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Body Language

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Host
Tom Kennedy
Announcers
Johnny Olson (1983-1985)
Bob Hilton (1985)
Gene Wood (1985-1986)
Broadcast
Body Language 1983 Pilot
Pilots: 10/9/1983
Bl84
CBS Daytime: 6/4/1984 - 1/3/1986
Packager
Mark Goodson Productions

Body Language was a game for the uninhibited where Showoffs meets Password Plus/Super Password.

PremiseEdit

The show pitted two teams against each other, each consisting of a contestant and a celebrity guest. The gameplay centered around the party game charades, but contestants also had to solve word puzzles to win money.

Main GameEdit

Teams played separately, with one player standing behind a podium, and the other in the acting area in front of it. Celebrities had 60 seconds to guess as many of five words/phrases/names as they could. Actors could not talk, make sounds or use props, including clothing. They instead had to pantomime the words. They could pass on any words they wished and come back if time remained. Once time ran out or all five words or phrases had been guessed, the contestant was shown a puzzle. Should an actor violate any of the said rules above or even give away the word itself, the opposing contestant got first chance at the puzzle using the words said by the first player.

The puzzle was a sentence or question with seven numbered blanks. After over a month on the air & to avoid confusion, parentheses appeared around two missing words which indicated that those words were unacted. Whatever blanks whose acted words the player had managed to guess were then filled in, and the player won $100 if he/she could guess what the puzzle was describing. If not, the player's opponent was called over to choose a blank to reveal and then make a guess. The two players alternated revealing blanks and making guesses until one got the correct answer and won the puzzle. If neither one had solved it after all seven blanks were filled in, the partners were each given a guess. If they fail to solve the puzzle, the puzzle is thrown out and the value of that puzzle carried over to the next puzzle.

In the second round, the roles were reversed, and each puzzle was worth $250; starting in 1985 and continuing towards the end of the run, getting all five words awarded a cash bonus of $500 (bonus prize in case of teen contestants) which does not count towards the final score.

The first team to reach $500 won the game and advanced to the bonus round. If after the fourth puzzle neither team reached $500, a playoff puzzle was played with no acting. The champion player was given the choice to start or have the challenger start. Contestants again took turns revealing a chosen blank and guessing the puzzle until one guessed correctly, won the extra $250 and the game.

Bonus Round (Sweepstakes)Edit

The team had 60 seconds to guess as many of ten words and/or phrases as they could. Originally the winning celebrity gave the clues, but starting in the summer of '85, the winning civilian decided whether to give or to receive (most civilians decided to give). Like the main rounds, only the clue-giver could pass on a word, but could come back to it if time permitted. Unlike the main game, illegal clues disqualified that word, and Tom went over the words missed after the time was up. Each correct word was worth $100. After the first half of the bonus round, the team played one final half in which three words had to be guessed in 20 seconds or less. If successful, the contestant's winnings were multiplied tenfold, for a maximum of $10,000. If not, the contestant kept the money won in the first half. In this half, however, illegal clues not only disqualified a word, but also ended the round.

1983 PilotsEdit

While the front game was the same, but with a different scoring structure ($100-$200-$300-$400), a different endgame was used, called "7 Chances". Two puzzles were shown one at a time, and the puzzles were the same as before but without the acting portion. The winning team picked off blanks by number and every word used being deducted from their seven (similar to the 1986 Chain Reaction endgame). The first puzzle was worth $500; solving both won $5,000 (on one pilot) or $7,000 (on another pilot) plus $1,000 per unused chance, a maximum of $10,000/$12,000.

In addition, all parts of the set were white & green. When the pilot became a series, some parts of the set (the scoreboard, the doors and the puzzleboard frame) were given a new paint job and changed color from green to blue.

Returning ChampionsEdit

Originally, champs played until they lose once, win five games or reach CBS's winnings limit of $25,000. In September 1984, this was modified so champs could stay until they win six games or lose twice. The winnings limit was later increased to $50,000 in November 1984.

Uniforms & NametagsEdit

For the first two shows, all contestants & celebrities wore green nametags. Starting with the third show, championship teams wore red name tags while challenging teams continued wearing green name tags. Near the end of the run, celebrities' nametags were now star-shaped. On shows in which teenagers were contestants, players wore sweatshirts of their team color (green for the challengers & red for the champions).

TriviaEdit

  • This is the 2nd game show where Gene Wood and Tom Kennedy appeared together; the first was Password Plus.
  • The original 1983 pilot aired on Buzzr (TV Channel) as part of their "Lost and Found" week on September 11, 2015.
  • In the pilot, the win cue for "Seven Chances" was borrowed from Mindreaders in 1979 and later used in pilots for Puzzlers in 1980 and Star Words in 1983.
  • In 2015, a revival of the show was made for YouTube's Buzzr channel, hosted by Cynthia LuCiette.
  • The "disqualification" sound is the same as the "illegal clue" sound from Password Plus/Super Password.

Model PicEdit

In Popular CultureEdit

Clips from an episode of Body Language, in which Betty White appeared as a celebrity partner, were included in the sixth episode of the third season of the hit TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland. The clips were digitally altered to have Betty's nametag read "Elka", to make it appear that White's character Elka Ostrovsky appear on the show, instead of "Betty". The 2012 episode in general was called "How Did You Guys Meet, Anyway?".

MusicEdit

Pilot - "Working Girl March" by Dave Grusin (also used in pilots for Star Words in 1983 and On a Roll in 1986 and before that the film Tootsie in 1982)
Series - Score Productions

The ticket plug cue would be revamped and used on Classic Concentration; the ticket plug cue itself was also recycled into the 1985 pilot and said series as a prize cue.

InventorEdit

Mark Goodson

StudioEdit

CBS Television City, Hollywood, California

RatingEdit

72px-TV-PG icon svg

GalleryEdit

PicturesEdit

TicketsEdit

CreditsEdit

TaglineEdit

(Said during series finale): "This is Gene Wood saying so long for Body Language, a Mark Goodson Television Production. This program has been edited for broadcast."

Video GalleryEdit

To see videos of Body Language, click here.

LinksEdit

Body Language (1983 Pilot) @ The Game Show Pilot Light website
Current Body Language page @ Game Show Utopia
Older Body Language page @ Game Show Utopia
Body Language @ tv-gameshows.com

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