The first syndicated run, and another Barry & Enright show, The Joker's Wild, made its co-producers millionaires and were embraced by a generation of TV viewers who either forgave or were unaware of the original version's role in the thick of the quiz show scandals, instigated in large part by the show's co-executive producer, Dan Enright.
Barry yielded Tic-Tac-Dough's hosting to Gene Rayburn later in the year, who in turn yielded to the show's announcer, Bill Wendell in 1958. Wendell hosted the show until its demise on October 23, 1959, with the announcing taken over by Bill McCord. A nighttime version of Tic-Tac-Dough, played for bigger stakes, premiered in 1957. This version's first host was former Twenty Questions host Jay Jackson, who was replaced by Win Elliot for the duration of the show's nighttime run.
In August 1958, the cross-network hit game show Dotto was cancelled after network and sponsor executives discovered the game had been rigged; and, when newspaper headlines exploded with confirmation that deposed Twenty-One champion Herb Stempel's allegations of rigging on that show were true. The big-money quiz shows began to sink in the ratings and disappear from the air as the scandal widened.
Tic-Tac-Dough did not go unscathed before its cancellation. A 1957 installment preserved on kinescope, featuring a U.S. military serviceman winning over $140,000 during his run on the show, became one key subject of the federal grand jury investigating the quiz fixing. That run occurred during Jay Jackson's tenure as host. Jackson was never implicated in any wrongdoing himself, and he had left the show well before the quiz investigations began, but he never again hosted a television game show. The same could not be said for Tic-Tac-Dough producer Howard Felsher. Felsher was in charge of all facets of the shows production including picking the contestants. One of them, sixteen year old Kirsten Falke's audition as a folk singer led her to the offices of Tic Tac Dough producer Felsher, who would provide young impressionable Kirsten with the answers and hints to win on the show and a promise to showcase her talent and sing."I botched it up," retorted Kirsten. She requested her categories in the wrong order. She walked away with a paltry $800. A grand jury subpoenaed Kirsten Falke to testify, and producer Howard Felsher implored her to lie. Felsher admitted to congressmen that he urged roughly 30 former show contestants and all of his production staff to lie to the grand jury, and that he had himself lied under oath. Felsher also estimated that about 75% of all Tic Tac Dough nighttime shows had been rigged. Felsher was fired in the fallout of the quiz show scandals by NBC as reported in the May 19, 1959 TIME magazine article, but he would later resurface as a producer for Goodson-Todman Productions in the 1970s and 1980s.
It was also revealed that one of the key figures in the Twenty-One side of the scandal, Charles Van Doren, had applied originally to become a Tic-Tac-Dough contestant; only Enright's persuasion convinced Van Doren to compete on Twenty-One, in the infamous challenge that dethroned Herb Stempel.
The daytime show was unaffected, and host Gene Rayburn's career was completely unscathed. After Tic-Tac-Dough, Rayburn went to Goodson-Todman, where in 1962, he began his most famous hosting assignment: The Match Game.
Almost two decades after its original cancellation, the game was reborn as The New Tic Tac Dough when CBS gave it a summer daytime run. The show premiered on July 3, 1978, and ran until September 1, making way for daytime repeats of All in the Family. That fall, a previously planned nighttime version premiered in first-run syndication, where it aired in some markets as a companion to The Joker's Wild.
Wink Martindale hosted Tic-Tac-Dough until the autumn of 1985. Jim Caldwell took over as host for the eighth and last season. Announcer Jay Stewart served as the new Tic-Tac-Dough announcer for its first three seasons; Charlie O'Donnell announced the final five seasons. Occasional substitutes for those announcers included Johnny Gilbert, Bob Hilton, Mike Darrow, John Harlan and Art James.
In an interview, Martindale said that while the CBS version began airing, Barry & Enright Productions secured a spot to air a syndicated version that began in the fall (the idea being to make it the first game show to air in both network daytime and daily syndication). The CBS version ended due to poor ratings, but the syndicated version drew high numbers, and as a result, had an eight-year run.
On the syndicated version of "Tic Tac Dough" around 1980, Fridays were hat days. Wink would receive hats from viewers to show off at the end of the show. Some were winter hats, and some even dealt with the show such as having a picture of a "dragon" on them. He would even wear hats on the Friday shows of Las Vegas Gambit, which he was also hosting on NBC at the time.
A German version called Tick-Tack-Quiz, hosted by Fritz Benscher, ran weekly on ARD from 1958 to 1967. It ran again as a daily show on RTL plus in 1992 as simply Tic-Tac-Toe, and was hosted by Michael "Goofy" Förster. It was played just like the 1990 version.
A Russian version called Проще простого (Simpler than Simple), aired on NTV in mid-1990s and hosted by Nikolay Fomenko These, along with the foreign versions of Twenty One, are the only known foreign versions of any Barry-Enright game show. The 1992 German version was distributed by Reg Grundy Productions.
The goal of the game was to complete a line of three X or O markers on a standard tic-tac-toe board (with the reigning champion always mounting X's). Each of the nine spaces on the game board featured a category. Contestants alternated choosing a category and answering a general interest or trivia question in that category. If they were correct, they would get an X or O in that square; otherwise, it would remain unoccupied. The center square, being of the most strategic importance, involved a two-part question, with the player given ten seconds to think of the two answers needed to win the square. After each question, the categories would shuffle into different positions (in the 50s version and early in the 1978 run, the categories would shuffle after both players had taken a turn). In the 1990 version, players hit their buzzers (referred to by host Wayne as "lock-ins") to stop the shuffling themselves.
The game board on the original 1950s version used rolling prism-style bars between horizontal rows to display subject categories, with light boxes beneath them to display the X's and O's. The 1978 version used monitors to display the categories and markers. On the 1990 version, the entire board was computer-generated; X's and O's would "float" from either side of the board, rather than light up or "appear", to their respective boxes after a question had been correctly answered.
Like some television games, Tic-Tac-Dough used the rollover format, sometimes known also as "straddling". The matches were not confined to single episodes and could start or end at any point in an episode, and be carried over to the next. Sometimes, an entire episode would not be long enough to show one match. The contestant who won the game was crowned champion and could return until he or she was defeated. During the NBC run, a champion could retire from the show or play against another challenger, knowing that if he or she lost, the new champion's winnings would come out of the former champion's winnings. There was no limit on the length of reign (except in the 1978 version (see below), and in the 1990 version where a 15-game limit was imposed, which was never reached). If at any point in a game it became impossible for either player to win, the game was immediately declared a draw, and the same two players would play keep playing games until a game ended in a win. Also, if the challenger lost a match that had at least one tie game, they won $250 for each tie.
|Version||Center Box||Outer Box|
|1956-1959, 1978 Daytime||$200||$100|
Losing challengers received $100 in the original run and $250 during the syndicated revivals for any tie games he/she had forced before being defeated.
At first, just one special category (starting in the lower right box, later in the lower center box) was used per game. Eventually, two appeared each game (one in the upper center, the other in the lower center at the start), then three of these appeared per game (in the upper center, center right and lower center boxes to start the game). The categories then shuffled like normal categories; though special categories never shuffled into the center box.
Other special categories used included:
Each square in the original board was given a number from 1 through 9, in ascending order. Players selected squares in an attempt to accomplish a goal of either $1,000 or a 'Tic' and a 'Tac' square before choosing the square that concealed a dragon. Oftentimes, the player would ask on the audience for assistance in choosing the right squares. If the player found the dragon, they would lose the prizes, and the game would be over.
Instead of uncovering the board immediately to find the dragon, the audience was invited to expose where the dragon was hidden behind the remaining numbers. The first player to reveal the dragon won $250 plus $50 for each unsuccessful pick (but everyone who played got a Tic Tac Dough "Dragon Finder" cap and $50 just for playing).
In this version, the contestant had to choose either X or O as their symbol, and there could be any number of X's and O's, not four of each. When the contestant found that symbol on the board, he or she won $500; the amount then doubled for every subsequent chosen symbol. The contestant could only win by finding Tic Tac Dough with their own chosen symbol, which was not always possible, or by finding an armored knight known as the "dragon slayer" (keeping with the medieval theme of a knight in shining armor slaying the dragon), which was always possible, even in the case of no Tic Tac Dough. Both the dragon and the knight were on the game board. The knight also doubled the player's money, and finding it on the first pick won $1,000 and the prize package (simiar to finding the Tic and Tac in the 1978-86 version). Of course, uncovering the dragon lost all the money and ended the bonus game.
During a point in the run, the dragon and knight would rap when introduced before the round began.
No cars were awarded on the 1990 revival.
The third highest winner was attorney Mark Leinwand, who went on to won roughly $119,000 in 18 matches. He also went on to the Tournament of Champions in 1983, and won the $50,000 grand prize for his charity.
The record for the largest single pot was overtaken later in the series by Randy James, who, in Wink Martindale's final season, competed in a series of tie games that lasted for 6 consecutive shows before winning the final pot of $46,900.
The Summer CBS run and the Syndicated version up to the end of 1980 were recorded at CBS Television City in Los Angeles. From 1981 to 1985, the show was taped at KCOP-TV "Chris Craft Studios" in Los Angeles. The 1985-1986 season was taped at The Production Group Studios in Los Angeles. The 1990 version was recorded at Hollywood Center Studios in Los Angeles.
In 1983, GameTek - then known as the Great Game Company - planned a home video game version of Tic-Tac-Dough for the Atari 2600. However, the game was cancelled in the midst of the North American video game crash of 1983. It is believed that had the game been released, it would have been a hybrid video/board game.
CDC Productions released a Flash-based version of the "Beat the Dragon" bonus game in the late 1990s, and by 2002 had released two version of the game (one based on the syndicated bonus game and one on the CBS bonus game). However, they were forced to remove the games from the cite after receiving a C&D letter from Sony Pictures Entertainment.