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Password Plus premiered on NBC on January 8, 1979, running until March 26, 1982. There were 801 episodes produced, one of which remained unaired until Game Show Network came along in 1994. It was hosted by Allen Ludden, Bill Cullen (who filled in for Allen for a month in the spring of 1980) and Tom Kennedy, who replaced Allen late in 1980 and remained until the program was cancelled in 1982. Password Plus, like the ABC revival of Password, won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show.

Main Game

In the main game, contestants & celebrities solved puzzles with five clues each. They earned a chance to solve the puzzle by playing Password, and the passwords were the clues to the puzzles.

A password was given to the clue givers, then one clue givers was given the option to either pass or play. The clue givers each had two chances (originally three) to get their partners to say the word. Each time the guesser said the password, the password became a clue and it appeared on a puzzle board; plus, the guesser had a chance to solve the puzzle. Should the first clue giver not make a choice in time or was unable to give a clue, the other team was given two opportunities to guess the word. If the password was given away by the clue giver, the right to solve the puzzle automatically went to the opposing guesser. Failure to solve the puzzle meant that another password/clue was played with the winner of the last password (originally the loser) getting the option. If the guesser failed to solve the puzzle after five clues, the clue giver helped out by guessing the puzzle. The first team to solve the puzzle won money, but if the puzzle was missed entirely, another puzzle was played for the same amount. The first two rounds were worth $100 and the remaining rounds were worth $200. The first team to reach $300 won the game. Unlike in previous versions, the clues on the puzzle could now be two words (i.e. New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc.); the gameplay clues could not be. Allen Ludden pointed this out many times. The other hosts did not.

1981 Changes

In 1981 after Tom Kennedy took over, major changes took place. A third $100 round came into effect, and then after that, the two contestants switched partners by walking in front of the playing desk (a nod to the original Password). This was called "the crossover." Now, $500 wins the game.

The winner of the game won a chance to play Alphabetics to try to win more money.


Main Article: Alphabetics

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