Mark Goodson Wiki
TKO 1989.jpg
November 10, 1989, at CBS Studio 33, Los Angeles (for ABC)
Run time
30 Minutes
Peter Tomarken
Bob Hilton

TKO was an unsold pilot where three contestants were asked questions and were given initial letters to the answer (a la Blockbusters).


The First Two Rounds[]

The contestants faced a game board with three columns consisting of five questions each. The top three spaces each have a category and a dollar amount. Once a category was chosen, it was knocked out of the game and a new one appeared underneath. Each question was worth more money than the previous question in the column.

The player in control picked a category and all three were shown three sets of initials, one of them being correct. Then Peter read a toss-up question to which the first player to buzz in was allowed to choose the initials he/she thought were correct, followed by what those initials stood for. A correct set of initials and answer earned money and control of the board. But an incorrect set of initials or answer gave the opposing players a chance to answer; if a wrong set of initials was chosen, if the player ran out of time, or if none of the players buzz-in after a few seconds, Peter gave the correct set.

Round one questions were worth $100-$500 and round two questions were worth $200-$1,000.

In each round, two of the questions on the board were "Knockout" questions. Whenever a "Knockout" question was played and a player answered correctly, that player would select an opponent to steal the money from.

Final Knockout Round[]

In the Final Knockout Round there were no categories, just general knowledge questions worth between $500 and $1,000 in $25 increments. The value was determined by a money spinner which was stopped when a player buzzed in. All the questions were "Knockout" questions but with one exception; none of the players actually score that money for a correct answer; instead they allowed the player with the correct answer to deduct it from one opponent's score. The last player to finish with any money in his/her bank won the game and kept that money plus s/he won a $5,000 bonus.

Supposedly, the three contestants stayed on the show for an entire week.



The sound for an incorrect answer is borrowed from the "Fast Money" round from Family Feud (1988).

The sound for the "Knockout" is borrowed from the TPIR Pricing game Pathfinder and Trivia Trap.

The pilot aired on Buzzr as part of their "Lost and Found" week on September 8, 2015.

In 2016, a clip of the pilot aired on Buzzr called Celebrating 75 Years of the TV Game Show.


Edd Kalehoff for Score Productions - The theme was later used on another Mark Goodson failed pilot Body Talk, a few "special" episodes of Family Feud with Ray Combs and still later on two lottery-based game shows Illinois Instant Riches & Bonus Bonanza.


Blockbusters (1987)


TKO @ Game Show Pilot Light