Smushed (found unaired pilot of USA Network game show; 1996)
The logo from the pilot.
Date found: 30 Nov 2018
Found by: Harry Nathan Gottlieb
Smush was a game show created by Jellyvision and Diplomatic/Greengrass productions that aired on USA from December 3rd, 2001 to June 21st, 2002 for 65 episodes and is best known for it's unique format, house party setting and being the last game show Ken Ober (best known for hosting MTV's Remote Control) would host before his death in 2009. Before it's 2001 USA premiere, a pilot was shot sometime in 1996 and pitched to the WB.
The first two rounds have four players answering clues where the answers are smushed together, after the first round the player with the lowest score is eliminated and the second is the same as the previous and again, the player with the lowest score gets eliminated. The third round has the two remaining players face off giving smushed answers in a chain. Every answer the player that buzzed in gives must say what the previous smushed answers were along with their answer. The player with the most points after seven clues goes onto the bonus round. The bonus round has the winning player giving smushed answers with the word that was written on a mirror in lipstick to go with the clues they are being asked, if the player can get seven of them in 45 seconds, they win $8,000.
The pilot was shot in Harry Nathan Gottlieb's apartment in Chicago on Janssen Street during a house party he held for the Jellyvision employees and their friends under the name "Smushed". The format from the pilot is like the first two rounds from the aired series only they play it until one player becomes the winner. The pilot was pitched to The WB in 1996 along with a pilot for another Jellyvision property, You Don't Know Jack (the game would get picked up by ABC in 2001 for only 6 episodes) but neither shows were picked up. However Jellyvision pitch the same pilot to the USA network and USA picked it up in 2001 for 65 episodes. The series that would air on USA would receive a positive reception from critics and fans and after the show ended in June 2002, the show would go on to gain a cult following.
The pilot went unreleased for 22 years until Gottlieb himself uploaded it to his Vimeo on November 30th, 2018.
- Game Shows Wiki page on Smush. Retrieved 13 Aug '20
- Archived USA Network website page on Smush's premiere date. Retrieved 13 Aug '20