Jeopardy! (found unaired pilot of NBC game show; 1964)
The show's logo in the pilot.
Date found: 30 Mar 2022
Found by: Jeopardy!
Jeopardy! is a game show that premiered on NBC on March 30th, 1964, and ended its first run on January 3rd, 1975. It briefly returned on NBC on October 2nd, 1978 and ended its second run on March 2nd, 1979 and returned again but in syndication on September 10th, 1984 and has been airing ever since. It was created by talk show host Merv Griffin and was hosted by Art Fleming for the NBC series and later by Alex Trebek for the syndicated series from 1984 to 2021.
On March 5th, 1964 a test pilot was recorded to pitch the series to NBC. The contestants were Grace Miller, Jesse Bigelow, and Dolores Green, and the winner of the pilot is Miller. Art Fleming hosted the pilot and Don Pardo (who also announced the first NBC series) announces the pilot as well. While the format of the pilot remains the same as the format that would be seen in the aired series, the only difference between the pilot and the aired series is the Daily Double. In the aired series, a Daily Double is hidden on the board and can be used by the current contestant to bet how much of their current winnings they are willing to put up and the correct question would grant them the money they bet, while an incorrect question takes away that amount. But in the pilot, the Daily Double is an extra clue given to the current contestant following the clue that was chosen by the contestant and they have to bet how much of their current winnings they are willing to put up, a correct question awards the amount while an incorrect question takes away that amount.
The whereabouts of the pilot were unknown until the syndicated version's 4000th episode on May 15th, 2002, where Alex Trebek (the current host at the time) described the original NBC series and showed a 24-second snippet of the pilot, which was the beginning of the first round. In 2004, a Nightline report on Ken Jennings included a few seconds from the pilot that wasn't previously seen. In 2005, Sony released a DVD with 5 episodes of the syndicated series, and the special features featured interviews with the crew, which included three more clips from the pilot. The first clip is of Art Fleming describing the show's premise, the second one is of Art Fleming walking onto the set, and the third one is of the show's logo from the intro. A brief snippet was used in a segment on game shows as part of NBC's 90th Anniversary in February 2017. There were clips of the pilot in some of the intros of season 38 of the syndicated reboot. On March 23rd, 2022, Jeopardy!'s official YouTube channel revealed that the pilot will be uploaded on March 30th in celebration of the show's 58th anniversary. The video was removed on April 6th, 2022, but has been reuploaded to archive.org and various other video-sharing websites.
- Jeopardy! (found unaired pilots of game show; 1983-1984)
- Jeopardy! (partially lost episodes of quiz show; 1986)
- Paley Center page on its collection, including the Jeopardy test pilot. Retrieved 25 Mar '20