Hosted by Selwyn Toogood and Rosalind Walker, produced by Chris Bourn.
During recording of a pilot film the Family Game Selywn Toogood (with stage manager, Michael Molloy) shows a prize to the competing team, while the “active” contestants for the round standby ready to race the clock on a set task.
The family that plays together preys together.
Originally published in the NZ TV Weekly June 27. 1966.
With its newest and biggest quiz show already under preparation, NZBC plans to give families (as units of three) the chance to play together for prizes far more substantial than any so far offered in NZBC quiz history.
The Family Game, which would appear to be a local adaptation of the American participation show Beat the Clock (but how many new quiz ideas are there anyway?), promises to be considerably more engrossing and rewarding, both for contestants and viewers, than any of the previous purely local quiz shows.
In the first place, this will be NZBC’s first national TV quiz; in the second, the prizes-a variety of novel luxuries and necessities-will be well worth striving for; and in the third, the quiz master for the series will be New Zealand’s most experienced hand at the game, Selwyn Toogood.
This of course will be Selwyn’s first TV venture outside of extolling the virtues of peas and beans, soups and soaps and the odd documentary; and many of his faithful radio listeners will be seeing him in action on a quiz show for the first time.
Here’s how The Family Game works. Two families, comprising any three members of each, meet on stage and bid for the chance to complete a team task, an individual task or a charade. They bid the time they consider it will take to complete the particular assignment, and the lowest bid wins that chance.
Should the competing family successfully complete the task in the time specified, one point is awarded. If they fail, the opposing team gets the point. The winning family is the one with the highest score out of three.
This team then faces another family and so on until after three weeks, each of the four channels has a champion family.
In point of fact, Wellington and Christchurch have already recorded their elimination rounds, with Dunedin starting on August 10, and Auckland, August 17.
The type of tasks contestants can expect are perhaps being handed three jumbled newspapers which have to be re-arranged in correct papers in correct order within the time limit they have bid for, or maybe transferring an egg cup by cup from number one cup to number nine cup. You get the idea-simple tasks which become surprisingly difficult when the pressure of time is on, and which give excellent prospects of providing strictly visual entertainment of a most amusing nature. Next step, each local station sends its champion family to Wellington some time in October for the Grand Finals with the kind of prizes at stake that are bound to make for most earnest and exciting competition.
As though the big prizes, national aspects and Selwyn Toogood were not enough to suggest a really suc- cessful show, NZBC also plans to offer a substantial prize to a member of the audience for each session.
NZBC has not decided yet whether it will mount The Family Game again next year. Remembering that this was the first local show of its kind, the corporation may well revive it. Certainly everyone connected with it reckons much was learned. Despite the views of some critics, who regarded it as a flop, producer, Chris Bourn and his assistant Beverley Birch can point to the stacks of letters they got from viewers—8,000 one week, and a total of more than 65,000. Selwyn Toogood did not quite have the light touch of his radio series, but he showed all his old aplomb when it came to a crisis—and The Family Game seemed to have more than its share of crises.
NZ TV Weekly 7/11/1966: Channel Check