Sale of the Century

Sale of the Century
$ale of the Century
Format Game show
Created by Al Howard
Starring see article
Country of origin United States, Australia, United Kingdom, et al.
No. of episodes in Australia 4610 (1980 - 2001)
Camera setup Multiple-camera setup
Running time 30 minutes per episode
Original channel NBC (USA);
Nine Network (AUS);
ITV (UK), et al.
Original run September 29, 1969 (USA);
1971 (UK);
July 14, 1980 (AUS) – March 24, 1989 (USA),
January 23, 2009 (AUS)
External links
Production website
Countries which have their own version

Sale of the Century (or $ale of the Century) is a television game show format that has been screened in several countries in various incarnations since 1969.[1] The show found its biggest success in Australia, where it aired weeknights from 1980 to 2001.[2] A new version had aired in Australia from May 2005 to January 2009[3][4] and in the United States during the 2007-2008 television season in syndication under the title of Temptation.[5]

The format is a general knowledge quiz, where contestants (usually three) earn money for correct answers, and occasionally have the chance to "buy" heavily-discounted prizes with their score money via "Instant Bargains" (also known as "The Gift Shop"). Long-running champions would compete to win enough money to buy larger prizes, such as trips or cars, at show's end; more successful ones could end up buying all the prizes on offer and/or a large cash jackpot. In 1973 the three contestant format was dropped and two married couples were used as contestants. This two couple format was also used during the 1973-1974 night time syndicated version as well.

After its original run (1969-74) in the USA and during its successful run (1971-83) in the UK, the format was purchased by Australian TV mogul Reg Grundy, whose Grundy Television had produced a similarly formatted program called Temptation (as well as a primetime version called The Great Temptation) between 1971 and 1976. The Grundy version of Sale premiered on Nine Network on July 14, 1980 and became a massive success, spawning versions all across the world (including new versions in the United States and the United Kingdom). At its close in 2001 it was Australia's longest-running game show (a record since surpassed by Wheel of Fortune).

The game format varied in its details over the years and in various nations, however the core format which debuted in the 1980 Australian version, remained unchanged.


Versions throughout the world

United States

Sale of the Century made its debut in the United States on September 29, 1969, on NBC daytime. The series aired until July 13, 1973, then aired in a weekly syndicated version for one additional year. A new version of the show ran weekday mornings (again on NBC) from January 3, 1983 to March 24, 1989, with a concurrent version airing weeknights in syndication from January 1985 to September 1986. The original version was hosted by Jack Kelly and later by Joe Garagiola. Both of the 1980s versions were hosted by Jim Perry. A syndicated edition of Temptation premiered on September 10, 2007, and was televised through September 5, 2008. Rossi Morreale was the host. The announcers included Bill Wendell on the 1970s version, Jay Stewart and Don Morrow on the 1980s version, and former talk-show hostess Rolonda Watts.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom version of Sale of the Century, produced by Anglia Television, was hosted by Nicholas Parsons. A 1988 remake presented by Peter Marshall aired on Sky TV, and Keith Chegwin hosted a Challenge version in 1997 and 1998. John Benson was UK's most famous of the show's announcers, thanks to his "From Norwich, it's the quiz of the week!" introduction.


In Australia, Tony Barber hosted Sale of the Century from its 1980 debut until 1991, when Glenn Ridge took over for the rest of its run. Ron Neate was the show's announcer for the first ten episodes in 1980 before Pete Smith took over as announcer until its end in 2001.[6] Sale of the Century was later revived in 2005 under the name of Temptation and continued production until 2008 with the final episode airing on January 23, 2009. It was hosted by Ed Phillips and co-hosted by Livinia Nixon. In the 1970s there was a similarly formatted game show to Sale of the Century hosted by Tony Barber also called "Temptation". It had aired on the Seven Network, while the other versions have aired on the Nine Network.

Clips from the 1980s US, Australian, Hong Kong, New Zealand, 1989 UK, German, Greek, and Paraguayan versions, as well as a French pilot were seen on the Australian version's 15th anniversary special in 1995.

Hong Kong

A Hong Kong version debuted in 1982 called Dat Sou But ("大手筆" in Chinese characters). It aired on ATV and the host was Wong Dic-Thung.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, Sale of the Century originally screened on TV2 and debuted in April 1989 the show later moved to ONE. The New Zealand version was hosted by Steve Parr and Judith Dobson (née. Kirk). The show was cancelled in 1993 but over a year later the show was revived on rival network TV3 still hosted by Steve Parr but now with Julie White as co-host. The TV3 version was axed in early 1995 due to low ratings and not being able to compete with TV1 extending their news to an hour long making the top rating Holmes show a competing show. In 1990 a competition between New Zealand and Australian past Sale of the Century champions was held in New Zealand.


The hosts for the German version (Hopp Oder Top) included Andreas Similia, Thomy Aigner and Hermann Toelcke, and has run on Tele 5 from 1990 to 1992 and a few months in 1993 on DSF.


In Greece, the show's title translated as "The Boss Has Gone Crazy". It aired on the Star Channel.


Paraguay had its own version ("La Venta del Siglo") from the mid-1990s until at least 1998. It aired on Canal 9 and the host was Nestor Porvilla.


In 1995, TF1 in France had two pilot episodes for a French version shot in the studios of GTV9 in Melbourne, Australia in the same studio and on the same set as the Australian version (at the time) with the help of the local French speaking organisation, Alliance Francais De Melbourne. The host was Alexandre Dubin. Unfortunately, the pilot was not sold.


In Turkey, the host of the show was actor Mehmet Aslantuğ. The show ran on Kanal D from 1995 to 1997 and later Star TV in 1998.


In 2004, India had a version called Super Sale, hosted by Sajid Khan, for the STAR One channel.

South Africa

In 2006, South Africa had its own version of the show called Temptation, just like the 2005 Australian revival. It aired on M-Net, and the host was James Lennox while Bridget Masina was the hostess.


M-Net also had a version of Temptation that started in 2006 airing out of Nigeria, where it follows a similar format, with contestants competing to win prizes of more than US$100,000 (about 13,000,000). It was hosted by Ikponmwosa "Ik" Osakioduwa and Oluwakemi "Kemi" Modupeola.


SBT in Brazil relaunched its own version of Temptation, titled, Tentação, and hosted by Silvio Santos, making it only the second version of $otC to air in Latin America. The Program are showed on mid 90's (1993–2000).


In 1998, Mexico had a version called La Venta Increíble, hosted by Guillermo Huesca, for TV Azteca.

Notes & references

  1. ^ "SALE OF THE CENTURY". The Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2009-10-27. Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  3. ^ Knox, David (23 December 2008). "The last Temptation". Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Knox, David (22 January 2009). "Nine Network takes axe to Temptation". Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "Temptation facts". Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "Trivia for "Sale of the Century" (1980)". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 

See also

External links

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