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Couch Potatoes

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Marc Summers
Joe Alaskey (The Neighbor)
Jim McKrell
Syndication: 1/23/1989 – 9/8/1989
Saban Productions
Group W Productions

From Hollywood, the television capital of the world, it's time to go reeling through the greatest television shows of all-time on COUCH POTATOES!

HOST INTRO FROM THE 1989 PREMIERE: Oh hi, I'm Joe Alaskey. Thank you for letting my living room into your living room. And now, here he is, my favorite host and next door neighbor Marc Summers! You're on, Marc!

JIM'S HOST INTRO: And now here's the host of Couch Potatoes, it's MARC SUMMERS!

REST OF SPIEL: Welcome to Couch Potatoes, the game focusing on the best of television both past & present. You'll never know what shows might pop up on our TV sets.

The television game show all about popular television shows past & present.


Two teams of three contestants, both with a TV show related name, answered questions focusing on popular TV shows past & present.

Main GameEdit

The First Four/Six RoundsEdit

Tune-In QuestionsEdit

Each of the first few rounds began with a "Tune-In" question (toss-up) in which all six players can play. The first player to buzz-in had a chance to answer. A correct answer earned points (on this show they were called "Rating Points") and control of the "Spin-Off" questions (follow-ups), but an incorrect answer did not give the opposing team any "Rating Points" but control of the "Spin-Offs".

Spin-Off QuestionsEdit

The "Spin-Off" questions were questions related to the "Tune-Ins" and about a specific TV show or category. The team that won the "Tune-In" earned control of those questions. Each player can answer each question only once and each correct answer scored more "Rating Points". If at anytime the controlling team missed a question, the opposing team had a chance to steal control by answering the same question.


The first two rounds (later three) had questions worth 25 rating points, while the next two rounds (later three) had the questions worth double or 50 rating points.

Couch-Up (Final Round)Edit

In the final round called "Couch-Up", all questions were under one more category and were all head to head. For one member from each team played each question. While host Summers asked questions, a randomizer was active. The randomizer was constantly shuffling point values (50, 100, 150 and 200), and it stopped when a contestant buzzed in. A correct answer scored the landed point value, but an incorrect answer gave the opponent a chance to answer the same question for the same amount. It was called the "Couch-Up" round, because there was also a "Couch-Up" space in the randomizer and whoever buzzed in and landed on "Couch-Up" the contestant who's team was trailing had a chance to tie the score by answering the question correctly; a correct answer from the player from the leading team only prevented a tie. Each pair of players gets two turns and after six questions, the team with the most rating points wins the game; in the event on the last question if the traliing team buzzed in first but was unable to catch up with the value landed on, the leading team automatically won; the round went to "extra innings/overtime" if after the sixth question, the game ended in a tie. The winning team received $1,000 and goes on to play Channel Roulette for $5,000. The losing team gets "CANCELLED".

Channel Roulette (Bonus Round)Edit

In the Channel Roulette bonus round, the winning team faced a board of 12 channel numbers (2-13, representing the VHF channels). Behind those numbers were pictures from popular TV shows and a point value (from 100-1000, depending on the difficulty) attached to it. Players on the winning team took turns picking off channel numbers and tried to guess what the mystery TV show was. A correct answer earned those attached points. A player in control can pass if he/she doesn't know the show, but they may go back to it if there's time. It was not all that easy because behind one of those channels was a sign reading "PAY TV"; picking that channel lost all the accumulated points up to that point. If the winning team can reach 1,000 points or more in 30 seconds or less, they win $5,000. But if they can't when time ran out, they still picked up money based on their final bonus round score.

Teams stayed on the show until they won five games or were defeated.



Haim Saban & Shuki Levy


Ellen Levy & David Greenfield


  • Upon a correct answer given by Marc or the contestants, a picture of a TV star or from a TV show appeared to the home viewers.

Celebrity GuestsEdit

Throughout it's eight month run, Couch Potatoes had celebrity guests from TV shows past or present appear to ask questions about their shows or career. Originally they appeared in round two, later they appeared in round six.

The first guest to appear on the show was Dennis Franz who asked questions about his then-successful cop show Hill Street Blues. He then went on to star in another successful cop show NYPD Blue.

One show featured Jack Larson and Noel Neill, "Jimmy Olsen" and "Lois Lane" from the 1950s series "The Adventures of Superman", asking questions about that classic series. Couch Potatoes - 1989 (Mavericks vs. Petries)

Game Show WeekEdit

For one whole week, celebrities from TV game shows visited the show. They include Bob Eubanks, Jim Lange, Janice Pennington, Wink Martindale, Peter Marshall, Johnny Gilbert, and Gary Owens. In addition, Peter Marshall once promoted his new syndicated game show 3rd Degree (who was later controversially replaced by Bert Convy when the series was picked up) on the show.


New York - WNBC
Los Angeles - KTLA
Chicago - WPWR
Philadelphia - KYW
San Francisco - KPIX
Boston - WBZ
Washington, DC - WTTG
Miami - WSVN
Orlando - WESH
Pittsburgh - KDKA
Baltimore - WJZ
Rochester, NY - WROC
Sioux Falls - KDLT


"That's all the time we have for today, but be sure to join us next time as we once again go reeling through the greatest television shows of all-time, right here on Couch Potatoes!"


YouTube VideosEdit

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