Peter Tomarken
Co-Host (Pilot only)
Anna Rapagna
Jim Hackett
Bob Ridgely
John Harlan
Pilot: 9/2/1987
Syndication (Daily): 9/12/1988 – 6/9/1989
Dames-Frasier Productions
Paramount Television

PILOT INTRO: "She's a teacher from Long Island who's a spokesperson for Weight Watchers. He's a marine pilot from Cleveland and father of three. And our returning champion from Pasadena. She's a consultant, she's single, and she's looking. They're all ready to win cash and fabulous prizes on... WIPEOUT! And now, here's the man who knows the answers. The host of "Wipeout", PETER TOMARKEN!"

SERIES INTRO: "From Paramount Studios in Hollywood, it's television's most exciting (new) game... AUDIENCE AND ANNOUNCER: WIPEOUT! And here to pit their knowledge and strategy against the wipeout are (insert contestants), and the one who fares the best could drive off in this (insert car)./And today one of our contestants could drive off in this (insert car). And now, (ladies and gentlemen,) here's your host, the star of "Wipeout", PETER TOMARKEN!"

Wipeout was the game show where the questions had multiple answers posted on a game board. The term "Wipeout" was due to the fact the contestants playing had their scores wiped out by hitting a wrong answer.


Main GameEdit

Three contestants played the game every day, all of whom competed for cash, prizes, and the right to win a brand new car.

Round 1Edit

In Round 1, the game board consisted of sixteen possible answers. Eleven of the answers were right (they had dollar signs behind them), while the remaining five were wrong (those were dubbed "Wipeouts"). Once the answers were revealed, Peter posed a question pertaining to the answers. The job of the player in control (starting with the leftmost player and ending with the rightmost) was to pick an answer that was one of the correct answers. Picking a correct answer won money for that answer, but picking a Wipeout lost all the money and control of the board, which was then passed to the next player in line. To prevent that player from wiping out and after each correct answer, he/she could decide to pass and protect his/her cash or continue playing, but a correct answer had to be selected in order to pass. The first correct answer was worth $25 and each new correct answer was worth $25 more than the previous answer up until they reached the eleventh and final answer worth $275. Finding all of them would be worth $1,650.


And what is a Hot Spot? A Good Spot!

In addition to the cash, behind one of the correct answers on the board was "The Hot Spot". If and when a player exposed the Hot Spot, he/she won a special prize. To keep it, that player had to be one of the two contestants to advance to Round 2. Whenever the player holding the Hot Spot chose a Wipeout, it went back behind the board behind a different correct answer.

The round ended when all the right or wrong answers were chosen. At the end of the round, the two players with the highest scores kept their money (and the Hot Spot) and moved on to Round 2, while the third place player was eliminated from the game. If the round ended in a tie, the tied players were then shown a tiebreaker board with twelve answers arranged in a frame. Eight were right, and four were wrong. The tied players (starting with the player who won the coin toss) went back and forth picking answers until one player wiped out. The first player to wipe out was eliminated from the game, and the other player advanced to the next round. If all eight correct answers were revealed before a player wiped out, the player who picked the eighth correct answer advanced to the next round.

Round 2: Challenge RoundEdit

The two surviving players played the next round called the "Challenge Round". The round was played with up to three boards. Each board had twelve answers arranged in a frame (just like in the tiebreaker). Eight answers were right, four answers were wrong. On each board after it was revealed and the question was read, the contestants bid against each other as to how many correct answers they wished to choose without Wiping out. They went back and forth (starting with the highest scoring player or the player that won the toss in case of a tie during the first board) until one player bid the maximum of eight, or challenged/called the other to play. Once the player won the bidding, he/she had to give that number of answers in a row without a Wipeout. If the player could complete the contract, he/she won the board; but if the player wiped out, the opposing player had to give just one correct answer to win board. If the stealing player Wiped out, play went back to the original player still trying to complete to contract and win the board. The first player to win two boards won the game, a special prize, and the right to play the bonus round for a new car.

Bonus RoundEdit

In the bonus round, the winning contestant was shown another board of twelve answers (this time arranged in a 4x3 grid) followed by the question. The answers were a 50/50 split (six correct answers, six wrong answers). The contestant had 60 seconds to choose the correct six answers. To choose the answers, the player ran up to the board and made his/her choices by pressing the borders around each of the screens. Once the six answers were chosen, the player had to then run back to the start, and hit a buzzer to see how many he/she had right. Each time the number was less than six, the player ran back to the board and made changes by turning off the ones he/she thought were wrong and replacing them with new answers. If the contestant could get all six before time ran out, he/she won the car.

During the first four weeks, there were no returning champions; three new contestants competed every day. Starting with the 21st show, contestants stayed on the show until they were defeated or won the bonus round, whichever came first.



Peter's podium displaying the question.


Peter & Anna, what a pair.

The pilot had the same format but not without differences. One was the addition of a hostess named Anna Rapagna, because the board in the pilot was manually operated instead of being computerized and had lighted trilons which had to be turned by hand in place of monitors.

Wipeout RoundEdit

The rules remained the same except for these differences:

  • Two boards were played in that round. Most international versions had this type of round.
  • Scoring was different: Correct answers on board one were worth $100 while correct answers on board two were worth $200.
  • The player in the lead at the end of the first board received a "Free Pass". That meant the occupier of it could actually pass without choosing an answer, but could only use it once.
  • There was no Hot Spot prize on either board.

Challenge RoundEdit

It was completely the same except that the winner didn't win a prize; also, each board was worth $1,000.

Bonus RoundEdit

As with the other rounds, the bonus round had the same rules. The big difference here was that the number of answers was reduced to 10; therefore, there were five right answers & five wrong answers. Plus, instead of touching a frame around screen, the winning contestant placed "Do Not Enter"-like hoops over each answer choice. In addition, the champion could return for another show whether they won the car or not.


A computer game was released for DOS and the Commodore 64 by Sharedata in 1989.

International VersionsEdit

Countries that have aired their versions of Wipeout ('88 version) include:

  • Australia
  • Germany
  • The Netherlands
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom


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Stations that carried the show included:

  • New York - WCBS
  • Los Angeles - KCBS
  • Chicago - WBBM
  • Philadelphia - KYW
  • San Francisco - KOFY
  • Washington, D.C. - WTTG
  • Sacramento - KXTV
  • Raleigh - WRAL
  • Buffalo - WUTV or WNYO
  • New Orleans - WWL
  • Des Moines - WOI
  • Syracuse - WTVH
  • Manchester, NH - WMUR


Since Paramount Television acted as distributor of this series, naturally they taped at the famed Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood, CA; specifically, they used Stage 30, which has also housed some of Paramount's other productions, including music program Solid Gold, The Godfather, Mannix, Addams Family Values, and currently houses the talk show The Doctors. (The 1987 pilot was taped at Paramount Stage 27 instead.)

During one episode, after a contestant hit a Wipeout on the first pick of the round, Peter Tomarken inadvertently said, "That's one Whammy." He was referring to the money-swiping creatures on his best-known show, Press Your Luck, which had ended two years before Wipeout debuted but was in reruns on the USA Network at the time. Wipeout would also be in reruns after the show ended.

At the start of each bonus round, after the car description, Peter would demonstrate how the bonus round works. On rare occasions, when Peter got all six right during the demonstration of the bonus round, a sound effect went off.

During the early weeks, the winning contestant wore his/her regular shoes during the Bonus Round. After the first month of the show, running shoes were provided to the contestant; Kaepa, Inc. was the brand who provided them.


Trade AdsEdit


YouTube VideoEdit