CBS daytime, April 3, 1978 - June 30, 1978
Run time
30 Minutes
Bill Cullen
Bob Clayton
Ed Sullivan Theater, New York City, New York

Pass the Buck was a short-lived daytime game show on CBS where four contestants attempted to list items in a specific category and eliminate each other in order to win $5,000.

Game FormatEdit

Four contestants compete to give a list of items that fit into a specific category announced at the beginning of each round. The bank for each game starts at $100. The order of contestants giving answers progresses from left to right and $25 is added to the bank for each correct item.

If at any point an item is repeated or the judges deem a response incorrect, the next contestant in line can eliminate the contestant before him/her by giving an acceptable response. If that contestant also fails to give an acceptable response, the third contestant can eliminate the previous two in the same manner. The fourth contestant can eliminate all three of his/her opponents if they each successively give incorrect responses. However, if all the contestants give incorrect responses, that question is thrown out and play resumes with a new question. A new round begins with a new category after one or more contestants are eliminated from the game.

Play continues until one player is left, with that last player winning the bank and going onto the Fast Bucks bonus round.

Fast BucksEdit

The Fast Bucks round is played on a triangular board with four rows: one box on the top row, two on the second, three on the third, and four on the bottom. The winning player begins on the bottom row and is given a category with more defined answers (e.g., people from Happy Days, U.S. States). The player has 15 seconds to give as many answers as possible that fit the category, trying to match any of the ones on the current row.

Revealing at least one answer on a row allows the player to move up to the next one. The process is the same for the other rows. If at any time the player fails to reveal any answers on a row, the bonus round ends and the player receives $100 for each revealed answer on the board. However, if the player reveals either all of the answers on one row, or at least one answer on every row, he/she wins $5,000.

The same four players stay on the show until one of them wins the $5,000, at which point the other three players leave the show (but keep any money won up to that point). The $5,000 winner faces three new challengers.

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Promo SlideEdit

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Episode StatusEdit

The entire run exists, but only about one third of the show was rerun by GSN from 1997 to 1998.


Pass The Buck (1978)

Pass The Buck (1978)

Pass The Buck (1978)-0

Pass The Buck (1978)-0

See AlsoEdit