Mark Goodson Wiki
Now You See It.jpg
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Pilot: October 1973
CBS Daytime, April 1, 1974 – June 13, 1975
Number of episodes
Run time
30 Minutes
Jack Narz
Johnny Olson
Gene Wood
CBS Studio 33, Television City, Los Angeles, California

Now You See It was a game show based on Wordsearch.

Game Format[]

The main game principle was based on the word search concept. The game board had four rows ("lines") with 14 letters of the alphabet ("positions") in each row. The host of the show read general-knowledge trivia questions with single-word answers that were concealed within the jumble of letters on the board for that round. The answers on the board were always written horizontally from left to right.

The original run used two formats during its run.

Format #1[]

Elimination Round[]

The first round of Now You See It under its original format began with four new players randomly split into two teams with one "outside" and one "inside" player each. The "outside" players turned their backs to the board as Narz read a question. The first "inside" player to ring in would say which line the correct answer appeared on. If the correct line was given, the "outside" player for that team turned around to give the position number and the word. If the wrong line was guessed, the other team got a free guess. If the correct position and answer was given, the team earned points equal to the sum of the line and position numbers (Example: a word on line 3 and in position 1 was worth 4 points). Otherwise, nobody scored for that word. Halfway through the round, the inside and outside players switched roles. The team that was in the lead when time ran out won the Elimination Round.


In the semi-finals, the two contestants on the winning team competed against each other. A string of 16 concealed letters was shown to the contestants, and the host read a crossword-style clue, similar to Scrabble. The 16 letter string began to reveal one letter at a time until a player rung in and answered correctly, or only one letter was left in the word. If a contestant rung in and gave an incorrect answer, the opponent was given a free guess before any more letters were revealed. If they too came up with a wrong answer, the word would continue to be revealed. If nobody guessed the word with one letter left, it was revealed. The host then read another clue, and began revealing letters; the next answer used letters from the end of the previous answer in the string. The first player to guess four words correctly won the round and a prize package. (During the first two weeks, no prize package was given to the winner. Also, during the third week, it took five points to win the round; this would become permanent when the second format was introduced.)


The winner of the Semi-Finals round competed against the show's returning champion in the Finals. This round was played like the elimination round, except that there were no partners. Contestants gave both the line and position numbers of correct answers in order to score.

Originally, a correct answer allowed a contestant to answer subsequent questions without ringing in until he/she gave a wrong answer, at which point his opponent was given an opportunity to answer and steal control. If the opponent missed as well, the next question would be a toss-up. This was scrapped after the first episode, and all questions became toss-ups.

The contestant who had more points when time ran out won the game and played the "Solo Game" for a chance at a cash jackpot. If the champion won the jackpot, the person he/she beat in the Finals became the designated champion on the next show; if the challenger won the jackpot, the person he/she beat in the Semi-Finals returned.

Bonus Words[]

Beginning with the 101st episode and continuing until the adoption of the second main game format, contestants were asked to scan the board and write down one word from the board each on an index card at the beginning of each half of the Elimination Round, and the Finals. A contestant or team would earn 10 bonus points if they correctly answered a question with one of their "bonus words". The player must reveal their bonus word when it is found, and cannot come back to it afterwards.

Format #2[]

Beginning with the 186th episode and for the rest of the show's run, the format of the main game was changed. The Elimination Round was dropped, and two new players competed in the Semi-Finals, by this time renamed the Qualifying Round and was played the same way as the first version. At this point, five points were needed to win the Qualifying Round. The Finals was renamed the Championship Round and was also played the same way except point values were doubled when somebody reached 50 points (Example: a word on line 4 and in position 5 multiplied by 2 was worth 18 points), and the first player to reach 100 points played the Solo Game. Under this "straddling" format, a game could stop at the end of one episode and resume at the beginning of the next.

Also, if a champion was defeated in the Championship Round, but the other player won the jackpot in the Solo Game, that champion came back to play again in the following Championship Round.

Contestant Area[]

Though not acknowledged on the air, the contestant area was split into two colors: green & blue. Each side had a giant triangular side which lit up in neon lights when somebody rung-in; plus, it had matching scoreboards and ring-in boxes (the boxes were removed when the second format came into fruition). During the Championship round, the champion sat in the green position and the challenger sat in the blue position (sometimes the positions were the other way around during some of the first format); as a side note the lady players from the first show wore dresses that matched their backdrops. It was also a two-leveled area with the second level dubbed the "Champion's Gallery" where the returning champion sat until the final round.

Solo Game[]

The bonus round on this show was better known as the "Solo Game". The winner of the main game was given a new board and 60 seconds to find ten words on that board. Once the host read a clue to one of those words, the contestant used an electronic pencil to circle the word that was being guessed and call it out. The contestant had the option to pass at any time and return to that question later. Each correct answer was worth $100, and if all ten words were found before time expired, the contestant won all the money in the Now You See It Bank which started at $5,000 and grew by $1,000 every day until it was won or reach the CBS winnings limit of $25,000.

A returning champion would immediately retire after winning the jackpot, thus making the player they beat in the finals/championship round (the semi-finals should the returning champion be defeated) the designated champion for the next game.


Broadcast History[]

April 01, 1974-June 13, 1975 (CBS Weekdays at 11:00 a.m.)


Host Jack Narz hosted the syndicated revival of Concentration while hosting this show.
The theme song (proued b Quincy Jones) was originally written for Bill Cosby's short-lived 1972-1973 CBS Variety series, The New Bill Cosby Show.
The pilot was taped in October 1973, and featured six players instead of five, as well as a lack of neon lights on the front of the desks.
A 1974 test episode to try out the format change aired on Buzzr as part of their "Lost and Found" week on September 9, 2015.
In 2015, this was one of the six potential candidates for Buzzr's Pick & Play Sunday Night Lineup along with: Trivia Trap, Sale of the Century (Perry), Wordplay, Double Dare (Trebek) and Beat the Clock (Hall) but failed to generate enough viewers to make it on the schedule, however, it was added to Buzzr's lineup in 2017. NOTE: In the "Pick & Play" promo ad, it featured a screengrab of the intro from the 1989 version instead of the original 1974 version.


Main - "Chump Change" by Quincy Jones & Bill Cosby (also used in both the 1985 pilot & the 1989 version respectively)
Alternative Main - by Edd Kalehoff

International Versions[]

Main Article: Now You See It/International


Main Article: Now You See It/Merchandise


Main Article: Now You See It/Photos

Episode Status[]

See Also: Now You See It/Episode Guide
This series presumably exists in its entirety, and has aired on GSN and Buzzr at various times in the past.

See Also[]

Now You See It (1985 pilot)
Now You See It! (1989)



Now You See It - 1974


Now You See It 1974 CBS Debut


Now You See It - May 15, 1974


Now You See It - March 1975 Episode


Now You See It - Ep 308 - Finale Episode - June 13, 1975


3 Now You See It


Now You See It Promo


Now You See It - 1974 ticket plug, closing credits