- Supermarket Sweep
:"For more information on the British version of Supermarket Sweep, see
Dale's Supermarket Sweep".Infobox Television
show_name = Supermarket Sweep
genre = Game show
creator = Al Howard
director = Lloyd Gross (1965-1967)
Peter Molnár (1965-1967)
Chris Darley (1990-1995; 2000-2003)
presenter = Bill Malone (1965-1967)
David Ruprecht(1990-1995; 2000-2003)
narrated = Wally King (1965-1966)
Richard Hayes (1966-1967)
Johnny Gilbert(1990-1995; 2000) Randy West(2000-2003)
theme_music_composer = Christopher Rhyne
country = USA
language = English
num_seasons = 10
num_episodes = 1,000+
Leonard B. Stern(1965-1967)
Al Howard (1990-1995; 2000-2003)
company = Talent Associates (1965-1967)
Al Howard Productions (1990-1995; 2000-2003)
Food Fair(1965-1967) Hollywood Center Studios(1990-1995; 2000-2001) NBC Studios(2001-2003)
runtime = 30 minutes (including commercials)
network = ABC (1965-1967)
December 20, 1965
May 23, 2003(reran until March 26, 2004)
related = "
Dale's Supermarket Sweep"
imdb_id = 0180384
tv_com_id = 5590
"Supermarket Sweep" was an American
television game show. Part of the format was similar to other team-based quiz shows, the other part was a live-action race through a supermarket, a novel concept at the time. In the timed race, cameras followed the teams with shopping carts though a large vacated supermarket with several aisles; the value of items thrown into the cart determined the winning team. The original show was broadcast on ABC (1965-1967), with revivals airing on Lifetime (1990-1995, reran until 1998) and later PAX (2000-2003, reran until 2004).
ABC's "Supermarket Sweep" was broadcast from
Food Fairsupermarkets, mostly around New York City. For the Lifetime version, a mock supermarket was created at Hollywood Center Studios. It was modeled after a Hughes Marketuntil September 1993, when it was remodeled again after a Unified Western Market. The PAX version was staged in the same set and studio as the Lifetime version. Beginning in September 2001, the show moved to NBC Studios.
The host for the 1965 to 1967 ABC version was Bill Malone. The announcers were Wally King from 1965 to 1966, and Richard Hayes from 1966 to 1967, with
Johnny Olsonand Gene Woodas frequent substitutes during those years. The host for the 1990 to 1995 Lifetime version and the 2000 to 2003 PAX version was David Ruprecht. The announcers were Johnny Gilbertfrom 1990 to 1995 and the first half of the 2000-2001 season, and Randy Westfor the rest of the show's run from 2000 to 2003.
"Supermarket Sweep" originated on ABC and aired from
December 20, 1965to July 14, 1967. The show was revived by Lifetimeon February 5, 1990, and ran until May 26, 1995, with reruns airing until August 14, 1998. It was revived again by PAXon April 3, 2000, and continued there until May 23, 2003, with reruns airing until March 26, 2004. PAX reaired the episodes from the final Lifetime season (1994-1995) from April 5, 1999to March 31, 2000.
Gameplay (ABC version)
Two teams, usually married couples, competed. Each team began with a base time of one minute. In the first part of the game, the teams were shown a grocery item and were asked to guess its retail price. The team who came the closest won the item and an additional 10 seconds to their time. Six items were played.
In the second part of the game, one contestant from each team went on a shopping spree through the market, using the time accumulated in the first half of the game; two contestants ran the sweeps separately. After each contestant ran their sweep, the total value of groceries in each player's cart was determined. The team with the highest total won the right to return to the show and play in the next game. Both teams kept the groceries they picked up.
Gameplay (Lifetime/PAX version)
The gameplay of the Lifetime/PAX version of "Supermarket Sweep" consisted of three segments: the question round, the Big Sweep, and the Bonus Sweep. The game was played between three teams of two related individuals, such as a parent and child, spouses, siblings, or best friends. In the last two rounds, the team members wore sweatshirts of the same color. The show gave the appearance that pairs were chosen to be contestants based on who in the audience (or in the show's last two seasons, the market) held the pre-distributed grocery items that the announcer called for at the beginning of the show.
At the beginning of the game, all three teams started with a base time of 1:30. The questions answered correctly added time to their clocks. The round was divided into three sub-rounds; in the first two sub-rounds, one teammate from each team answered a variety of questions and/or played one of several games that involved pricing everyday grocery items, with the teammates switching between sub-rounds. The third sub-round was a Round Robin game, in which the teammates rotated after each question.
Players were asked a series of questions, usually with a specific brand of grocery items as answers; each question was worth 10 seconds. In each round, the questions followed a specific format, which varied between rounds and shows. The formats used on the show included:
* Guessing which item a series of interesting facts described.
* Guessing which item went with a particular
* Determining the brand name of a product, the picture of which had the brand name edited out.
* Selecting one or more of the answers to a series of questions from a bank of five or six possible choices.
* Filling in the blanks to reveal a product's name; contestants were either given clues and/or letters that were progressively added.
* 50/50 Guesses - Selecting the correct answer earned 10 seconds; selecting the wrong one gave the other two teams 10 seconds.
* Animal Sounds - Given 5 of the
animals (cow, sheep, pig, chicken, and fish) as the answer choices, answered by making the correct animal's sound.
* Twisted - Guessing a product's name from synonyms and/or antonyms that replaced each word - for example, "Cow's Ear" is a clue for Bull's-Eye Barbecue Sauce.
* County Fair - Tested the players' sense of knowledge of a particular gadget.
* Supermarket Trivia - David asked Questions on how well the players know about the items sold in the Supermarket.
During each sub-round, different games were played involving everyday groceries. These games varied from day to day and generally involved the following objectives:
* Selecting which of the three items was priced above or below a certain amount, was not a given price, was on sale, was incorrectly priced, was correctly priced, or was the most expensive.
* Determining how much of one item could be bought for a certain amount of money.
* Higher or Lower - Guessing whether a product sold for an amount higher or lower than the actual price given. A variation also included the possibility of the shown price being correct.
If a player was correct, he/she earned 10 seconds for his/her team; however, if all three players were right, 20 seconds (30 in the "On Sale" game, and for all games since early 1994) was added to all three teams' times.
*30-Second Shootout - At the beginning of the second sub-round of the question round, both contestants on a team played an individual game, which banked the team 30 seconds of Sweep time; each team took turns by playing the game individually. The format usually consisted of a contestant guessing a series of words using the clues given by his or her partner (a la "
The $25,000 Pyramid" and "Password"). The first letter of each correct answer was a letter in the name of a brand name or item from the market, which the guesser then had to determine to earn the Sweep time. Each of the teams had 30 seconds to achieve this (40 in the Lifetime era), and if a word was accidentally blurted out by the clue-giver, the team was disqualified automatically. An additional rule was that once a clue was used on one of the words in the list, it was not to be used again. On some episodes, an alternative format was used with a picture of a product shown. Each clue changed the product's picture.
*Snack Attack Movie Game - Three 10-second questions about movies were asked. The player who answered the last three questions correctly earned the right to take a taste test of a food item in the market (he/she had as much as he/she wanted); correctly identifying the item earned that team a $50 bonus for the Big Sweep. If he/she guessed right on a second chance (multiple choice at that point), that team earned $25.
For the final sub-round, the teammates switched after each question. The contestants were shown the scrambled letters of a brand name, common food, or item, and three clues were given for 10 seconds each. If no one buzzed in and then answered correctly after the last clue was given, all three clues were repeated quickly. On some episodes, an alternative format was used with five clues given and no scrambled name. The Round Robin originally consisted of four questions, but was lengthened to six in 1992.
Beginning in September 1991, a Mini-Sweep was played at the beginning of the first round. A toss-up question (usually a rhyming couplet) was asked with a particular product as the answer. The team that correctly answered the question earned ten seconds, as well as a chance for one team member to run into the market to retrieve the product, which was marked with the show's logo. If the product was returned within 30 seconds, the team won $50 towards their Sweep total. If the team member returned with the correct product but not the specific item marked with the show's logo, no money was earned.
A year after its debut, the bonus was doubled to $100 if the product was brought back within 20 seconds. After 3 seasons, a second Mini-Sweep was added at the beginning of the second round and was later used only during special weeks on the PAX version.
The "Big Sweep" was the chance for the teams to run throughout the aisles and to grab whatever they could off of the supermarket shelves. The clock was set to the highest time that was earned by the three teams. The runner for that team was sent out into the market, with the other runners entering when their time had remained on the clock. During the Big Sweep, the show's announcer provided the "play-by-play."
The runner could bring their cart back to the team's register at any time, at which point it was exchanged for an empty cart. Any items in the runner's cart when the bell rang were included in their total.
The three main rules for the Big Sweep were:
* The three teams were only able to take up to five of each item;
* Any items that were dropped and/or knocked over had to be put back on the shelf or in one's cart or incur a $25 penalty for each item.
* Only one member of each team was to be in the store at a time. The other team member was required to remain at the checkout counter to unload the groceries.
The product limit, which was absent in the original ABC version of the show, was added to prevent a team from overloading their carts with expensive items, such as
poultry, laundry detergent or over-the-counter drugs. Teams were also penalized money, although this was uncommon. A team was penalized $25 for every item that they dropped and did not pick up; in addition, penalties were incurred for running into supermarket displays, into the cameramen or any other show personnel.
In most episodes of the show's first season on Lifetime (the 1990-1991 season), costumed characters such as
Frankenstein's Monster, a gorilla, Mr. Yuck etc, ran through the aisles during the Sweep. If he came near a contestant or vice versa, the contestant had to turn around and go in the other direction. Both characters were dropped in 1991.
Once time ran out, all products were scanned while the show took a final commercial break. Afterwards, the grand totals of each team's efforts were revealed. The team with the highest grand total, including bonuses from the question round, won cash in the amount of their Sweep total and a chance to play in the Bonus Sweep. In early episodes of the first season, the totals included cents. In later episodes, and for the rest of the series, the totals were rounded off to the nearest dollar.
Many bonuses were available during the Big Sweep at different times during the show's run. Each contestant was only able to take one of each bonus type. Some of these included:
* Bonus Specials - Value: $50 to $200 (later up to $250):
Stuffed animals, giant, inflated balloons of products, or cardboard promotional signs for products with bonus tags attached to them were scattered throughout the market. In order for the bonus to count, the runner had to bring the item back to the checkouts and over the red line (without destroying it or the tag) before the time expired. A runner was allowed to steal an opposing team's item if it was left unprotected before getting it to the checkouts. These over-sized products and/or signs were worth $50, $100 or $200. In September 1993, a fourth bonus worth $250 (dubbed the "Super Bonus") was added to the market; during the Twin Car Giveaway Tournament, a $300 bonus (dubbed the "Super Super Bonus") was added, replacing the $50 bonus. Only one bonus was allowed per team. This was the only bonus feature to appear in every episode.
* Coffee - Value: $100 (later $200): Runners were required to grind a pound of
Millstone Coffeeor Maxwell Housecoffee.
* Candy - Value: $100 (later $200): Runners were required to bag and weigh $1.00 (give or take $0.02) worth of Brach's Candy.
* Shopping List - Value: $250 (later $300 for the Alphabet Game): Before the Sweep, David gave a list of the 3 products (originally 4) in the market to be found. The Alphabet Game was played the same way, but with David mentioning the 3 consecutive letters of the alphabet as well as the products beginning with those letters (the products had to be placed into the mini-baskets that were located in the front of the cart to count, and only one of each item; multiple mini-baskets could be used if they needed to be used). Other variations included the Magazine Display (picking up the 3 or 4 magazines that were listed by David, from the many titles to choose from), the Jelly Belly Machine (bagging the 3 flavors of
Jelly Bellyjelly beans that David wanted, from the many flavors to choose from), the International Bread Center (bagging certain quantities of the 3 bread types that were listed by David, from the many bread types to choose from), the Fruit Fantasy (putting the certain quantities of lemons, apples, oranges, and grapefruits into a fruit basket), the Breakfast Break (getting the 5 breakfast items that David asked for, with the help of their partners; this was later changed to 2 breakfast items), the Cake (designing the cake and writing the show's name and the team's number on the cake), and the Frozen Yogurt Machine (dispensing the 3 flavors of frozen yogurt into a plastic cup, from the 4 flavors to choose from: Triple Fudge Chocolate, Vanilla Bean Dream, Sweet Peachy Peach, and Berry Berry Raspberry).
* Mystery Product - Value: $250 ($300 if a movie): Runners tried to find a product using the clues displayed on three
televisionmonitors in the market. This bonus was later changed to the use of two television monitors from April 2000 through May 2003. Another variation included "Splitting the Name," with one half of a product's name on each of the two monitors. For the "$300 Movie," midway through the Sweep, David announced "Activate the TV monitors," at which point the television monitors came into play.
* Manager's Special or Red Tag Special - Value: $200: During the Sweep, the host announced the "Manager's Special" or the "Red Tag Special" of the day via the market's loudspeaker. The contestant had to run to a red-and-white barrel at the front of the market that was filled with canned goods (for the "Manager's Special") or a shopping cart at the back of the market (for the "Red Tag Special") and find the specially marked item (marked with a red star or X for the "Manager's Special," or marked with a red tag for the "Red Tag Special"). An unmarked item awarded no bonus to the team, even if it was the correct product.
* Stack Job or Recycle Machine - Value: $100 (later $150): Runners had to find one of the three bags filled with empty soda cans that were spread throughout the market and return the bag to their partner. Their partner then had to go to their table and stack all 21 empty soda cans in the shape of a pyramid as shown before the Sweep began, and he/she had to use every can. Getting the "Stack Job" done awarded the team a token good for the bonus. For the "Recycle Machine," the partner had to go to the recycling machine and crunch all 10 cans into the machine, one at a time, and getting all cans crunched issued a receipt good for the bonus.
* Super Sandwich - Value: $200: Before the Sweep began, the host specified a sandwich to make. Runners were required to make the sandwich precisely as described; including five meats, both cheeses, lettuce, mayonnaise, and mustard; then wrap it in
foiland seal it in a bag with a twist tie. To earn the bonus, the sandwich had to be in their cart before the bell.
* Sweep Swipe or Market Madness - Value: $200-$250: A limited supply of the items (two cases of candy, three boxes of detergent, etc.) were placed in front of the three tables or the shopping carts, one for each of the three teams. Runners moved the items (from the floor or from another team's table or cart), one at a time, onto their own table or their cart. For each item in one's possession at the end of the bell, the team received a bonus (either $50 or $100 per item).
* Cracker Jackpot! or Jolly Time Is Money! - Value: $100 (later $150): Runners tore open boxes of
Cracker Jackor Jolly Time Popcornin order to find a token with the show's shopping cart logo on it.
* Bonus Envelope - Value: $200: Halfway through the Sweep, the host announced a clue to a specific product. After hearing the clue, the partners at the checkout counter ran into the market to find their teammates and give them the clue. If the teammate points out the item to their partner, the money was lost. Runners had to find the product and take the bonus envelope that was located next to it. A variation was played with movie titles at the video stand.
* Giant Box of Laundry Detergent - Value: $25-$100: A giant box of laundry detergent (Gain or Cheer) was located at the back of the store with the four colored envelopes on it. The runner picked one of the envelopes and the money was added to the team's total.
* Balloon Pop - Value: $150: Three of the shopping carts or the large garbage bags filled with balloons were located in one of the back corners of the supermarket. Runners brought back one of the carts/bags to the checkouts for their partners to pop. Their partners had to pop all of the balloons before the had time expired.
* Instant Coupon Machines - A contestant won bonus money by getting a coupon and locating the associated product on a supermarket shelf nearby.
* Double and Triple Coupons - Certain items had double-value or triple-value coupons located on or near the actual item that multiplied its value accordingly.
The winning team was given 60 seconds to find three products in the market. They were given a clue to the first product, after which the time started. The second clue was affixed to the first product, and the third clue was on the second product. If the team found the third product, they won $5,000. The winning team had to find all three products and return with them to win the money. If they found the final product before one of the other products, originally the team would automatically lose, but after the first 2 seasons, the team that found the $5,000 too soon were just reminded to find all three products, then return to find the money. If the team was unsuccessful, the team still won $200 for each product found. The team had to have their hands on the money before the bell signaled the end of the 60 seconds.
Clues had several formats in the series. Some clues were two-line rhymes describing the product, with its brand name as the final missing word in the rhyme. Other clues used a play-on words of the product's title. On occasion, clues lead to a movie in the movie rack, a fruit or a vegetable in the produce section, a flower in a special kiosk located at the front of the market that was used only during the Bonus Sweep, or a greeting card near the magazine rack.
During both runs of the show, special tournaments were held periodically, as well as other individual shows in which former teams were invited back for a chance to win more money or a trip.
Twin Car Giveaway
From September 5-30, 1994, at the beginning of the show's final season on Lifetime, a month-long Twin Car Giveaway tournament was held. During the first three weeks of the tournament, a standard game was played each day. The twelve teams with the highest Big Sweep totals from these episodes at the end of the third week returned for the fourth and final week, in which games were played with no Bonus Sweep. The six teams with the highest Big Sweep totals during that final week returned for the Friday show to play for a pair of
Geo Trackers. On the Friday show, the first three teams played an eight-question Round Robin game, where each correct answer was worth $50 towards their Sweep total. Each of the first three teams then had a flat three minutes in the Big Sweep. This process was repeated for the other three teams. At the end of the show, the team with the highest Big Sweep total won the two cars (a combined value of more than $25,000) in addition to whatever else that they won on their previous shows. Team #1, James and Rick, won with a Big Sweep total of $1,598, and won a grand total of $28,710 (the highest grand total ever). A total of $84,562 in cash and prizes was won by the contestants over the four week period.
Other tournaments and specials
Occasionally, former teams were invited back to play for additional money or a trip. These consisted largely of "Sweeps of Champions", which gave previous winners a chance to go on another Bonus Sweep for the opportunity to play and get a second chance at $5,000. "Gourmet Week" allowed the teams to play for a trip to France. "Second Chance" episodes allowed previous winners who won their Big Sweep, but missed the $5,000 to come back for a second chance to go for that amount. In the "You Can't Lose!" episodes, one team was guaranteed to win $5,000. On a few early "Sweeps of Champions" episodes, former players were invited back for a chance to double their money to $10,000. "Double Your Money Week" was similar to the few early "Sweeps of Champions" episodes from the Lifetime version, except in the PAX version, the winning team with the highest Super Big Sweep total at the end on the final day did not have to run around the market looking for another $5,000 as in early "Sweeps of Champions" episodes, they automatically doubled their money to $10,000. The Lifetime run also featured "Mother Daughter Week," which consisted of all mothers and daughters playing for $5,000 (with the daughters playing the Question Games and the mothers playing the Pricing Games; the daughters ran in the Big Sweeps). "Cruise to Paradise" episodes invited back 12 former teams who lost their Big Sweep, which gave them a chance to play for a 7-day Carnival Cruise for 2 (and 2 guests) to the Mexican Riviera. The Bonus Sweep was played in the first 4 shows, and the top 3 winning teams of the week would compete in the final day for the cruise. No Bonus Sweep was played in the finals.
When the show moved to PAX in April 2000, several themed week-long tournaments were held, such as "Family Week," "Tournament of Heroes Week," and "Carnival Cruise Week" or "Cruise to Paradise Week". These tournaments usually consisted of four standard episodes on Monday through Thursday, with the three teams scoring the highest in the Big Sweep returning on the Friday show to play a Super Big Sweep for the grand prize (usually cash or a trip). In almost all tournaments, no Bonus Sweep was played on the Friday shows. The team automatically won the grand prize on the final day of the tournament.
A syndicated Canadian version of the show, later aired on the
Global Television Network, was produced between 1992 and 1995 and is currently airing on GameTVin Canada. Tino Montéwas the, according to the opening, "host and games master extraordinaire" and Dave King was the announcer. The supermarket in this version was much smaller than in the US version, and did not contain the specialty racks such as videos, cards or flowers. The question rounds each began with a Mini-Sweep, which if won, added $50 to the total.
Each team started with a base time of 1:00 (reduced from 1:30 on the US version), and for the Big Sweep, only the Shopping List bonus was used in every episode. The Manager's Special (using a wooden crate rather than a red-and-white barrel) was also sometimes used. While the five-per-item rule appeared to be in play (contestants would frequently take five of most items), the announcer rarely mentioned either the rules of the Sweep, or the value of the products. There didn't appear to be any bonus items throughout the store on this version, though.
Originally, the bonus round had the winners looking for $5,000, as with the American show, but later on, the winning team chose a scroll representing one of the letters in the show's title, containing a cash amount of $500, $1,000 or $5,000, or a prize such as a Doncaster recliner, two Bulova watches, Mini Maid service for a year, a VCR, a 32" television, or a trip to Acapulco, Mexico or even Cuba (which has never been a prize on an American game show because of the regime).
At this time, it is unknown what the Canadian version's set was modeled after.
A British version of "Supermarket Sweep" was produced between 1992 and 2001 and aired during the day with
Dale Wintonas host and Bobby Bragg as announcer and it was produced by FremantleMediafor Carltonon ITV. The show was revived in 2007 and filming for 60 new episodes began in January 2007 at the Maidstone Studios, this time produced by talkbackTHAMES. The rules were the same as the American and Canadian shows, except they were looking for £2,000. The original show was taped at Central's Lenton Lane studios in Nottingham, and the setup was a little different from the US version of the show. The new version has a slightly different set from the original, and it has a new theme tune. The grand prize has also been upped to £5,000. UK "Fun House" announcer Gary King has also replaced Bobby Bragg as announcer.
As in Canada, teams started with 1:00 rather than the U.S. time of 1:30. As with the USA and Canada, they started with a Mini-Sweep, worth £25 to the sub-total.
Unlike other versions, teams could only grab no more than three of one item, as opposed to five. As with the U.S. and Canada, the "Shopping List" was also used frequently. The Manager's Special (renamed "Dale's Sale" for the UK) was also used on some occasions. Brand names were rarely, if ever, mentioned on this version. Also, the UK version did have some games of their own, including "Pricing Gun", where teams could earn £50 by pricing up to 12 coffee pots. The bonuses only went from £25 to £100 on this version.
The original set was transformed to look like a Co-op, ASDA or Somerfield market, depending on the season. The current set resembles an ASDA market, due to ASDA sponsoring the show. Like the U.S. set, this did have racks of videos and flowers, etc. that the Canadian version lacked.
Australian version of the show was produced by Grundy, airing on the Nine Networkbetween 1992 and 1994 with former " The Price is Right" host Ian Turpieas host, assisted by "the lovely Tania" ( Tania Zaetta). Col Mooney and Alan Glover served as announcers. The supermarket on this show was originally a Coles Supermarket, but this was later changed to a generic supermarket. Like the US show, the winners searched the supermarket to look for $5,000. The latter set was identical to the American show, as with most Grundy-produced game shows in Australia at the time. Brazilhad two versions of the program: the first was produced by Band between 1990 and 1993, and the last, by Record on the 21st century, as a part of the TV show Note e Anote. Both versions were named "Supermarket", and hosted by Ricardo Corte Real. Spainalso had its version in the early '90s. The program was titled "Supermercado" (Supermarket) and was hosted by Enrique Simon. The rules were identical to the original with the only difference being the currency used was the now-defunct Peseta. The program aired every midday (at approx. 1:25PM) on commercial television station Antena 3. Considering the 100-to-1 exchange rate between the peseta and dollar, it was probable that Pts 500,000 was the grand prize.
All but seven episodes from the ABC version have been erased. The Lifetime/PAX version remains fully intact. The Canadian version of "Supermarket Sweep" airs in reruns on the Canadian Game Network.
* [http://www.davidruprecht.com/ David Ruprecht's Web site] , contains info on the show
*imdb title|id=0282330|title=Supermarket Sweep (1965–1967)
*imdb title|id=0180384|title=Supermarket Sweep (1990–1995; 2000-2003)
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