Classic Concentration is the NBC game show where players match prizes on a game board and win them by solving a picture puzzle. It is a revival of the show Concentration which previously ran on NBC from 1958 to 1973 and in syndication from 1973 to 1978.
In this version, the game board, now reduced to 25 squares (originally 30), is computer generated and is seen by the contestants on a 27-inch television monitor. The puzzles, by producer Steve Ryan, are crafted in full color. As before, players--in turn--select two numbers and if the items match, he/she is credited with that prize (if so). The player must solve the puzzle to win the prizes.
Some differences between this and the original:
- Wild Cards. A player matching an item with a Wild Card sees which number the original match would have been made and is shown three portions of the puzzle. Three Wild Cards are used per game, thus eliminating the possibility of any numbers left on the board if the puzzle is not solved by then. (If this happens, host Alex Trebek starts breaking down the puzzle phoenetically, and whoever can solve the puzzle rings in to do so.) A player calling two Wild Cards on the same turn is credited with $500 and can win it upon solving the puzzle. (Originally $500 was awarded regardless of the game's outcome).
- On all games at the start and then occasionally later, two portions of the puzzle are exposed at the start. If time becomes a factor, more squares are exposed. If a game is not completed as time runs out, the board is exposed, one square at a time, and whoever knows what the puzzle is rings in to do so.
- In late summer of 1988, players played best two-out-of-three games to see who played the end game. Later in the run, each player continued to play until losing two games or he/she had won a car in the end game.
- The "Take 1 Gift" cards, not used at the start, would return as a green "Take!" and a red "Take!" A player matching either of these (must be the same color) can take a prize from the opponent or save it for later when his/her turn comes around again.
- New elements included the "Cashpot" (a cash prize that started at $1000 and went up $100 each time it was not won), and "Five Bonus Seconds" for the car round (see below).
- The end game of this version has seven car names on a board of fifteen squares (the eighth name is a red herring). The player must match seven names in at least 35 seconds to win the last car matched. Players must call one number at a time, but as the show went on, players were calling two numbers in rapid succession, and Alex, it appeared, decided not to fight it. If a car is not won, the contestant's time goes up five seconds until it is won.
Classic Concentration ran to September 20, 1991, but returned on October 28 after a block of talk shows on NBC daytime tanked. NBC chose to air repeats of the show as opposed to popping for new shows. The repeats ran till December 31, 1993. Gene Wood was the show's announcer, but when he fell ill in July of 1991, Art James--the announcer for the original Concentration from 1958 to 1961--filled in.
The original pilot for this edition, taped in 1985 with Orson Bean as host, was simply called Concentration. The board was the same, but instead of prizes, contestants had to pair up words associated with each other. Each successful pair scored money for the contestant, and he/she won it by solving the puzzle.
Classic Concentration was produced by Mark Goodson Productions. Although NBC owns the Concentration format, Fremantle North America is the show's distributor due to its ownership of the Goodson-Todman/Mark Goodson Productions catalogue.
- At a Glance: Additional information about the series
There are no DVD releases for this show.