CBS TV’s Password Returns Tonight, from New York

While there is no Allen Ludden, there is still Password.

Tonight, a new version of the classic game show premieres. It’s a one-hour version called Million Dollar Password. Last fall, CBS re-ordered the show, which first debuted in October 1961 on CBS daytime. It went on CBS prime time in January of 1962 on Tuesday at 8 p.m., and ran through May of 1967. The game was revived twice, with Tom Kennedy and Bert Convy as hosts.

It’s a simple but wonderful game, where teams of a celebrity and contestant guess a password that the audience and viewer knows. After a succession of passwords, the winner goes onto a “Lightning Round” where five passwords would be guessed in 60 seconds.

It is produced by FremantleMedia North America, which purchased Goodson Todman. It will be authentic as it will be produced in New York, where the show was first produced until the NBC version hosted by Bert Convy, which was taped in Hollywood.

If anyone is interested in the history, the Wikipedia entry on Password is nothing short of brilliant, including a mention of the composer of the theme song. It also mentions that the original daytime show was canceled by Fred Silverman, daytime head of CBS, who replaced it by the soaper Love is a Many Splendored Thing.

The show was created by Mark Stewart for Mark Goodson and Bill Todman; BrandlandUSA has argued that the Goodson Todman brand needs to still be used by Fremantle, which owns the intellectual property. Read our post on it here at Revive Goodson-Todman.

We heard last night on WABC 77 radio’s Mark Simone show that Betty White, Ludden’s widow, will make an appearance.

Want some more info on Goodson-Todman? There are several websites devoted to the duo, including one by a fellow wearing Botany 500 and nicknamed Ranger Ian, Ian McLinn. His website is at My Mark Goodson Bill Todman Page.


  • Garland Pollard

    J. Garland Pollard IV is editor/publisher of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands.

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