A revival of the classic NBC game show, Concentration, returned to NBC daytime as "Classic Concentration" on May 4, 1987, replacing the short-lived revival of Blockbusters. While Orson Bean hosted the 1985 pilot, Alex Trebek was chosen as host with Gene Wood as announcer along with model Diana Taylor. Taylor left the show in July of 1987 to move with her husband to Australia. Mark Goodson's daughter, Marjorie Goodson, replaced Taylor and remained on the show until its final episode in 1991. Art James subbed for Gene Wood for two weeks in July of 1991.

The game board contained 25 numbered squares on a 5x5 grid with pairs of prizes that contestants tired to match. There were also three wild cards. When a contestant matched a prize, two pieces of a rebus puzzle were revealed and the contestant tried to solve the puzzle. The first contestant to solve the puzzle won the prizes that they accumulated and went to the Winner's Circle to try to win a new car.

The "Take" card ("Red Take") was reintroduced to the show in November of 1987. When a contestant matched the "Take" card, they could take a prize from their opponents prize column. Another set of "Take" cards ("Green Take") were introduced in February of 1988. The original series featured a "Forfeit" card, a feature that forced a contestant for give up a prize from their prize column, but that feature was omitted from Classic Concentration.

Finding a "Wild" card meant an automatic match to any prize or Takes on the board. If a contestant matched a "Wild" card with another, they would earn $500 and another selection on the board. However, finding all three "Wild" cards during one turn meant a chance to win $1,000. A contestant found all three "Wild" cards in one turn on the premiere episode.

In the event of time running out during a game (an interrupted match), the puzzle was revealed one square at a time. The first contestant to buzz in with the correct answer won the game, however an incorrect guess revealed the entire puzzle to their opponent.

In the beginning of the run, the player who solved the rebus went to the Winner's Circle while the loser was eliminated (except in cases of an interrupted game, when the losing player would return to play in the next match as the challenger).
On July 4, 1988, the format was changed into a best-of-three match, with the first player to solve two rebuses winning the match and playing the bonus game. Unlike most game shows that tend to straddle when playing a best-of-three format, Classic Concentration had each match and bonus game fit into one complete show. The first game was split over the first two segments, with the second (and possibly) third game taking up the third segment. The bonus round was played during the fourth segment of the show.

From July 2, 1990 until the end of the run, contestants played the bonus game after solving a puzzle, and would be eliminated from competition after losing two games.

A contestant in the winner's circle had the opportunity to win on of the eight cars on the set. There were 15 numbered squares on a 3x5 grid that had seven pairs of matching cars and one car that did not have a match. The contestant had to race against the clock to try to match the seven cars. The seventh car matched in the allowed time was the car the contestant won. The base time was :35 seconds and the time went up :05 more each time a car was not won.

On September 20, 1991, a few weeks after the show's 1000th episode, NBC halted production along with the daytime version of Wheel Of Fortune. Classic Concentration continued to air in re-runs until NBC dropped the show from the lineup on December 31, 1993. No version of Concentration has aired since. When Game Show Network went on the air in 1994, they approached Mark Goodson Productions and NBC for the rights to rerun the show. For reasons unknown to this day, NBC refused to lease the shows. The entire Classic Concentration series is intact.

Memorable Moments

5/14/1987: Jason shows off his puzzle solving skills!

5/14/1987: Because Jason solved the puzzle so quickly, extra time was left in the show to play the Audience Game. This feature was rarely shown on Classic Concentration.

8/1987: If you thought Jason was good at solving puzzles, you haven't seen Dennis in action!

1985: From the Concentration pilot, here's how the end game worked. The pilot was hosted by Orson Bean.


Alex Trebek

Gene Wood
Art James (Sub)

Diana Taylor (1987)
Marjorie Goodson-Cutt

May 4, 1987 -
September 20, 1991
(1,020 Episodes)

October 28, 1991-
December 31, 1993