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Not to be confused with the Australian game show of the same name hosted by Graham Kennedy, or with the British game show Blankety Blank; both were adaptations of Match Game.
Blankety Blanks
Format Game Show
Created by Bob Stewart
Presented by Bill Cullen
Narrated by Bob Clayton
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 50
Running time 30 Minutes
Original channel ABC
Original run April 21 – June 27, 1975

Blankety Blanks was an American game show that aired on ABC from April 21 to June 27, 1975. This Bob Stewart Production starred Bill Cullen as its host with Bob Clayton announcing.



Two celebrity/contestant teams tried to solve puzzles and fill in "Blankety Blanks" on puns (for example, "When Richard Nixon spilled the coffee on Gerald Ford's lap, he said Pardon Me!"). To start, a category along with keywords and a puzzle was revealed. The puzzle had numbers (1-6) that hid six clues (all parts of sentences) to that puzzle. Host Cullen then pulled out from a card from a rotating wheel of 100 situated next to him and placed it into an electronic reader, which chose at random one of the four players and a dollar amount from $100 to $1000 in $10 increments.

The chosen player (either the contestant or the celebrity) in control picked a number in order to reveal a clue that would help him or her identify the mystery subject; unlike some celebrity-civilian games of the period, the partner could not assist the contestant or celebrity playing at the moment. A correct answer won the team the designated money amount, but an incorrect answer (or no answer at all) meant the game continued as Cullen pulled another card, allowing another player (possibly the same one from the previous turn) to take a chance.

Play continues until the puzzle is solved, at which point the team who solved the puzzle got a chance to turn the points into money by solving the Blankety Blank in a pun; in this part of the game, the celebrity and the contestant were allowed to work together. Each correct Blankety Blank solve gave the opposing contestant a strike, with three eliminating them from further play.

In a Blankety Blank guess was incorrect, no strikes were given and the amount that was played for is held until that team solves another puzzle.

Contestants stayed on the show until they got three strikes.


Format changes

In the pilot, letters were used instead of numbers in the main-game. Unlike the numbers used in the series, the letters shown were used in the revealed sentence fragment (for example, "Z" may conceal "That crazy lady").

Later in the show's run, the dollar values ranged from $100–$750 and any money won from solved puzzles went into the team's bank, with the first team to reach $2,000 winning the game. The bank would then double upon solving the Blankety Blank.

Broadcast history

The $10,000 Pyramid's success on ABC's daytime schedule since May 6, 1974 prompted the network to order another show from packager Stewart. Blanks replaced reruns of The Brady Bunch at 11:30 AM (10:30 Central), opposite the top-rated Hollywood Squares on NBC and the soap opera Love of Life on CBS. In an unusual move, when ABC cancelled Blanks, Brady Bunch returned to that timeslot in preparation for its eventual huge success in syndication later that year.

Cullen himself was been quoted in a magazine saying that this show "didn't get a fair shake". Most daytime games of that era normally were given a thirteen-week minimum run to prove themselves; Blanks had such low ratings that ABC pulled it after only ten weeks.


A diverse group of celebrities appeared during the brief run of Blankety Blanks, with only Nipsey Russell and Anne Meara appearing more than once (Anita Gillette and Soupy Sales each appeared twice as well, counting the pilot).


The theme to this show was later used on another Bob Stewart show, Double Talk, via a practice known in the trade as "recycling". In addition, the theme used for the show's 1974 pilot was later re-used on an unsold 1977 Stewart pilot, Get Rich Quick.

Episode status

The series is believed to have been destroyed as per network practices of the era (ABC, specifically, continued this practice until 1978). Only the pilot (taped February 10 with Gillette and Sales) and Premiere (taped April 4 with Meara and Shatner) are known to exist.

External links


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