|Created by||James Caruso
|Developed by||James Caruso
|Presented by||Mike Eruzione (1981 Pilot)
Alex Trebek (1982 Pilots)
Mark Richards (1982-1983)
Geoff Edwards (1983-1984)
|Narrated by||Kevin McMahan|
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of episodes||133 + 4 pilots|
|Executive producer(s)||James Caruso
|Running time||24 minutes (approximately)|
|Original channel||WTBS (1982-1983)
|Original run||December 27, 1982 – September 1984|
Starcade is a game show where contestants compete against one another by playing arcade video games. The series originally aired on WTBS from 1982–1983, followed by a run in syndication for the following season.
The series was first hosted by Mark Richards. Geoff Edwards replaced Richards after the first 23 shows, and continued until the show's cancellation.
Starcade was produced by JM Production Company for Ted Turner to air on WTBS and later syndication by Turner Program Services (TPS). Starcade was the first to be a video arcade game show, and set the blueprint for similar game shows like Video Power, Nick Arcade, and Arena. The show was used to showcase brand new arcade games.
Shortly after the series' cancellation, a second JM-produced video arcade game show, The Video Game, was aired for a brief period from 1984 to 1985.
Two players (or teams; age-regardless) competed. Three rounds were played.
Each round began with a video arcade-game related toss-up question. The player who buzzed in and answered correctly got first choice of five free-standing arcade games in the studio. After choosing, the player had 40 seconds (later 60, then 50) to amass as high a score as they could. After that contestant was done, the other contestant got to play the game that their opponent picked. Whatever points they earned were added to their overall score. If a player ended up with a "game over" during gameplay, the player's turn would end immediately, and the score obtained during play would be the player's score for that round.
The second and third rounds were played identically, with 40 seconds (later 50) game playing time for the second round, and 30 seconds (later 40) for the third. At the end of the second round (and third when the series began), the player in the lead played "Name The Game", where they could win a prize by correctly identifying four video arcade games by screenshots. Prizes were awarded if the player could correctly identify three or four games.
One of the five games was the "mystery game". If the player chose it during the front game, they would receive a prize.
The player in the lead at the end of the third and final round won the game and a bonus prize, and moved on to the bonus round.
The winning player faced one final challenge: beat an average score of 20 other players at the game they had chosen to play. The player would then have 30 seconds to do so, and could only pick from the two remaining games that were not played in the front game.
If successful, the player won the grand prize, which consisted of either their own arcade game, a home entertainment robot, a jukebox, or even a vacation (in certain "invitational" episodes).
The original pilot for Starcade was hosted by Mike Eruzione (famous for scoring the game-winning goal for the 1980 U.S. Men's Olympic Hockey Team vs. Russia) and featured an almost entirely different format. There were three rows of eight players (24 in total) and their own separate arcade game systems. All three rows featured a different video game; in this case, the first one featured eight Defender systems, the second one featured eight Centipede systems, and the third one featured eight Pac-Man systems. Each player had 30 seconds to accumulate a relatively high total. Whoever had the highest out of all eight on their team was selected to play against the two other highest-scoring players on an arcade game (Berzerk in this case) for the grand prize – their very own arcade game (Asteroids Deluxe, in this case) and an Apple II Home Computer System.
There was another pilot with Alex Trebek as the host of Starcade. The players were Lester and Rich. Only a clip was found. Watch at http://www.starcade.tv/Starcade/News/showhost-Alex.swf. 
The overall winner would then play a brand-new arcade game against a celebrity "just for fun". The winner, David Dyche, played the then-new game Donkey Kong against Larry Wilcox, best known to viewers as police officer Jon Baker on the NBC crime-drama CHiPs.
The original pilot aired as a special on a handful of syndicated stations, where it rated quite well. Three more pilots were then shot for NBC, featuring a retooled format (more similar to the series as aired) and host Alex Trebek (who was suggested by NBC). The pilot was picked up by Ted Turner in 1982, and the show began its life on WTBS in December with Mark Richards as host.
Richards, however, appeared to be uncomfortable on-camera; more importantly to Turner, Richards did not appear to be interested in video games. Richards was replaced by veteran game-show host Geoff Edwards on the 24th WTBS episode. Edwards did not play video games either, however became a fan upon receiving the job.
The show's original theme was an eight-bit melody similar to those heard in various arcade games of the time. Halfway through Richards' run, the theme was changed to one composed by "Mindseed" (Ed and Joanne Anderson), who were also employed by Data East at the time.
Occasionally, special episodes where produced such as team episodes, and others in which only one game was played repeatedly through the entire episode. Games that were featured in an episode of their own were Cliff Hanger, Dragon's Lair, and the 1983 Star Wars game.
The final first-run show aired on February 24, 1984, with reruns airing in syndication until September 1984. TBS then reran shows of Starcade on Sunday mornings until January 1985.
All episodes except episode #35 are known to exist, according to the official website.
See also↑Jump back a section
- http://www.starcade.tv/starcade/tv/starcadetv-shows.asp This happened many times over the course of the series, episodes of which can be seen here. This happened multiple times in episode 90.
- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0198244/fullcredits#cast Internet Movie Database's (IMDb.com) cast information for 'Starcade'.
- http://www.starcade.tv/Starcade/News/showhost-Alex.swf Clip 'Starcade'.
- GameRoom Magazine December 1999
- Official Starcade site
- See classic episodes of Starcade
- Game Show Utopia: Starcade (Edwards version)
- RetroBlast! - The History of Starcade
- Dragon's Lair Project - Starcade retrospective
- Starcade at the Internet Movie Database
- Starcade at TV.com