Before competitions became the mainstay of 21st game shows, in the 1980s words ruled in the daytime game show Chain Reaction.
Created by Bob Stewart, the show’s premise was to create a word chain of eight words. Two teams of three compete in each game, comprised of one contestant and two celebrities.
A coin toss determined the starting team, with the challenging team starting the game in the next round. Words are revealed one letter at a time, with the contestants winning points for correct guesses. The team which hit 50 points or figured out the chain would win.
On average teams would go through two chains of words to win the game, but occasionally it would go to three chains.
The winner would go to the bonus round, with the opportunity to win $10,000, while the loser would receive $5 per point earned in the game as a consolation prize.
Debuting in 1980 on NBC TV, Chain Reaction was Initially hosted by Bill Cullen and then Blake Emmons, the host’s job was finally taken on by Geoff Edwards.
The show was sold to a few foreign countries, with a version done for French Canada, Indonesia, Italy, Turkey and the United Kingdom, and became a mainstay of daytime television syndication in the US and Canada.