Video Village

Video Village was an American television game show produced by Heatter-Quigley Productions which aired on the CBS network in daytime from July 11, 1960 to June 15, 1962 and in primetime from July 1 to September 16, 1960.

It was notable for the use of its unique "living board game" concept, as well as being one of the first new games to premiere after the quiz show scandals.

Personnel

Jack Narz served as the host (introduced on-air as "the Mayor") from the show's premiere until September 9, 1960, after which he departed for personal reasons. Red Rowe filled in as Mayor for the week of September 16 (including the final nighttime episode); the following Monday, Monty Hall replaced him and hosted through the remainder of the show's run.

Kenny Williams served as the announcer (the "town crier") throughout the show's run. Joanne Copeland served as the show's original hostess during its time originating from New York City. Shortly after Hall joined the show and Heatter-Quigley moved the show to CBS Television City in Hollywood, California, Copeland was replaced by Eileen Barton.

Rules

Two contestants played the role of "tokens" on a human-size gameboard with three "streets:" Money Street, Bridge Street and Magic Mile. Players advanced according to the roll of a large six-sided die in a birdcage-like contraption, rolled on the sidelines by a partner (almost always a spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend) and called out by announcer Williams. After "Video Village" moved to California, the die was replaced by an electric randomizer that proved unpopular with viewers who still enjoyed the Vegas-style die cage from the Milton Bradley home game.

The squares changed throughout the show's run, but some of the more notable ones included:

*"Money squares": Located on Money Street, contestants received between $5-$20 depending on the space.
*"Jail": Located between Money Street and Bridge Street, contestants could be sent here either by landing on a "Go to Jail" space or drawing a card which instructed them to do so. To get out, the contestant had to successfully predict whether their roll would be either even (2,4,6) or odd (1,3,5).
*"Shops": Located on the Magic Mile, these were five themed "stores" (Bank, Appliance Store, Jewelry Store, etc.) which each contained a prize. The first contestant to land on the store's space won that prize.
*"Exchange Places": The very last square on the board before the two "Finish" lines, the unlucky contestant who landed here must change places with their opponent--no matter how far back he or she was.

The first contestant to reach either of the two "Finish" spaces (they had to do so by an exact roll) won the game. Both contestants kept the cash and prizes they accumulated, with the winner getting to play in the next game.

pinoffs

A spinoff, "Video Village Junior" aired on Saturday mornings from September 30, 1961 to June 16, 1962; It was essentially the same game, except with children participating as the contestants (and a parent serving as their "significant other"). Its last episode aired the day after "Video Village" concluded its run.

Two years following "Village"'s cancellation, a new Saturday morning kids' show, "Shenanigans", premiered with gameplay similar to that of "Village". It aired on ABC in 1964 and 1965, and was also a Heatter-Quigley production. Like "Village", a board game based on the show was manufactured by Milton-Bradley.

Foreign Versions

In Canada, there was a spinoff called "The Mad Dash" which became very popular.

Australia had a version in the mid-1960's made by Crawfords for Channel 7.

Board Game

In 1960, Milton Bradley released a board game "home version" of the game. Its rules closely matched those of the television program. The game proved popular enough that Milton Bradley continued to sell copies even after the show had been cancelled.

Music

Music for the show was provided by a live organ and drums combo. Additionally, when Monty Hall became host, the "Village Bus," a golf cart-like vehicle, was added to shuttle contestants from the finish line back to start at the conclusion of the game. While driving it, he and hostess Eileen Barton would sometimes sing "The Village Bus Song", added to showcase both hosts' musical abilities.

The theme song's lyrics::"Oh, Video Village is the place":"Where people wear a happy face":"There's so many things to see and do":"For you, and you, and you!"

ource

*"Total Television", by Alex McNeil, Penguin Books.
*"Interview with Jack Narz", by Stu Shostak, [http://www.shokusradio.com Shokus Radio]


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