Mark Goodson Wiki
Mark Goodson Wiki
Winner Take All Collyer.jpg
CBS Primetime, July 1, 1948 – October 3, 1950
CBS Daytime, February 12, 1951 – April 20, 1951
NBC Daytime, February 25, 1952 – April 25, 1952
Run time
30 Minutes
Bud Collyer 1948-1950
Barry Gray 1951
Bill Cullen 1952
Bern Bennett 1948-1950
Harry Kramer 1951
Don Pardo 1952
Maxine Elliott Theatre (CBS Studio 51), New York City, New York (1948-1951)
New Amsterdam Theatre, New York City, New York (1952)

Winner Take All was a game show full of firsts (explanation later). 

Game format[]

Two contestants (one of them being a returning champion) competed in this game full of firsts (explanation later). It was a question & answer game show in which contestants signaled to answer each question. Each contestant had a different signal sound. One contestant's signal sound was a bell, and the other had a buzzer signal sound. The first player to signal had a chance to answer. A correct answer scored one point, but an incorrect answer from the player who signaled in first gave his/her opponent a chance to answer. The first player to score three points wins the game, became "Winner Take All" champion, won a prize and faced another player.

Skits & Challenges[]

When the show became a TV series, it adapted new challenges into the game. For example, contestants watched live skits performed by other cast members, and the contestants were asked about what they saw. Another example saw contestants blindfolded so they wouldn't see an item in front of their podium; they had feel it out in order to guess what it is.






When the show cancelled in 1952, it moved to another show called Matinee in New York.


As mentioned earlier, this was the show full of firsts, because it premiered many, many things, things that would become available on many more game shows.

  • It was the very first game show hosted by Bill Cullen, who started out as the radio version's announcer.
  • It was the very first game show to ever air on the CBS television network.
  • It was the very first game show produced & created by Goodson-Todman enterprises.
  • It was the first game show to have two or more contestants compete against each other.
  • It was the first game show of its kind to have contestants buzz/ring in/signal to answer a question.
  • It was the first game show of its kind to have returning champions.


See Also: Winner Take All/Merchandise


Screen Caps[]

Barry Gray Era

Bill Cullen Era

Episode Status[]

Only two episodes of Gray's version exist, from April 1951. Cullen's version fared better, with four episodes surviving (February 27–28, March 5, and a fourth episode with a more elaborate set). These six episodes have been seen on GSN at one time or another.

No Wilson, Collyer, or Matinee-era episodes are known to exist. However, the May 1949 CBS sales film "Television Today" (made for potential TV advertisers) shows "Winner Take All" with Bud Collyer and contestants being produced in the CBS studios, provided as example of the kind of fare available on TV at the time.

See Also[]

Winner Take All (Radio)
Play for Keeps!


Winner Take All @ Bill Cullen's World
Winner Take All @ The Bill Cullen Homepage



Winner Take All Opening


Winner Take All (1952) Bill Cullen


Winner Take All - Barry Gray Episode