Beat the Clock ran again from 1969-1974 with Jack Narz and later Gene Wood (who was the original announcer for the show and who traded positions with Narz in 1972) (as The New Beat the Clock), from 1979-1980 (as The All-New Beat the Clock, and later as All-New All-Star Beat the Clock), with former Let's Make a Deal host Monty Hall as host and Jack Narz as announcer, and most recently in 2002 with Gary Kroeger and Julielinh Parker as co-hosts.
The host of the show was Bud Collyer.
Substitute hosts included Bill Hart (1951), John Reed King (1952), stunt creator Frank Wayne (1953), Bob Kennedy (1954), Win Elliott (1955), and Sonny Fox, who from 1957–1960 became Mr. Collyer's substitute host. While Collyer was referred to in the introductions as "America's number one clockwatcher", the fill-in hosts were named "America's number two clockwatcher(s)."
Collyer had female assistants that helped the on-air production of the show. The original hostess was Roxanne (née Delores Evelyn Rosedale), who only used her first name as her professional name. Roxanne was replaced by Beverly Bentley in August 1955. Bentley's departure in 1956 coincided with Hazel Bishop's sponsorship and a period of having no main assistant (see production changes below).
The announcer for the show was Bernard ("Bern") Bennett until 1958. In October 1957, Beat the Clock ran a contest inviting viewers to submit drawings of what Bennett (who was never shown on camera) might look like. Over 20,000 viewers participated, and the winner (Edward Darnell of Columbus, Indiana) was flown in to appear on the show (along with Bennett) on December 2, 1957. When the show moved to ABC, Dirk Fredericks became the announcer. Substitute announcers included Lee Vines, Bob Shepard, Hal Simms, and Dick Noel.
Occasionally, if there was going to be a messy stunt, the husband would come out dressed in a plastic jumpsuit to keep his own clothes clean. Similarly, wives would sometimes play in their "street clothes", but sometimes the women would appear in a jumpsuit issued to them by the show due to the fact that their own clothing might be too cumbersome or perhaps fragile. The women's jumpsuits, unlike the men's, which were rather plain, were patterned to look like a pair of overalls with a collared blouse underneath. The women would also often be issued running shoes instead of their own high heels.
The Jackpot Clock and the Bonus Stunt (see below) would provide the templates for the traditional quiz-show bonus round, which would become a TV staple, starting in 1961 with the Lightning Round for the Goodson-Todman word game Password.
In the show's earliest set design in available episodes, there was a round display near the contestants mirroring the Clock. This display had three rings of light like a target. The outer ring would light during the $100 Clock, the middle ring for the $200 Clock, and the center circle would light during the Jackpot Clock. This feature was removed in later set designs.
Bonus Stunts were harder than the usual $100 and $200 Clocks and sometimes reached $2,000 and even $3,000 on rare occasions. The first time the Bonus reached $1,000 was on February 28, 1953, when it was won for that amount. In 1956, the Bonus Stunt was replaced by the Super Bonus (see below).
There was usually a special technique for performing the stunt that had to be figured out, but even then, the stunt was usually difficult enough to require some skill or luck once the technique was realized. Viewers would usually try to figure it out and after a few weeks on the air viewers would often get it (sometimes Collyer would remark that viewers had been writing in and he would give certain dimensions of the props used so viewers could try to figure it out at home).
Usually either contestants themselves would start appearing on the show with the technique in mind, or audience members would shout it out to try to help them. A stunt would usually take a few weeks before the audience realized the technique, and then a few more weeks before someone was able to properly employ it.
The Super Bonus was won only twice in its existence. The first Super Bonus Stunt involved the husband picking up four small paper cups from a table one at a time and stacking them atop a large helium-filled balloon using only one hand. The first seven contestants had trouble even getting the second cup stacked, but the eighth contestant to try the stunt on March 25, 1956 (the show's sixth "birthday" show) kept the balloon very close to the ground and at points held it on the ground (although Collyer warned him several times not to do so) and bounced the balloon as he grabbed the next cup. He was able to stack the four cups quickly and won $18,000, and subsequently also won the Jackpot Prize (a television). The contestants who qualified later in that program were brought back the following week to try the new Super Bonus.
The second Super Bonus Stunt again involved the husband who wore a football helmet with wooden salad bowl attached face-down on the forehead. The husband had to balance a wooden cylinder (about the size of a paper towel roll) on its end on the bowl. The cylinder was tied at its midpoint to a fishing line on a shortened fishing pole. It was designed by Frank Wayne who demonstrated the completing of the stunt before the studio audience prior to at least some of the tapings. This stunt proved very difficult, and most contestants who attempted it showed no indication of a technique for getting the rod to the bowl. Only one person even had the pole sitting flat for a brief instant until September 6, where both the first contestant (a holdover who had practiced at home) and the second contestant (for $62,000 and $63,000 respectively) managed to have the dowel sitting on the bowl for a few moments, but lost its balance when the string was slacked.
On September 15, 1956, Collyer announced that the next show would gain a new sponsor, and if the Super Bonus was not won, Fresh and Sylvania would be donating the Super Bonus Pot to charity. However, the first contestant, Gabriel T. Fontana, a holdover from the previous show of near-misses who had practiced at home, won the Jackpot of $64,000 (over $484,000 in 2007 dollars); he and his wife then won the Jackpot Prize, a washer and dryer. Each of the final three contestants employed a technique of raising the dowel very slowly so it did not swing around. Unlike the original bonus, however, the audience never seemed to catch on to a particular technique for the two Super Bonus Stunts, and advice was not usually shouted out.
Partway through the run of the second Super Bonus, a rolling desk/table with dollar value of the bonus printed on it was used to roll out the props for the stunt. This carried over to the Big Cash Bonus Stunt. It is notable that in the earliest surviving episodes from 1952 that air, the original bonus had a similar desk with the value of the bonus on it. The desk was done away with for several years until the idea was reused in 1956.
Like the original Bonus Stunt, the cash value started at $100, going up each time the stunt was not successfully completed. The largest cash bonus won on the daytime edition was $20,100 during its years on ABC.
Most stunts in some way involved physical speed or dexterity. Contestants often had to balance something with some part of their body, or race back and forth on the stage (for example, releasing a balloon, running across the stage to do some task, and running back in time to catch the balloon before it floated too high). Often the challenge was some form of target practice, in terms of throwing, rolling, bowling, etc.
The setup for the stunt was often designed to look easy but then have a complication or gimmick revealed. (For example, Collyer would say "All you have to do is stack four plates," check the Clock to see how much time they had to do it, and then add "oh, and one more thing - you can't use your hands".) Common twists included blindfolding one or both contestants, or telling them they couldn't use their hands (or feet or any body part that would be obvious to use for whatever the task was).
The other common element in the stunts was to get one of the contestants messy in some way often involving whipped cream, pancake batter, and such (usually limited to the husband of the couple). While it was not a part of every stunt, and sometimes it didn't even happen in an episode, it was common enough that when a couple brought a child on, Collyer would often ask what they thought the parents might have to do and the child would often respond "get whipped cream in their face." Many times the wife would be shown a task, be blindfolded, and then her husband would be quietly brought out and unknown to her, she would be covering him with some sort of mess. When the mess was not hidden from the wife, Collyer would often jokingly tell the husband (who usually had a short haircut) that they would put a bathing cap on his head "to keep your long hair out of your eyes" before revealing what form of mess he would be involved with. Occasionally Collyer himself would get caught in the mess accidentally. These types of stunts are very reminiscent of and might be considered a prototype for the kinds of stunts performed on future game shows such as Double Dare (although rival show Truth or Consequences was also known for these messy kinds of stunts, as well). The props employed usually included household items such as cardboard boxes, dishware, toys, and food items.
Technicality in the rules was not a major issue on the show. The goal was usually to make sure the contestants had fun. Collyer would often stop the Clock in the middle of a stunt if the contestant(s) was struggling so he could advise them on a better way to do the stunt. Often if a condition of the stunt was "don't use your hands," Collyer would ignore the first use of hands and just warn the contestant. If the time limit was nearly up on a task, he would often give them a few moments extra, or tell them if they started before the Clock ran out and succeeded in that attempt, he would count it. Sometimes if a contestant had come close enough (for example, if they had to stack cups and saucers without the pile falling over, and the contestant knocked the pile over while putting the last cup on top, he would give them the stunt if they did not have time to do it again. If there was a problem with a prop breaking or running out of a supply, such as balloons, Collyer would simply give the stunt to the couple, citing it as the show's fault. Similarly, on the messy stunts, since the goal was just to mess up the husband, the time limit was often unimportant and the Clock would be stopped when Bud felt the husband was messy enough.
Sometimes, there were theme shows, such as one episode where all the stunts were circus themed, to celebrate the circus being in town; an international show, with each stunt having some relation to some other country; a show in which certain props were used in each stunt; a birthday show on the show's anniversary; April Fools shows where there was a trick in every stunt; and an episode at the end of each year redoing favorite stunts of that year.
In order to determine if the stunts could actually be performed, and to set appropriate time limits for them, the producers hired out-of-work actors to try them out. One of those who did this work was James Dean, who was said to be able to perform any task the producers gave him to try. He was so adept that he had to be let go, as he was too fast to set the time limits by. Collyer also noted on the air a number of times that he himself tested many of the stunts while they were being developed (often noting that the contestant performed the stunt with far more ease than he had).
The sets, as was the style at the time, were freestanding pieces of furniture that sat on legs on the floor with a speaker mounted below the screen. Various models were given away over the years — sometimes the same model several times in one episode, sometimes a different model each time the Jackpot was won in an episode. Roxanne (later Beverly) would pose with the TV which was revealed from behind a curtain in a small faux living room. The earliest win of a TV in the episodes whose records still air was a Jefferson 20" cabinet. Shortly after, on September 6, 1952, the new 1953, 21" Montclair cabinet (model 177M) was unveiled. In December 1952, the 1953 21" Huntington, and the 21" Kensington corner cabinet debuted on the show, though the Montclair remained the most common prize. On April 4, 1953, a different 21" Kensington cabinet with "French provincial stylings", debuted.
Some of the other models over the years included the 24" Penhurst console, the 21" Windermere console (with French provincial stylings), and later the "Cabinet of Light" (as the line was called) models, the 21" Belvedere, and the 24" Kimberly (circa 1956).
There were also various gifts given to the contestants just for appearing on the show. There was a Sylvania Beat the Clock home game produced which was given to contestants starting in the mid-50s. When it was novel, Collyer would open the box and explain that it would be fun for not just children but adults at parties, and he would point out the working Clock and the instructions for stunts and all the props. Later in the run it would be brought out, shown and whisked away just as quickly. The boxes were reworked a few times, and there was a new edition released later in the run. Both versions were manufactured by Lowell Toy Mfg. Co. of New York, who produced a number of television-based home games at the time.
When children were brought on the show, there were special gifts. Starting on September 6, 1952, Girls brought on the show were given a Roxanne doll that was produced at the time. On October 11, 1952, the Buck Rogers Space Ranger Kit was debuted for the male children. In the mid-50s, each child was given a camera kit (the brand of the camera varied often but it always included a supply of Sylvania "Blue Dot for sure shot" flashbulbs).
If contestants were involved in a messy stunt, Roxanne (later Beverly) would come out and take a picture of the husband/couple. Initially it wasn't made clear how the couple would get the photo (perhaps mailed to them), but later in the run, the camera would be given to the couple in addition to any their children might already have been given. Collyer would explain that when they developed the film, the first photo would be that of the husband/couple.
From 1956 and for the rest of the show's run on CBS, the Jackpot Prizes usually consisted of a Magnavox Color TV; Fedders air conditioners (usually awarded as a pair); Westinghouse washer & dryer pairs, and refrigerators; Hardwick ranges; and Easy "Combomatic" combination washer-dryers.
After his introduction in early episodes, Collyer would open the show saying "Welcome once again to Beat the Clock: The show where you can have the time of your life playing against time for big time prizes."
When explaining a stunt, Collyer would almost always assure the contestants if they were successful, "...we'll stop the Clock, and you'll (have) beat(en) the Clock...". However, when contestants failed a stunt, Collyer would tell them "You didn't beat the Clock; the Clock beat you."
When the Bonus Bell rang (in the original Sylvania format, and later when it returned to a bell format for the Hazel Bishop era) Collyer would, in (perhaps mock) surprise, call out "The bonus! You get to try the bonus!"
At the end of an episode where a couple hadn't finished their Jackpot Clock, Collyer would always ask, "Can you come back next week?" and if affirmative, "Then you'll be our first contestants" (Collyer once referred to it as "the time-honored question").
At the end of every episode in the Sylvania era (and later with the Sylvania bit omitted), Collyer would close with: "Right now, this is Bud Collyer speaking for Sylvania, hoping that next time may be your time to beat the clock! Goodnight everybody."
The lyrics to the show's first Sylvania theme song, Lights of Broadway read:
The lyrics to the show's second, more commonly known Sylvania theme song read:
This new introduction debuted on December 20, 1952. Initially, between the theme and the description of Sylvania's products ("incandescent bulbs, fluorescent tubes and fixtures, flashbulbs, radio and television sets, radio and television tubes, and electronic devices suitable for homes, schools and businesses"), there was an eerie montage of different people laughing, ostensibly enjoying the show, but the clips were somewhat maniacal in appearance (possibly due to the stark black background behind the people).
Unlike the first theme, this one did not mention Sylvania; but after the laughing clips, there would be a mention of Sylvania and its products. On February 14, 1953, the laughter clips were removed from the opening.
Initially, the show ran for 45 minutes, then expanded to an hour (it is unclear if this was still on Thursday) before moving to Saturdays. The show did not have a sponsor until the Saturday night shows, and this is believed to have happened in September 1950 (Collyer mentions on October 4, 1952 that they've just celebrated two years of sponsorship).
Those prior episodes are believed to not be in the available library of episodes (hence some of the reason for the unclarity). The show was telecast from the Maxine Elliott Theater (Studio 51).
The first year or two of this period are also presumed unavailable. There were very few production changes during this period the show; The first theme song from this period was Lights of Broadway. This later changed to the more familiar Hickory Dickory Dock (lyrics quoted above). The theme from the original unsponsored show is unknown.
Sylvania began a contest in 1955 where viewers could visit a local Sylvania dealer and get an entry form to mail in for the contest. The entries were placed in a big rotating drum on the show and one of the contestant couples/families would draw the top three winners for the week (with additional winners being drawn after the show).
While not a significant change to the show itself, the contest may have been the impetus for a longer-lasting production change. Shortly before the contest drawings began, the Jackpot Board, which had been behind the contestants' podium, was moved to the first curtain to the (viewers') left of the podium. This might have been preparation for the contest, as the drum was placed behind the curtain which had previously contained the Jackpot Board.
The final notable production change in this period involved the show's opening. The show previously opened with the theme and an animated clip. Added before this was an opening teaser, which affected the show in a number of ways. In the teaser, Collyer would stand with the first couple on the show and explain the stunt they would have to perform; however, he would leave out that crucial detail that would make it difficult. The detail was not usually something easy to guess like blindfolding or whipped cream, but was usually something that would surprise everyone such as changing a factor of the stunt to make it more difficult (for example, Collyer would demonstrate throwing a baseball into a barrel but then replace the baseballs with basketballs that would barely fit into the barrel, or moving the contestant much further away from the barrel, etc.).
There were a few side effects of this change. The Clock's buzzer would sound, telling Collyer time had run out. Originally this buzzer often came while Collyer was explaining a stunt or during the performance of a stunt. The same stunt would start again the next week (in a form of suspense, perhaps, to bring the audience back). Collyer would often suggest that they practice the stunt at home (sometimes jokingly, if the stunt involved props that would be very unlikely to be found in the home). Collyer would then ask the contestants if they could come back, which they usually could.
After the opening teaser was added, contestants who had only the Jackpot Clock left and said they could come back were suddenly absent the next week, with Collyer explaining that after the show it seemed inconvenient to come back for just the Jackpot Clock, and that the couple had played the Jackpot Clock after the show went off the air. This generally avoided the next week starting with a Jackpot Clock (which would not work with the teaser).
After the change Collyer would often rush contestants to perform the Jackpot quickly if they had just barely enough time in order to not have the Jackpot Clock at the beginning of the next episode. Additionally, when a contestant ended the show in the middle of a stunt or after the stunt was explained, it was not repeated the next week. The teaser started with a brand new stunt. Collyer began telling contestants "You'll start next week with this stunt or another, we're not sure which yet" (which he said every time it happened for months), but rarely was the same stunt held over after the change (until late in the Fresh sponsorship - see below - when they started sometimes holding stunts over to the next week again).
Around the time the super bonus stunt moved from the end of the show to after the $200 Clock, the opening teaser was changed from the preview of a stunt to a preview of the Super Bonus Stunt, telling the audience what the prize was up to that week. The effects of the teaser change (the Jackpot never starting a show, couples who were in the middle of a stunt getting a new one the next week) continued, however.
These changes seemed aimed at streamlining the show and making each show run faster and less informally. After the changes, children began not being brought out with the couple (kids gradually started reappearing after several months in the middle of 1956 with less frequency than they originally had been), even when the couple said the children were backstage or in the audience. The stunts started getting a little harder and Collyer was a bit less helpful. Stunts tended to be more often aimed towards skill and difficulty than the slapstick and embarrassment that had been at the forefront in the past. (Before this, it was commonplace for every contestant to win the Jackpot in an episode.)
This in some ways "modernized" the show — one might note that the conversation between Collyer and children of contestants was very much definitive/reminiscent of early game shows of the 1950's. Similarly the addition of the teaser and the super bonus in some ways took the feel of the show away from a very informal free-flowing game that happened to have cameras rolling to a more smooth running, pressure-filled atmosphere with a more "produced" feeling with more gimmicks than ever before.
There were two other changes of note to the actual implementation of the show; first, the Jackpot Clock (the magnetic word puzzle) moved back to its original location behind the contestants' podium. Secondly were the prizes; Naturally the new sponsor brought new prizes. First the gift given to contestants still included the home game (now "courtesy of Fresh" with Fresh graphics on the box, though seemingly still including a photo of Roxanne) but the camera kits with Sylvania flashbulbs were replaced by a gift box of Fresh products (and of course, photos of messy stunts were no longer taken). The Jackpot Prize was no longer a TV set, but various rotating prizes.
On the first episode of Fresh's sponsorship, jackpot prizes included a Westinghouse Deluxe Laundromat washer and matching dryer, and a pair of York snorkel air conditioners. Betty or Eileen posed with the prizes instead of Beverly. The last Sylvania prize ever awarded on the show was a Windermere console with a hi-fi.
A new theme song was introduced called Subway Polka, and the opening teaser introduced months earlier was eliminated. The set was redressed very similar to the way it had originally appeared, and even the Clock itself went back to its original appearance (except for the Hazel Bishop name instead of Sylvania's on the face). Another change that coincided with the new sponsor and timeslot was that Beverly was no longer with the show. Contestants were introduced by the announcer, and prizes and gifts were presented by the other assistants. The gifts included a giftbox of Hazel Bishop cosmetics, and a yet-again rebranded home game.
In January 1957, the home game was replaced with a new home version of the magnetic Jackpot Board. The prizes remained, for the most part, the same or similar prizes as under Fresh's sponsorship. A few weeks into the new big cash bonus, the lighting was dimmed (or at least some camera effect was used) to darken the studio and highlight the contestants and the lights on the Clock.
Unlike previous set changes, this was not simply a redress of the walls and surfaces. The contestants were now introduced by opening a curtain to the area behind the newly redesigned podium. The Jackpot Board was moved to the wall to the left (viewers' left) of the podium/curtain. The curtained wall (with the show's title above it) between the Clock and the podium was removed to reveal a wall further back. There was a small semi-circular curtained area to the (viewers') left of the Jackpot Board which rotated more into view when needed, and contained the Jackpot Prizes.
A few weeks later, the show's title was put on the back wall again, and a curtain (that was sometimes left open) was re-added to the center stage area.
Artistically, the set had a diamond motif. The contestants were once again given the home game instead of the magnetic board. Other gifts were also given to children, such as a radio kit for young boys, or a doll for girls. A few weeks into the new night, they began playing playful music while the contestants attempted their stunts (reminiscent of how music played during the Super Bonus in the Fresh era of the show).
On June 21, 1957, the show aired unsponsored. Hazel Bishop began sponsoring only every other week. The show did not change much except for the obvious stoppage of any mention of Hazel Bishop. The clock was rebranded with the title of the show, and the podium was bare. The contestants still received the home game (a new edition that had been introduced several months earlier), but obviously, not the Hazel Bishop gifts. Other recent gifts that were still given included a crystal radio kit for boys brought on the show, and a "Beat The Clock, Rags to Riches" doll (whose clothes changed her into a princess) for girls.
(Because records after this period are not currently distributed (see below), the dates are difficult to confirm.)
There was one amendment to the format of the daytime version: As long as contestants kept beating the Clock, they stayed on; after two "wins" they won what was more or less a prize package, sometimes consisting of an entire room of furniture; major appliances; (for expectant or newlywed mothers), a nursery; a prize package that could consist of "kid oriented" items, like clothes, toys & games, bicycles, etc. These victories also increased opportunities for the contestants to try to win the Bonus Stunt more than once. The Bonus Stunt would revert to the nighttime version's original initial payoff of $100; increasing by that amount each time it wasn't won; Unlike the nighttime version, a new car was also at stake. Eventually, the contestants would have their choice of either the new car or a boat if they won the Bonus Stunt.
Another new wrinkle was "Ladies' Day". Usually once a week, only women would appear as contestants. Sometimes, when entire families appeared on the show, there would be a stunt that would at least include, if not totally engage, the children of the family.
The daytime show was not a failure, but it did not meet CBS' expectations. It was announced that Beat the Clock would be replaced by The Jimmy Dean Show in September. The daytime show aired on CBS for just under a year until September 12, 1958. However, at the time ABC was in the process of developing a daytime lineup which it previously lacked. They began picking up low-budget shows. CBS permitted Collyer to move to ABC with the agreement that ABC would not air a nighttime version. Following a short hiatus, the show began again on October 13, 1958 at 3:00 PM and ran through January 27, 1961 (following one last attempted move to 12:30 PM).
Like most kinescope recordings that have been put into current use, the films have been transferred to video tape (and in some cases, the videos into digital form). Some kinescopes or video tapes are lost or in too poor quality to broadcast so there are sometimes gaps in the available catalogue of episodes. There is one "public domain" episode - not part of GSN's catalogue - that dates to sometime in October, 1951...possibly making it the oldest surviving episode in existence.
It is unclear whether the daytime episodes (both CBS and ABC) are lost or damaged, but the episodes are rarely seen. However, among the collectors/traders circuit, there is one surviving daytime episode from September 1960, which features a Bonus Stunt win of $20,100 plus the choice of a car or a boat, which set a record for daytime TV winnings in the post-scandal era. GSN currently holds rights to air the show and has episodes from the original nighttime series with a few exceptions due to the aforementioned issues. Their episodes seem to range from the episode believed to have aired August 2, 1952 (when John Reed King was guest hosting) until the final episode before the CBS daytime began, even though the nighttime series continued normally the next week.
GSN, at one time dominated by black-and-white game shows, now airs almost none. Their latest run of Beat the Clock (at 3:00 with What's My Line? at 3:30) ended the morning of April 1, 2006. It was replaced by the original run of I've Got A Secret, which was shortly thereafter replaced by an AM rerun of the brand new revival version of that series. Starting the morning of July 4, 2006, GSN, Beat the Clock returned to its former timeslot, lasting only until August when the entire 3:00-4:00 block was replaced by The Amazing Race.
GSN does occasionally air single episodes of classic game shows during tributes or specials, or clips of them during clip shows. Other than such occurrences, the show is not currently airing on American television.
Prior to the start of tapings for the second season, Clock relocated to Montreal, Canada as a cost-saving experiment. This makes it the only Goodson-Todman game show to be produced in Canada (not counting French-Canadian versions of their shows). CTV aired the series for Canadian audiences during its four-year stay in Montreal.
At some point during the show, the celebrity would perform a "Solo Stunt" (which seemed to have supplanted the Bonus Stunt on the original show). The couples could win $50 if they guessed correctly whether the star could beat the Clock or time would expire on him or her. Towards the end of Narz's tenure as host, stunts would be replaced in the second half of the show with the celebrity playing a game of intuition with the couples, who would play for a cash prize that was divided among them.
During this time, the show was syndicated through 20th Century Fox Television. One unusual aspect of these shows was that Narz's suit jackets had a "Beat The Clock" logo sewn onto their pockets.
During the first season in Canada with the cash board, a couple picked the "L" in "CLOCK" as their first choice. Because the undersides of the letter tiles were completely blank, it caused an inadvertent blooper, as the board then read "BEAT THE C_OCK"; thereafter, the undersides of each tile contained a duplicate of the corresponding letter to prevent such an incident from happening again.
Because of the show's prohibitive budget, he had to pay his own way to commute from his home in Los Angeles to Montreal. Despite buying plane tickets in Canada (which, due to lower currency value, ordinarily benefited American tourists), he still suffered significant expenses. However, even a successful appeal to Mark Goodson for more money was not enough, as the costs mounted to the point of basically erasing much of his earnings from the show.
Thus, former announcer Gene Wood (who had, as a moonlighting job, been hosting a similar stunt game titled Anything You Can Do, a battle-of-the-sexes competition also recorded in Canada) came out from behind the sound booth to become host of the show for what turned out to be its final two seasons; local staff announcer Nick Hollinrake (notably the announcer on CTV's The Mad Dash) assumed the voice-over duties from Wood (Hollinrake had announced for a week during Narz's final season in which Wood was the celebrity guest). The show changed syndicators, to Firestone Syndication Services (which at the time, also syndicated another Goodson-Todman show, To Tell the Truth, whose original network host, like Clock, was Bud Collyer).
Now referred to as The New Beat the Clock (although the show's logo still read simply "Beat the Clock"), the set was refreshed with a new color scheme, and the clock got a redesign as well. As was the case with Jack Narz, Gene Wood's suit jackets also had a "Beat The Clock" logo sewn onto their pockets.
The only changes in the format were (possibly as a throwback to the Collyer era) that couples were introduced separately and played two stunts, win or lose (a win still getting a trip to the Cash Board); and both couples competed simultaneously in a final stunt, with the winning couple receiving a prize. Celebrity guests were retained in the new format, once again aiding the contestants, and performing the Solo Stunt as well as "co-judge" with Wood in the final stunt of the day. Another throwback to the Collyer era (when the show was seen in the daytime) was the revival of "Ladies' Day," where women only (not counting the celebrity for that week) would play the game.
Despite continued popularity on local stations in both daytime and prime-time access timeslots, Goodson-Todman decided to discontinue production of Clock when, in 1974, CTV asked the company for half of the proceeds from advertisers awarding their wares as contestant consolation prizes. Wood, returning to voice-over work, went on to a 20-year career announcing Los Angeles-based shows for G-T and, occasionally, other packagers; he did not host another television show ever again.
This incarnation was the only one of the four Beat the Clock editions to originate from Los Angeles (except for the Gameshow Marathon episode).
The table had no walls around it, and any pucks which were thrown or knocked off the side or end of the table, as well as any which did not reach the first money stripe, did not count and were removed. The team whose puck that was furthest along the board at the end of play, and which was touching a money stripe (there was just enough space between stripes for a puck not to touch either) won that amount and got to play the bonus stunt for ten times the amount. Both couples kept their winnings from the first two rounds, but these winnings were not used in determining the champions. The couple who won the bonus shuffle would return as champions for the next episode.
If the neither team had a puck touching a money amount at the end of the game, or if the pucks were equidistant from the end of the board, the teams would play a playoff. The team with the advantage from the earlier rounds chose whether to throw first or second. Each team threw one puck. The first spot of the first puck was marked, and it was removed before the second team threw. The furthest puck touching a money amount was the winner like in the regular game.
Later in the run, a gold dollar bill was added. If it was grabbed the money won was doubled (adding cash if prizes were won; adding $500 in cash for each one grabbed to the team's total, on the pilot).
Finally, there were no returning champions on this version.