Jack Narz (1974-1975)
Jack Clark (1985)
Chuck Henry (1989)
Johnny Olson (1974-1975)
Gene Wood (1985)
Mark Driscoll (April 1989)
Don Morrow (May-July 1989)
Pilot: 10/1973
CBS Daytime: 4/1/1974 - 6/13/1975
Unsold Pilots: 10/19/1985
CBS Daytime: 4/3/1989 - 7/14/1989
Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions (1974-1975)
Mark Goodson Productions (1985/1989)

Now You See It was a game show based on Wordsearch where contestants had to find words hidden in a jumbled board of letters. The words were all answers to questions.


The main game principle was based on the word search concept. The game boards in all versions of Now You See It had four rows ("lines") with 14 letters of the alphabet ("positions") in each row. The host read general-knowledge trivia questions with single-word answers that were concealed within the jumble of letters on the board for that round. The answers on the board were always written horizontally from left to right.

Although the premise of the show remained the same, the main game was played differently on each version of the show.

1974-75 versionEdit

The original run used two formats during its run.

Format #1Edit

Elimination RoundEdit

The first round of Now You See It under its original format began with four new players randomly split into two teams with one "outside" and one "inside" player each. The "outside" players turned their backs to the board as Narz read a question. The first "inside" player to ring in would say which line the correct answer appeared on. If the correct line was given, the "outside" player for that team turned around to give the position number and the word. If the wrong line was guessed, the other team got a free guess. If the correct position and answer was given, the team earned points equal to the sum of the line and position numbers (Example: a word on line 3 and in position 1 was worth 4 points). Otherwise, nobody scored for that word. Halfway through the round, the inside and outside players switched roles. The team that was in the lead when time ran out won the Elimination Round.


In the semi-finals, the two contestants on the winning team competed against each other. A string of 16 concealed letters was shown to the contestants, and the host read a crossword-style clue, similar to Scrabble. The 16 letter string began to reveal one letter at a time until a player rung in and answered correctly, or only one letter was left in the word. If a contestant rung in and gave an incorrect answer, the opponent was given a free guess before any more letters were revealed. If they too came up with a wrong answer, the word would continue to be revealed. If nobody guessed the word with one letter left, it was revealed. The host then read another clue, and began revealing letters; the next answer used letters from the end of the previous answer in the string. The first player to guess four words correctly won the round and a prize package. (During the first two weeks, no prize package was given to the winner. Also, during the third week, it took five points to win the round; this would become permanent when the second format was introduced.)


The winner of the Semi-Finals round competed against the show's returning champion in the Finals. This round was played like the elimination round, except that there were no partners. Contestants gave both the line and position numbers of correct answers in order to score.

Originally, a correct answer allowed a contestant to answer subsequent questions without ringing in until he/she gave a wrong answer, at which point his opponent was given an opportunity to answer and steal control. If the opponent missed as well, the next question would be a toss-up. This was scrapped after the first episode, and all questions became toss-ups.

The contestant who had more points when time ran out won the game and played the "Solo Game" for a chance at a cash jackpot. If both contestants had the same amount of points when time ran out, a sudden-death tiebreaker question was played. If the champion won the jackpot, the person he/she beat in the Finals became the designated champion on the next show; if the challenger won the jackpot, the person he/she beat in the Semi-Finals returned.

Bonus WordsEdit

Beginning with the 101st episode and continuing until the adoption of the second main game format, contestants were asked to scan the board and write down one word from the board each on an index card at the beginning of each half of the Elimination Round, and the Finals. A contestant or team would earn 10 bonus points if they correctly answered a question with one of their "bonus words". The player must reveal their bonus word when it is found, and cannot come back to it afterwards.

Format #2Edit

Beginning with the 186th episode and for the rest of the show's run, the format of the main game was changed. The Elimination Round was dropped, and two new players competed in the Semi-Finals; by this time the Qualifying Round remained and was played the same way as the first version. At this point, five points were needed to win the Qualifying Round. The Finals was renamed the Championship Round and was also played the same way except point values were doubled when somebody reached 50 points (Example: a word on line 4 and in position 5 multiplied by 2 was worth 18 points) and the first player to reach 100 points played the Solo Game. In a test episode, the player who reached 50 points first also won $100 which was his/hers to keep win or lose the game. Under this "straddling" format, a game could stop at the end of one episode and resume at the beginning of the next.

Also, if a champion was defeated in the Championship Round, but the other player won the jackpot in the Solo Game, that champion came back to play again in the following Championship Round.

Contestant AreaEdit

Though not acknowledged on the air, the contestant area was split into two colors: green & blue. Each side had a giant triangular side which lit up in neon lights when somebody rung-in; plus, it had matching scoreboards and ring-in boxes (the boxes were removed when the second format came into fruition). During the Championship round, the champion sat in the green position and the challenger sat in the blue position (sometimes the positions were the other way around during some of the first format); as a side note the lady players from the first show wore dresses that matched their backdrops. It was also a two-leveled area with the second level dubbed the "Champion's Gallery" where the returning champion sat until the final round.

1985 pilotEdit

Two teams of two players competed for the whole show.

Round OneEdit

During the first round, one partner was given a word to define (much like The $25,000 Pyramid) and then hit a button revealing the board to the partner; the partner then had to find that word on the board. They had 15 seconds total to define and find the word. The clock stopped when the correct line was chosen. If successful, the team earned as many points as there were seconds left on the clock (e.g., eight points if there were eight seconds left). Each team played four words, with the team in the lead earning 20 bonus points.

Round TwoEdit

In the second round, the host read clues to words on a new board, and the first contestant to buzz in and correctly identify that word earned 20 points. The first team to reach 100 points won the game and chose one player to play the solo round. After that, the players on both teams switched positions and played another game.

1989 versionEdit

Qualifying RoundEdit

Two new contestants competed to find the answers to the host's questions. Scoring was determined by how much time was left on the clock when the contestant buzzed in; the clock started at 100 points and decreased by 5 points as each 1/3 second passed. If nobody guessed the correct answer when the clock reached 25 points, the host gave the line number that the word was on. Halfway through the round, points were doubled and the contestants were given a new board. Later shows had the points be doubled later on during that second board when time was running out. The first player to reach 1,000 points won the round and competed against the show's returning champion in the championship round. If no one reached 1,000 points when time was called at the end of the second board, the player with the most points won the round.

Team Celebrity ShowsEdit

On team celebrity shows since there were four teams of two stars competing, each pair of teams played their own board. The rules remained the same except that points were doubled after the first three questions, and it took 500 points to go to the championship round, which only one member of each team can play.

Championship RoundEdit

In this round, the host gave a category, and a new board containing six possible words in that category was revealed. The first contestant to buzz-in and find one of those words was given 20 seconds to find the five remaining words to win the board. If unable to do so, the opponent was given an additional five seconds to find one word, with the contestant hitting his/her button once he or she finds a word, winning the board if successful; otherwise, the board went to the opponent. Each board was worth money; the first board was worth $200 ($300 on celebrity shows) and each board after that was worth $100 more than the previous one. The first player to reach $1,000 or more kept their money and won the game and played the solo round. If no one reached $1,000 when time was called, the player with the most money won the game.

Solo GameEdit

The bonus round on this show was better known as the "Solo Game". It was played the same on all versions of the show. The winner of the main game was given a new board and 60 seconds to find ten words on that board. Once the host read a clue to one of those words, the contestant used an electronic pencil to circle the word that was being guessed and call it out. The contestant had the option to pass at any time and return to that question later, but not directly. Each correct answer was worth $100, and if all ten words were found before time expired, the contestant won a cash jackpot.

Cash JackpotsEdit

Here are the cash jackpots for each version:

Version Jackpot
1974-1975 $5,000 + $1,000 for each non-win, up to $25,000. (The highest won was $21,000.)
1985 Pilots A flat $5,000 for the first Solo Game, a total of $10,000 for the second Solo Game.
1989 $5,000 + $5,000 for each non-win, up to $100,000. (The highest won was $50,000.)

Championship FormatsEdit

In the Narz version, a returning champion would immediately retire after winning the jackpot, thus making the player they beat in the finals/championship round (the semi-finals/qualifying round should the returning champion be defeated) the designated champion for the next game. In the 1989 version, a returning champion would return a maximum of 5 days (regardless of how many jackpots he/she won), unless he or she won a total of $75,000 or more, in which the champion was forced to retire.


Board Game/Milton Bradley (1975)Edit

Based on the original 1974 version. Gameplay was adapted from Format 2 of that version so that 3 or 4 players could play alternating as MC, Contestant, or Returning Champion (4-player version only).

Computer Game/GameTek (1990)Edit

Based on the short-lived 1989 version.


International VersionsEdit

The Following are a list of countries that have previously aired their versions of Now You See It including:

  • Australia
  • Indonesia
  • United Kingdom

Episode StatusEdit

Both runs are completely intact. The Jack Narz run has been rerun on GSN and Buzzr.

Even though GSN/Buzzr has the tapes for the Chuck Henry version, they cannot be aired as Henry himself requested them not to be rerun. It is believed that he requested them not to be rerun as it may affect his credibility as a news reporter.


72px-TV-G icon svg


Main 1974, 1985, 1989 - "Chump Change" by Quincy Jones
Commercial 1974 - by Edd Kalehoff

The main was also used on the pilot episode of Blank Check.

The commercial cue would later be used as the main theme on the British and Australian versions in the 1980s.


Frank Wayne, Mark Goodson & Bill Todman


CBS Television City, Hollywood, California
ABC Television Center, Hollywood, California (1985 pilot)

Additional PageEdit

Now You See It/Catchphrases


Rules for Now You See It @
Josh Rebich's Now You See It Rules Page
Chuck Donegan's Now You See It Rules Page
Curt Alliaume's Now You See It Page
Travis Eberle's Now You See It Rules Page
Screengrabs of Now You See It '89
Rules for the 1985 Now You See It Pilot
1985 Now You See It Pilot @
Rules for Now You See It @ The Game Show Temple

YouTube VideosEdit


Rosemary Dirkson wins $17,000!
Sally Lewis wins $21,000!


Pilot #2, in full


Amanda's $25,000 win!
Dave's $25,000 win!
The $50,000 win!
Wacky moments from the Finale
More wacky moments from the Finale, plus a $35,000 win!