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Mindreaders 79 Pilot.png
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Pilot, August 3, 1979
NBC Daytime, Monday, August 13, 1979 – Friday, January 11, 1980
Number of episodes
Run time
30 Minutes
Dick Martin
Johnny Olson
NBC Studio 4, Burbank, California

Mindreaders was the short-lived game of hunch and ESP where celebrities predict what the contestants will say and vice versa. 

Game format[]

Two teams of four players (three civilians and one celebrity) played the game in a battle-of-the-sexes manner.

Main Game[]

Host Martin read a question to one group of three civilian contestants after which they locked in their answers. The celebrity team captain's job was to predict how they answered that question. A correct prediction keeps control for that celebrity captain and predicts the next player in line. If the celebrity is incorrect, the celebrity captain of the opposing team gets to predict the remaining controlling teammates' responses.

Each correct answer is worth $50, with the money going to the other team for incorrect answers, and the first team to reach $300 wins the game and goes on to play the bonus game.

Bonus Game[]

The bonus game was played in two parts. The first part was where the winning team got to judge the jury and the second part was where the winning team got to predict what their celebrity team captain said.

Judge the Jury[]

Host Martin asked three questions to the jury (consisting of 10 members of the studio audience). Each contestant on the winning team played each question (one for each contestant). On each question, the jury locked in their answers depending on the criteria of the question and the player operating on that question predicted how many of the jury members said yes or no. Guessing the number exactly (right on the nose) won $500 for the team while missing the number by one or two earned $200. After playing the three questions, the winning team then played part two called "Celebrity Turnabout".

Celebrity Turnabout[]

It is called Celebrity Turnabout because the tables have turned, for the winning team now tried to predict if the celebrity captain said yes or no on one last question. Each contestant made a prediction with the majority rule in effect. The celebrity captain then revealed his/her answer, and if the majority of the team is correct, the winning civilians win 10 times the part one cash for a maximum total of $15,000.

All teams competed against each other for three games and left the show afterwards. The maximum any team can win is $45,900.



Unrelated to this show, there was a 1975 pilot also produced by G-T that was also called Mindreaders that was hosted by the late Jack Clark and was completely unrelated to the game of hunch and ESP.

Unrelated to this show, there was a pilot in 1978 that was also called Mind Readers produced by Bob Stewart and was hosted Geoff Edwards that involves astrological signs instead of hunch and ESP.

In the pilot, the background logo was colored gold instead of purple in the series.

This was the last new Goodson-Todman game show to be developed within the lifetime of co-producer Bill Todman who died in a few weeks before its premiere on NBC at the time. Todman's death was on July 29, 1979.

The sound indicating that the entire jury locked-in their answers was later used as the solo player buzz-in sound in another short-lived but more successful NBC Goodson-Todman game show, Blockbusters. It was also used as the buzz-in sound in the Bob Eubanks hosted NBC game show, Dream House.

The correct answer bell was also used on Password Plus and Blockbusters. The sound indicating wrong answers was the NBC Claxon.

The win cue from the show was later used for the unsold pilot of Star Words and the original pilot of Body Language in 1983. Additionally, the main theme was used as a re-arranged version of a commercial cue for the equally short-lived 1979 syndicated game show called Celebrity Charades produced by Fein-Schwartz Productions in association with Columbia Pictures Television and was hosted by Jay Johnson & Squeaky.

Nine years ago, the idea of having an in-studio jury was originally used as an unsold pilot called It's Predictable hosted by the late Gene Rayburn in 1970.

Seven years later, the idea of having 10 audience members answer a question was later instituted into the CBS revival of Card Sharks in 1986, which Mindreaders producer Mimi O'Brien also worked on.

Ray Singleton, former wife and partner of Motown founder Berry Gordy was once a contestant on the show.

Forty Two years later, the original 1979 pilot aired on Buzzr as part of their 6th Annual Lost & Found marathon on September 25, 2021.


Score Productions

This theme would later be reused on the unsold pilot (along with the win cue) called Puzzlers in 1980 and the win cue itself only would later be carried over in the pilots for both Star Words & Body Language in 1983.


Main Article: Mindreaders/Photos

Episode Status[]

See Also: Mindreaders/Episode Guide
Mindreaders is believed to have been destroyed. The pilot, the third episode and the December 13th episode are the only three known to exist in full. The first two minutes of the December 31st episode also exists.


Mindreaders pilot @



Mindreaders 1979 Pilot


Mindreaders (1979)- PILOT -3!!


Mindreaders intro, 12 31 79


Mindreaders intro, 12 31 79-0


Proof that Mindreaders 1979-1980 exists.


Mindreaders - Joyce Bulifant and Jack Jones (12 13 79)


Mindreaders (August 15, 1979) - Patty Duke Astin & Nipsey Russell


Mindreaders (1979) Patty Duke Astin & Nipsey Russell


Mindreader's Game Show