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Pullmyfinger

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                                        Baby boomers and Gen Xers, rejoice! “Bowling for Dollars,” the Detroit TV hit of the 1970s is coming back to local airwaves.

WADL-TV (Channel 38) announced plans Friday to revive the beloved game show and bring back original host Bob Allison, now 81, as the star.

The show was a ratings monster in its day, sometimes pulling in half of Detroit’s TV sets for a given episode, according to Gary May, the local Emmy award winner who’ll be producing the series.

A one-hour special is planned for June that is going to include bowling, some nostalgic looks back and visits by local celebrities.

Then a half-hour weekly version will launch in September, at the start of bowling season. May says the show already has the support of state and national bowling associations. The new version will tape at the original location: Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park.

May says the idea grew out of his discussions with WADL’s CEO Kevin Adell. Instead of reinventing the wheel, as May puts it, “Bowling for Dollars” will take a classic and give it some contemporary hooks, like a bowling-for-scholarships element for high school students.

Veteran broadcaster Allison, who still hosts another iconic local program, the radio call-in show “Ask Your Neighbor,” on WNZK-AM (690) weekday mornings, is “excited and eager to get started,” according to May.

Tim Kiska’s “From Soupy to Nuts!” chronicle of Motor City television says “Bowling for Dollars” had amazing ratings success from 1973 to 1979.

Back then, the show had a very DIY spirit. “A week’s episodes of ‘Bowling for Dollars’ were shot on Friday, meaning he’d have to haul five changes of clothing to an Allen Park bowling alley each Friday night,” writes Kiska.

Another fun fact: Allison himself bowled with several teams over the years, including one from the exclusive Detroit Athletic Club.

                                        May says the WADL web site will have upcoming news on plans for the show.


http://www.freep.com/article/20130426/ENT/304260108/
mrbowling300

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Wow...can't wait!!!!
Pullmyfinger

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Originally Posted by mrbowling300
Wow...can't wait!!!!


Me too! 
sparewhiffer

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i remember watching...but don't remember the format...exactly how did the show work?
edit: ok...watching the film clip, so i know how the show worked...

how about Beat The Champ?  anyone remember that one?  i think a 'regular' bowler bowled against a 'star', and got handicap.  i have an old memory of one of the 'regular' guys shooting an actual 300.  in my mind his name was Mike Tokatlian.

and...what was the Detroit show in which one all-star bowled against another all-star, with the winner continuing on to bowl in the next show.  i remember Mike Totsky and Bill Spargo doing a lot of winning...

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Buckeye_Nut

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I remember that show!!   Cool........
BowlingOldies

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Bowling for Dollars was a syndicated show (I forget the name of the company that syndicated it), and TV stations would buy the whole production kit, complete with theme music, graphics, into and out of commercial breaks "bumper" music, the overall format and structure of the show, the whole shebang.  If you saw the show in Detroit, then you know exactly how the show was done in Dallas.  (In Dallas it was hosted by Channel 8 sports anchor Verne Lundquist, who has gone on to have a fine career doing play-by-play of various sports at the network level, and has had some of golf's most iconic calls, including his famous "Yes sir!!!" call of Jack Nicklaus sinking what would prove to be the winning putt at the '86 Masters and his "In your life have you ever seen anything like that!" call of Tiger Woods' amazing chip-in on 16 at Augusta National several years ago.)  As a syndicated package, Bowling for Dollars was wildly successful in the '70s, airing in most markets during that half-hour sandwiched between the local evening news and the start of prime time programming.  I know that in Dallas it was finally replaced by another wildly successful syndicated show that was produced locally, PM Magazine, which occupied that time slot for the better part of 20 years.  Some TV stations actually went to the expense of building a lane (or a pair of lanes) inside their own facility where they could tape the show (which should give you some idea of just how much money the show made for them).  Other stations (most) simply arranged with a local bowling center to use their facility to tape a week's worth of shows in one day once a week (or two weeks' worth of shows in one day every couple of weeks -- which would make for a very long day for the host and crew since there'd be some down time in between taping each episode).

I wonder if this is a one-off that's being done strictly by the local station in Detroit, or if the show is once again being syndicated and might start popping up around the country.  If it's a one-off, I'm sure the station would have had to have paid the syndicator, who no doubt still owns the format of the show and the name "Bowling for Dollars."  They would have to license its use or risk a huge lawsuit, which they would undoubtedly lose in court since whatever licensing arrangement they might have had years ago has undoubtedly expired.

Follow-up:  I just looked it up, and it seems that the television distributor who placed Bowling for Dollars on stations back in the '70s was a group formerly known as Claster Television, Inc., a Baltimore, Maryland-based TV distributor founded in 1953 by Bert and Nancy Claster as Romper Room, Inc.  That's right.  Bowling for Dollars was dreamed up by the same people who brought you Romper Room when you were a kid.  In 1969, Claster Television was purchased by Hasbro (yeah, that Hasbro).   

It would be neat to see this show make a nationwide comeback.  It wasn't my favorite bowling show (by a long shot).  But as game shows go (which is what it actually was), it was one of very few to have had success while being produced locally.  (Those high school quiz shows that ran on Saturdays being the only other one I can think of.)

Kudos to the station in Detroit for dusting off this "Bowling Oldie."
mrbowling300

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In Detroit, they used lane 4 in the Thunderbowl Arena...the same spot where the Detroit PBA winter swing was bowled.

the theme song was "keep the ball rolling"
wheels

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Bowling Oldies,


"Bowling For Dollars" was produced By Bert Claster,Founder of Claster productions the original show they started was"Duckpins and Dollars" at WBAL tv in Baltimore Md, they had 2 lanes right in the studio.Because Duckpins were more popular in Baltimore than tenpins they originaly ony had ducks later on they changed one of the lanes pinsetters to tenpins. With the success of the show, they then franchised it to other stations.But, before that, they had a show called "the Bowling Bank" and in the mornings a ladies Duckpin Show called "Spare time Bowling" i was only maybe 4-6 years old then .Remembers the ladies with "Beehive" hairdos." Hons" as my baltimore friends called them. They also had on Saturday nights a youth duckpin show" pinbusters" they had three groups of bowlers, Boys and girls called " bantam" "Junior" and "Senior" they each bowled the final 4 frames of a game, the winner would come back the next week and bowl a new challenger till they either lost or won 6 weeks. With the six week winner getting a giant trophy 5 wks a smaller etc. later on before the show went off the air i believe in the late 70s or early 80s the then came up with what they called a "Super roll off" if i remember it was all the 6 wk. winners going against each other.I watched the show every week when i was a young boy. i was not happy when i went bowling for the first time and found out our local bowling center did not have"Ducks" I actually did not bowl duckpins till the Early 90s Also, Bert Claster's wife Nancy founded "Romper Room" and was the first Teacher "Miss Nancy" Sorry to ramble on.


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Fordman

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I worked with a guy who was on the original show.  We worked the midnight shift at Fords Woodhaven Stamping Plant.  The show was taped about 11 or 12 in the morning.  Well we get off work at 7:30 a.m. head to the bar.  Ted did a little drinking and headed for the taping.  In the interview they asked him if Ford was a good place to work.  His comment was "It is a great effing place to work.  Only he used the real word.  Needless to say it was edited out.  I think he got about 7 pins.

Maybe it was a little more than a little drinking......

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oldballs

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Laker broadcasting legend Chick Hearn was the host here in Los Angeles.
websurferdude

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I was at the taping of the pilot today. The format was a little different than it used to be. Instead of lane 4, they used lanes 15 and 16. The audience, instead of being seated in a grandstand, was seated at high-topped cocktail tables on the concourse.

There were about a dozen "regular" contestants of greatly varying skill levels, one of whom bowled a double to win the $250 jackpot. There were two celebrity bowlers, Eli Zaret and Aleta Sill, bowling for charity. Aleta bowled for her own charity, Bowl-4-Animal Rescue.

Paul Lubanski, Eddie's son, introduced a video retrospective of his father's career. He tells me that if the show gets picked up as a regular series, he'll do similar features every week highlighting other Detroit-area hall-of-famers.

President Mike DeRousie and manager Mark Martin of the Metro Detroit USBC presented host Bob Allison with a plaque in appreciation for his many years of support for bowling in Detroit.

The pilot will air on Sunday, June 16 (Father's Day) at 7 p.m. on WADL (broadcast channel 38.1, check your program guide for your cable or satellite channel number). If the show gets advertiser support, it will premiere as a weekly series in August or September.
websurferdude

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http://www.freep.com/article/20130601/NEWS05/306010049/Bowling-for-Dollars-taping
plamormick

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can someone DVR this and post it on the web? I would love to see the new iteration. 
Fordman

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The Detroit Free Press actually had a story about the show in todays sports section.  Must have been a slow sports weekend.  Nice to see a bowling story in a major news paper.
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websurferdude

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Matt Dery of 97.1 The Ticket will be the host when the show debuts as a regular series.

http://www.freep.com/article/20130614/ENT03/306140090/-Bowling-Dollars-names-Dery-new-host
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