Chain Reaction (1980–1991)

TV Series  |   |  Game-Show
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Chain Reaction was hosted by Bill Cullen in 1980, but went off the air that same year. In 1986, it was revived as "The New Chain Reaction" in 1986 with host Geoff Edwards. It ran until 1991... See full summary »

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Title: Chain Reaction (1980–1991)

Chain Reaction (1980–1991) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Series cast summary:
Jay Johnson ...
 Himself (25 episodes, 1980)
Robert Mandan ...
 Himself (25 episodes, 1980)
 Herself (20 episodes, 1980)
 Himself / ... (16 episodes, 1980)
 Herself (15 episodes, 1980)
 Herself (15 episodes, 1980)


Chain Reaction was hosted by Bill Cullen in 1980, but went off the air that same year. In 1986, it was revived as "The New Chain Reaction" in 1986 with host Geoff Edwards. It ran until 1991. Two teams of two players (two celebrities and two contestants) competed. Each team was composed of a giver and a guesser. The giver could give the letter in the next word of the chain to either his/her partner or opponent. A correct guess won the appropriate number of points for the round and retained control, while an incorrect guess passes control to the opponents. If you give a letter to your opponent and he/she doesn't get the word, you get to go again. In the first round, the first four words were worth 10 points each, while the last word was worth 20 points. In the second round, words were worth 20-30 points, and the third round 30-50 points. Also in later rounds, a cash word was in the chain worth $500 to the team who guessed it. The first team to reach 300 points won the game and advanced ... Written by whistledog <>

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(764 episodes)

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An Underrated Gem
4 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

Even though Bill Cullen ably emceed the original version of Chain Reaction, NBC didn't give this show much of a chance, canceling after 22 weeks in order to make room for Card Sharks and David Letterman's talk show. Also, the noon (ET) time slot hampered clearances because of local news. These factors hampered a potential hit show because it had the ingredients needed for a successful game show. An outstanding host, a simple format and most important, the home audience is involved. The only problem was a consistent bonus round. It changed about three times in the show's run.

When USA brought back Chain Reaction in 1986, the show got even better, eliminating the celebrities and keeping the original format. The bonus round was much better and challenging, holding viewer interest. Geoff Edwards was outstanding as host and his announcer/sidekick Rod Chalabois' Missing Link Game at the end of the earlier shows, was a plus for home viewers.

To sum it all up, I really enjoyed Chain Reaction. It was a show I could play along with and do quite well. It's an underrated gem that should be revived someday.

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