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Million Dollar Password: Betty White Explains Why the TV Show Failed

Million Dollar PasswordOne of the most popular game shows in TV history has got to be Password. The game show began on CBS daytime in 1961 and various versions of the show have been on the air for a total of 20 years over the past five decades. There have even been times when the show aired in daytime and primetime simultaneously.

The last primetime version, Million Dollar Password, didn’t fare as well as the previous incarnations. It was hosted by Regis Philbin and lasted just 12 episodes.

Betty White holds a record for being the only person to guest on all the versions of Password. She also met host Allen Ludden on the series. They were married in 1963 and remained together until his death from cancer in 1981.

As an expert on Password and a witness to the show’s long history, White is uniquely qualified to explain why the latest version didn’t last very long. Here’s a clip from her recent appearance on The View (it may take a few moments to load).

What do you think? Do you agree with White or was Million Dollar Password flawed?

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve September 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Betty is right. If you are not a wordsmith you cannot play the game. Pop culture does not equal word association.


phil June 30, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Would have been nice for you to say what she thought, can’t be bothered to listen to the video broski.


Davin Peterson June 30, 2010 at 11:55 am

It is true that the Password got cancelled in 1981 after Luden’s death, however it came back in 1986 as Super Password hosted by Burt Convey. It aired until 1989. In the final episode of the game show, Betty White predicted that the show would come back again. We know it never did expect for Million Dollar Password.

It seems today, with reality shows, game shows don’t last long in Primetime.


admin June 30, 2010 at 12:40 pm

@Davin Peterson: I meant that versions of the game show have run for a total of 20 years. I’ve adjusted the text. Thanks.


Josh February 27, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Your dates are a bit off. Password Plus aired from 1979-1982, and Tom Kennedy took over after Allen passed away. Super Password aired from 1984-1989. 😉


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