Blockbusters Game Show

The game show Blockbusters had two runs in the 1980's on NBC, the first from 1980 to 1982 and the second in 1987.  There were over 400 episodes that were produced with Bill Cullen hosting the first run and Bill Rafferty the second.  Each game featured three contestants as two teams.  Two family members played for the white team, and a lone competitor on the red team (this changed in 1987).  Contestants played for cash.  It is worth noting that this game was popular enough to warrant a board game version which was released in 1982 by Milton Bradley.

The game was played using rows (5 X 4) of hexagons that had letters on them.  The letters represented a clue as the first letter in the answer to a question.  For example, if the letter was "z", the question might be something like "what Z animal is white with black striped", and of course the answer would be "zebra".  The family team had to make a 5 hexagon connection to win the round by answering 5 questions in 60 seconds correctly, and the single contestant 4 hexagons in 60 seconds.  Winning the first round allowed the advancement to the Gold Rush bonus round, where $2500 was awarded to the winner.  If the team advanced to additional bonus rounds, the pot went up to $5000.  A contestant (or team) would return and play the next episode until a certain episode limit was reached.  Although the premise was the same, there was some variation to this in the version that aired in 1987.