Mark Goodson Wiki
Blockbusters 1987.png
Blockbusters '87 Copyright.jpg
NBC Daytime: January 5, 1987 - May 1, 1987
Number of episodes
Run time
30 Minutes
Bill Rafferty
Rich Jeffries
NBC Studios 3 and 4, Burbank

This is chronicling the brief 1987 revival of Blockbusters. This version was played the same way as the original; however, it was now played with two solo contestants instead of a solo player vs. a family pair and a change of host with Rafferty instead of Cullen.

Game Format[]

Main Game[]

As mentioned above, Blockbusters was now played one-on-one with two contestants; the champion (or champion-designate in the case of a retiring champion) represented the color white while the challenger represented the color red. The game was still played in a best two-out-of-three match just like the original series; however, each round now was worth $100 instead of $500. The game board was still laid out in the same 5x4 grid of 20 hexagons, but now it was computer-generated, unlike the board from the original series which was mechanically operated via slide projectors. Contestants viewed the game board on a TV monitor hidden inside the giant blue hexagon where the board was displayed on set.

Each player now had an alternating advantage in each round, unlike the original series where the solo player always had the advantage in each round. In round one, the challenger had the advantage of connecting red-to-red vertically, which could be done with as few as 4 correct answers; and the champion of course had to connect white-to-white horizontally, which could be done with as few as 5 correct answers. In round two, the situation was reversed to where the champion had the advantage. In the case of a tiebreaker, neither player had the advantage because now the board was reduced to an even 4x4 grid of 16 hexagons, so either player could win the game with as few as four correct answers (the challenger had to connect red-to-red vertically to win & the champion had to connect white-to-white horizontally to win).

Gold Run[]

The Gold Run was played the same way it was in the original series, with the champion player having to connect the gold to the gold from left to right within 60 seconds. The Gold Run was originally played for $5,000 each time out, but halfway through the show's brief run, the Gold Run was played for a progressive jackpot that started at $5,000 and increased by that much each time the Gold Run was not won. The Gold Run jackpot started over at $5,000 whenever a returning champion won the Gold Run or was defeated by a new opponent; in the latter case, the new champion would play the Gold Run for $5,000. Contestants still earned $100 for every correct answer given if they failed to make the proper connection in time, and were allowed to remain on the show until they won 10 games in a row (which only happened once) or were defeated, whichever came first.


Broadcast History[]

January 5, 1987 - May 1, 1987 (NBC Daytime, Weekdays at 10:30 AM ET/9:30 AM PT)


  • This was Bill Rafferty's last game show. Additionally, this was also Rafferty's second and final Goodson-created game show, his first was the short-lived 1986-87 syndicated version of Card Sharks.
  • While the home viewers saw the board on their TV sets, the contestants saw the board on a small TV monitor housed inside a giant neon blue hexagon which during the closing credits did a light show; it spun around and later wiped in (both two triangles at a time). On certain shows after the credits, while it is still wiping in light-wise, the neon hexagon zoomed out to re-reveal the set which by that point went dark save for a few spotlights and the set logo which continuously lights up a letter at a time just like the 1980 series logo during the closing. On one episode, when the game quickly went from a Gold Run to a new match with no commercial interruption, viewers could see the small TV monitor reveal itself as the Game 1 board flew in.
  • During the brief four months that Blockbusters was on the air, only one contestant retired as an undefeated champion: Jeanne Pierce, who won a total of $53,000. She later became a contestant on Sale of the Century (Perry) in August 1988.
  • On May 4, 1987, Blockbusters was replaced by Classic Concentration, which lasted until September 20, 1991. During Blockbusters' final week on the air, Bill Rafferty did on-air plugs for Classic Concentration.
  • The theme song of this show was also used as a speed-up round cue for the all-black college quiz show Know Your Heritage in 1990.


Main Article: Blockbusters (1987)/Merchandise


Main Article: Blockbusters (1987)/Photos

Episode Status[]

Main Article: Blockbusters (1987)/Episode Guide

This series exists in its entirety, and has aired on GSN at various times in the past.

See Also[]



Blockbusters (Rafferty) @ Game Show Galaxy (via internet Archive)
Blockbusters (Rafferty) @ Jay Anton
Blockbusters with Bill Rafferty fan site
Blockbusters '87 @ (via Internet Archive)



Blockbusters (revised) 1987 NBC Debut


Blockbusters - February 16, 1987


Blockbusters - March 18, 1987 (Joanie vs. Jeryl)


Blockbusters - April 1, 1987


Blockbusters Finale (Rafferty) 5 1 87 (OB)


Wink's Game Show Bloopers - Episode 1