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Bargain Hunters is a game show that aired on ABC daytime from July 6, 1987, to September 4, 1987. The series, a summer replacement and the first daytime game show to air on ABC since it ended its game show block a year earlier, ran only nine weeks, replacing repeats of Webster, which had in turn replaced Double Talk. It was temporarily replaced by reruns of Mr. Belvedere before being permanently replaced with The Home Show on January 18, 1988. ABC would not attempt another daytime game show after Bargain Hunters until three years later, when it revived Match Game.
|Presented by||Peter Tomarken|
|Narrated by||Dean Goss|
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||45|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Merrill Heatter Productions|
Josephson Communications Inc.
|Original release||July 6 –|
September 4, 1987
Bargain Hunters featured home shopping segments in which viewers could purchase items featured on the show, a unique feature among daytime game shows. The central conceit of the show was that contestants were pitted directly against each other in a series of small games, all of which centered around the contestants assessing which prize from a given selection was marked furthest below its retail price. The series was hosted by Peter Tomarken and produced by Merrill Heatter Productions.
Each episode featured six contestants, with two competing in each of three separate games. The winner of each game advanced to the Super Savers round.
Tomarken announced an item and asked whether or not it would be a bargain at a certain price. Players buzzed-in to guess. Getting it right won a point (indicated by a diamond lit on their podium). Getting it wrong meant their opponent received a point. The first player to get three points won the round and received a bonus prize.
Five prizes were shown on stage, each with a price tag. Four of the prizes were bargains, displaying a price lower than retail, while the fifth was the "Trap" and had a marked-up price.
Players went back and forth, picking items they believed were bargains. If one of them picked the Trap, they automatically lost and their opponent won the round, along with whatever prizes they had already chosen. If the Trap was the first item picked, the opponent won it.
If both players picked two bargains, leaving only the Trap, then a tiebreaker was played. Both players secretly wrote down the amount by which they believed the Trap had been marked up from retail; the player with the closer guess won.
A prize was shown and players chose a price from three choices. The prizes were selected from stores across the country, and listed at a closeout price. Tomarken would announce the store's name and location before each item. Each player locked in their choice, and a right answer won a point. The one with the most points after three prizes won the round, and received all three prizes shown.
If there was a tie after three prizes, a fourth was brought out with no price choices. The players each secretly wrote down their guess at the price, and the one who came closer won.
The three winners came onstage to play the final round. Seven prizes were shown, each displaying a bargain price.
Each player chose the three prizes that they believed would save them the most money. The player whose combined total was the farthest below retail for his/her chosen prizes became the day's winner and received those items plus a grand prize, usually a trip.
After every game, a trumpet fanfare sounded signifying a "Bargain Shopper" segment. Home viewers were offered an item at a bargain price, and could call a number to order it. Usually the item being offered was just seen in the previous game. The three items were shown again at the end of the show.