob Stewart's 1983 game show Go!

It has been said that NBC programming chief Fred Silverman had Chain Reaction cancelled in retaliation for Bob Stewart's The $20,000 Pyramid on ABC using "Hit Shows On NBC-TV" as a bogus category on that show's finale in 1980.

Chain Reaction was replayed on CBN cable in 1981 and on USA in 1984. It returned in 1985 on USA cable in a Canadian-produced show hosted by Geoff Edwards (who filled in for Bill Cullen on the original show for two weeks as Cullen went to do sub-host work on Password Plus). A third version premiered in 2006 on GSN, hosted by Dylan Lane. It was revived in 2015 with new host Mike Catherwood.