||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (July 2011)|
|Also known as||Celebrity Double Talk|
|Created by||Bob Stewart|
|Presented by||Henry Polic II|
|Narrated by||Bob Hilton
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||90|
|Location(s)||ABC Television Center
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Original run||August 18 – December 19, 1986|
Double Talk is an American game show that aired on the ABC network in 1986. Henry Polic II hosted this word game created by Bob Stewart, which contained elements of the previous Stewart-produced game show Shoot for the Stars. Bob Hilton was the announcer for the show's first two weeks and was replaced starting on the third week by Johnny Gilbert.
Near the end of its run, the show was retitled Celebrity Double Talk. However, no format changes took place with the change in the show's title.
Two teams, each consisting of a contestant and celebrity competed. The object was for the team to work together and decipher puzzles that are written "in other words" style. For example, "Twice / Speak" translated to "Double Talk", the show's title. The slash represented a break in the puzzle, and each partner had to solve half of the puzzle to score.
The game board had four hidden puzzles on it, each worth ten points if correctly solved by the team in control. The controlling team could continue to solve puzzles until they solved all four puzzles on the board or made a mistake. If either partner could not solve their half, control passed to the other team, who could score five points and end the round by providing the correct response to the puzzle missed by their opponents. If the second team provided an incorrect response in their attempt to steal, play continued with the original team and any remaining unrevealed puzzles.
Round One ended after both teams played one board. In Round Two, each team again attempted four puzzles on their own board, with correct responses worth twenty points, but still only five points for a steal.
The team with the higher score at the end of Round Two won the game and played the bonus round for $10,000. If both teams were tied at the end of Round Two, the scores were reset to zero and teams attempted to solve additional puzzles by buzzing-in and responding in the same manner as before. Each puzzle was worth ten points, but if the team was unable to solve the puzzle after buzzing-in, ten points were awarded to the other team. The team that reached twenty points first won and played the bonus round.
If a team was able to solve all four puzzles on the board, they were shown a fifth, harder puzzle. If the team solved the puzzle, the contestant won a jackpot that started at $1,000 and increased by that amount each day until won.
Game format changes
Later, teams were only required to solve three of the four puzzles in order to obtain a chance at the Jackpot Puzzle. Additionally, after stealing a puzzle and winning five points, play continued with the original team until they had played three of the four puzzles on that board. However, missing a puzzle forfeited the chance at the Jackpot Puzzle.
The contestant chose whether to give or receive clues prior to the start of the round. The giver attempted to get the receiver to say nine common phrases within 60 seconds by asking questions whose response was the common phrase.
The receiver was shown the initial letters of each word in the common phrase (e.g., "G________ C_________"). The giver viewed the entire common phrase on a monitor out of the receiver's line of sight, then provided an open-ended phrase with the desired response as a result (e.g., for "George Carlin", the giver might say "He's a comedian who listed the seven words you can't say on television, and his name is...").
Givers could pass a phrase if they were stuck. If the giver used their hands or said a key word in the common phrase (as an illegal clue), that phrase was disqualified and the chance at $10,000 was forfeited.
Each correct answer revealed a letter on the game board in the show's title. At the start of the round, the D in "Double" was revealed and the team attempted to reveal the remaining nine letters in the logo. If they were successful, the contestant won $10,000. Otherwise, the contestant won $100 for each letter revealed, including the D given at the onset of the bonus round.
Two complete games were played each episode, with players switching celebrity partners after the first game. The contestant who won more money in the bonus round returned on the next episode. If both players won the same amount of money, both players returned on the next episode to play again. Champions stayed on the show for a maximum of 5 days.
The show booked celebrities who have appeared on one of, or both 1980's Pyramid editions, another Bob Stewart production, except for Christine Tudor (from the ABC soap Loving). Regular guests consisted of Stuart Damon, Teresa Ganzel, Barry Jenner, Ilene Graff, and Howard Morton.
In addition, the weeks of October 6, 1986, and November 10, 1986, featured cast members from the ABC daytime soaps, General Hospital, One Life to Live, All My Children, and Loving, playing for charity. These weeks played out in the same manner as the first Battle of the CBS Soaps week in the spring of 1987 on The New $25,000 Pyramid: Two teams would play against each other in the first round, and the winners would try for $10,000. That team would then face the third team in the second round, and if they were victorious again, they would try for another $10,000, with all money going to their favorite charities.
Debuting on August 18, 1986, Double Talk struggled in the ratings against the second half of The Price Is Right on CBS and Scrabble on NBC and failed to find an audience. The series ended its run on December 19, 1986, four months and a day after its debut.
The entire 18-week series is currently held by Sony Pictures Television, who owns the majority of the Bob Stewart library. Two episodes were shown on GSN: The premiere with Betty White & Stuart Damon, and an episode from one of the two ABC Soaps weeks was featured on one of GSN's original programs, Faux Pause.