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Password All Stars Grand Masters Tournament.jpg
Password 75.jpg
ABC Daytime, April 5, 1971 – June 27, 1975
Number of episodes
Run time
30 Minutes
Allen Ludden
John Harlan
ABC Television Center, Los Angeles, California (1971-1972)
Vine Street Theatre, Los Angeles, California (1972-1975)

This is chronicling the 1971-1975 version of Password. Also known as Password All-Stars and later as Password ('75).

PASSWORD 1971-1974 Game format[]

In the original from 1961 to 1974, two teams of two (consisting of one celebrity and one contestant) played Password for points. One player from each team (both celebrities or both contestants) was given the password while the home viewers saw the word on their screens (accompanied by the announcer saying, "The Password is..."). The first team got the option to pass or play. Then the clue givers gave a one-word clue to get their partners to say the password. Teams alternated turns until one guesser said the password which gave the team points according to how many clues given, starting at 10 and finishing at 5. Should the guesser on the team in control say a form of the password, the guesser got one last chance to say the exact word. Whenever an illegal clue is given, a buzzer sounded and the guesser lost a chance to guess the password and giving away the password by the clue givers ended the word. The decisions as to whether the clues were good and bad were made by the word authority. In the ABC version, the authorities were Dr. Robert Stockwell from UCLA and Dr. Carolyn Duncan. Partners on both teams alternated between giving and receiving, starting with the stars, then to the contestants; plus, the team that trailed or lost the last password in case of a tie started a new password. The first team to reach 25 points wins the game and goes on the play the Lightning Round.

Lightning Round[]

In the Lightning Round, the celebrity on the winning team had 60 seconds (one minute) to get his/her partner to say five more passwords. If the contestant can't guess the password, the celebrity can pass. Each password guessed was worth $50 meaning that the contestant can win up to $250. In the ABC version, after the main Lightning Round, the winning contestant can bet any or all of his/her winnings on one more password called the "betting word" in which the contestant now gives the clues to the celebrity partner for the next 15 seconds. Later in the ABC run, the value per word is upped to $100 for a possible total of $500.

Returning Champions[]

Champions can stay until either defeated or winning 10 games. Later on, the limit was dropped.

Password All-Stars/Password 1975 Game Format[]

On November 18, 1974, the format changed to have celebrities play the game but without contestants. Six celebrities played for one whole week, all playing for charity. In this version, celebrities earned points scored by the winning team they were on. The top four celebrities returned to play Friday's game with the winning celebrity getting $5,000 plus a chance to play the Grandmaster Tournament for $25,000 more. This format is hated by fans of the show and so it's discontinued on February 21, 1975. Then the following Monday, the show reverted back to its original form, contestants and all, but the new format remained. The show was cancelled on June 27, 1975 to make room for a new charades game called Showoffs.

Main Game[]

The main game began with an elimination round with four contestants/celebrities seated across from two celebrities. The celebrities took turns giving one word clues to the players, and the first player to buzz-in with the correct password scored one point. An incorrect answer from the buzz-in player caused that player to sit out the rest of the word, and questioning about the clue after buzzing in ended the word right away. The first 2 players to score 3 passwords (2 for the celebrities) win the right to play Classic Password.

Classic Password is played the same as before, except that the clue giver on the 1st team is also given the option to double in addition to the pass/play option. Going for the double meant that the word will be worth 20 points instead of 10; plus, both clue givers got one chance to get their partners to say the word. Not only that, the game's played to 50 points.

20/20 Password[]

In the All-Stars version, both celebrities on the winning team got 20 seconds to convey two passwords (one for each celebrity) to each other and score 20 points. The winning team's score was given to both celebrities who then became clue givers for the next elimination round.

Big Money Lightning Round[]

When the show reverted back to having contestants, a new and richer Lightning Round was played. The Big Money Lightning Round was now a three-level game. On each level, the celebrity had 30 seconds to get his/her partner to say three passwords. On the first two levels, each password guessed was worth money, and getting all three won extra money for every second leftover. The contestant must guess at least one password to go to the next level, and not getting any passwords right ended the round automatically.

  • Level 1 - Each word was worth $25. Getting all three earned $75 plus an additional $5 per second leftover.
  • Level 2 - Each word was worth the total amount of money won on the first level. Getting all three earned an additional $10 per leftover second.
  • Level 3 - The celebrity had another 30 seconds to get his/her partner to say the final three passwords. If the contestant did get all three he/she won ten times the cash won from both levels, but not getting all three still kept the money won from both levels.

After the Big Money Lightning Round, the winning contestant along with the contestant he/she defeated in the main game played another elimination round with two new challengers.


Broadcast History[]

April 05-September 03, 1971 (ABC Weekdays at 4:00 p.m.)
September 06, 1971-March 17, 1972 (ABC Weekdays at 12:30 p.m.)
March 20, 1972-June 27, 1975 (ABC Weekdays at Noon)



Main Article: Password (1971)/Merchandise


Main Article: Password (1971)/Photos

Episode Status[]

See Also: Password (1971)/Episode Guide

See Also[]

Password Plus
Super Password
Password (1997 proposed revival)
Million Dollar Password
Subconscious Password
Password (Buzzr)
Password (2016 proposed revival)
Password (2022)