Quicksilver


(w/help from Ron Maestri [yes, THAT one!])
Host: Ron Maestri
Broadcast History: USA Network Jun. 27, 1994 - Oct. 13, 1995
Packager: Stone-Stanley Productions
Origination: Studio 9B, Hollywood Center Studios

PREMISE: Three players competed in a pun-laden Q&A game.

RULES:

ROUND 1:
At the start of the round, the three players are shown four possible answers, such as:

Planet
Jewelry Box
Attica
Banquet

...and then a question (which, more often than not, led to a "punny" answer) is read, such as "It's a great place to store your junk-a"; in this case, the correct answer would be "Attica" (get it?). The first player to buzz in with the correct answer recieves 25 points. After three questions have been asked, 4 new answers are shown, and the game continues in the same manner for the remainder of the round.

ROUND 2:
This round is played similar to round 1 (including the puns!), but w/some notable differences:
- Each correct answer is worth 50 points.
- 5 answers are shown at a time.
- After a correct answer is given, a new one replaces it for the next question.
- At the beginning of the round, one answer displayed is the "Quicksilver answer". If the player who buzzes in to a question believes the correct answer is not showing, s/he says "Quicksilver" and must then give the correct answer him/herself; doing so is worth 100 points and, if that player is first to successfully answer such a question, a bonus prize.

ROUND 3:
In part 1 of the round, a series of 8 questions are asked, but without the answers being shown to the players, who must come up w/them on their own. Each correct answer is worth 75 points.
In part 2, the eight answers given by the contestants in part 1 are shown on the board, and a new series of questions corresponding to those answers are asked, with each correct answer worth 100 points. In addition, there are two "Quicksilver" answers during the course of the round, with each one worth 200 points if correct, and any player who answers such a question is given the chance to risk any part of his/her points on a follow-up question which also pertains to the first one. (NOTE: If the Quicksilver bonus prize was not won in the previous round, it carries over to this one)
The player with the most points at the end of this round wins the game, a prize, and goes on to play the "Silver Streak" bonus round.

THE "SILVER STREAK" BONUS ROUND:
The player is shown a list of 15 answers, and then given 45 seconds to answer a series of questions w/the corresponding answer from that list. Each correct answer is worth $50, and 10 correct answers wins the grand prize (always a trip).

NOTES:

"Quicksilver" was one of two original Stone-Stanley game shows launched by USA in the summer of 1994, the other being "Free 4 All" (which the former ultimately outlived)

The show's theme music was actually a prize cue from another Stone-Stanley entry, "Shop 'Till You Drop".

After "Quicksilver" ended its run, series creator Terry McDonnell (ex-"Jeopardy!" writer and partner of host Ron Maestri in that capacity) became line producer of "Win Ben Stein's Money" and served as writer for the short-lived TV version of "You Don't Know Jack" that aired on ABC for 5 weeks in the summer of 2001.

The show was created by McDonnell and a partner 20 years before making it to air, and before Stone-Stanley and USA took the show, it was pitched to both Merv Griffin and CBS.

Ron Maestri was originally considered for the hosting position on the aforementioned "Shop 'Till You Drop", and before he was decided on for "Quicksilver", former "Trump Card" emcee Jimmy Cefalo was among those in the running.

Originally, "Quicksilver" was to tape 5 shows a day, with companion series "Free 4 All" then doing the same. However, F4A didn't test well and had to be revamped at the last minute, so Ron and company were doing 10 shows a day at one point.

Following "Quicksilver", Ron did a stint on QVC. Unfortunately, this proved to be so disastrous that, as he claims, "More people were tuning in to watch me screw up the demos on live TV than products sold!" However, it did make for great comedy, which is what he's currently doing career-wise.

Want to learn more about Ron's comedy career? Check out www.frogmouthcentral.com

Why did Ron's occasional flubs show up on-air? It was an understanding between the director and himself that tape not be stopped if this happened because he enjoyed seeing them on other shows and knew it would endear him and the show to the audience. And Ron says it worked, so who's to say he was wrong? :-)