Two teams each representing a college or university and composed of four students answered questions rooted in the liberal arts in a battle for scholarship money and prestige.




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1968   1967   1966   1965   1964   1963   … See all »
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Series cast summary:
Robert Earle ...
 Himself - Host / ... (13 episodes, 1963-1968)


"College Bowl" began as a radio series, with Allen Ludden (best known for hosting "Password") as host. He continued his hosting duties when the series moved to television. Two four-member teams, each representing a college or university, competed; one was a returning champion. Ludden read a toss-up question (usually difficult) rooted in the liberal arts; subjects ranged from mathematics and science, engineering, literature, law and history to physics, music, philosophy, journalism and much more. Correct answers allowed the team to answer multiple-part bonus questions (which could involve the use of maps, graphs and sound-bites of music and famous speeches); control passed to the other team for any incorrect question. Each game lasted 24 minutes, divided in halves; between halves, a short film promoting the challenging team's university was played. The winning team at the end of the game won $1,500 for their school's scholarship fund, while losing teams won $500 (the stakes would ... Written by Brian Rathjen <>

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Family | Game-Show






Release Date:

4 January 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

College Bowl  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(1959-1963)| (1963-1970)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Followed by College Bowl (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

To Game Shows, it's Superbowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, The Triple Crown,Wimbeldon, Mr. Olympia, The Masters, The Grand Prix, Mt. Everest etc.,.............................
10 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

AS WE WENT surfing the Net tonight, finding our course to the site; astonishingly, we looked up the G.E. COLLEGE BOWL and found it still in a virginal state with regard to reviews. Certainly someone must have thought about such a popular series and rather "high Brow" game show.

BUT ALAS, IT was so! No one had bothered to stop by and say a few kind words about the show. So we're gonna rectify this sichee-ashun right here and now!

GAME SHOWS COME and go in the highly competitive world of "Big Time" Television. They come in all categories, varying levels of competition and with greatly divergent themes; ranging from the ridiculous (LET'S MAKE A DEAL, YOU'RE IN THE PICTURE*) to the sublime(CONCENTRATION, JEOPARDY).

THERE HAVE BEEN just about every type and level in between; featuring a whole sh*t house full of Masters of Ceremony, whose careers are sustained by their ability to generate their longevity by going to the M.C. positions in one game show after another. We are all familiar with their names. We all are familiar with the likes of Bill Cullen, Art James, Gene Rayburn, Chuck Wollery, etc.

PERSONALLY, WE HAVE always been partial to JEOPARDY, having been addicted to it in both incarnations; those being, the first series of 1964-75 (Art Fleming) and the second run of 1984-Present (Alex Trebek). Much in the same manner as so many loyal followers, we consider JEOPARDY to be the Cadillac of the Game Show Genre.

ALL THAT BEING said, we must announce that our "Rolls Royce" candidate is the now nearly all but forgotten, GENERAL ELECTRIC COLLEGE BOWL (1959-1970**).

THE HIGH LEVEL OF proficiency in every subject, coupled with the ability to have a lightning-fast brain trigger was the hallmark of the game. In it the two (or was it three?) competing Colleges would send their team of three best student-players to the competition to match their academic skills against the competition; with points being awarded as they answer questions correctly. The old 'first one to buzz-in would get a shot at the question.

IN ITS ORIGINAL run, the G.E.COLLEGE BOWL had at least a portion of its time slot on early Sunday evening; where it seemed to have its greatest exposure. We recall that it was a regular on our Televiewing, right around supper-time. This was a habit that was widespread in our barrio; as our comparing of notes with the other kids Monday morning substantiated.

CHOOSING THE PROPER Emcee for a "high brow" program as this is a most important factor; for a format and appropriate set could be wasted without the right guy in the Moderator's slot. Just imagine COLLEGE BOWL with all other things being equal; except having 'Gunther Toody', himself, Joe E. Ross asking the Qusetions! "Ooh, Ohh!"

WE DO REMEMBER that COLLEGE BOWL was being broadcast as a Network Radio Show in the late 1970's; which begs the question: "Why the hell ain't it on TV in some revival form today?

NOTE: * That was the short (only one show) Comedy-Game Show hosted by "the Great One", Jackie Gleason. In his own words, "....It was the BIGGEST BOMB!!!!" After apologizing for it on week two, Mr. Gleason shifted gears and continued the run as a one on one (mainly) talk show, and he did it quite handily, we might add.

NOTE ** The year 1981 saw a brief, syndicated revival of COLLEGE BOWL, with our favourite "Egg Head", Dick Cavett, as the Moderator.

There was also a brief series, THE COLLEGE BOWL on ABC in 1950; which was a combination Sitcom & Variety. It starred Chico Marx and featured his Band, the Ravellis. Among others, it also showcased young stars Mel Torme and Andy Wiliams. (Schultz and I both remember seeing an episode.It had a comedy sketch with Chico's TV Wife getting her finger stuck while dialing a telephone!)

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