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In 1979, NBC revived the classic game show Password and added in a few new features to give the show a "plus." There were two contestants and they were paired up with a celebrity. Then the celebrity or a contestant tried to communicate a "password" by using one word clues. When the password was sovled, the word would go up on the password puzzle board. That password would be a clue that would describe a person, place, thing, or event. A person who solves the puzzle in the first game won $100. The second game was worth $100. The third game was worth $200. The first person to reach $300 was the winner of the game and went on to play Alphabetics for a chance to win $5,000.

In Alphabetics, there were 10 words arranged alphabetically (i.e. 10 words starting with B going all the way to the letter K. The first password started with the letter B). The celebrity partner would try to communicate the 10 passwords using one word clues in 60 seconds or less. Each correct guess was worth $100. If all 10 words were guessed, the contestant would win $5,000. A few months into the series, a new rule was added stating that no opposites could be used as clues during the main game or Alphabetics.

(The contestant on the far left is Rich Cronin, former president of Game Show Network.)

In 1980, Allen Ludden became ill and Bill Cullen hosted for four weeks until Allen came back. Later in that year, Allen had to leave the show due to cancer. Bill Cullen could not take over the show because he was already hosting another NBC game show, Blockbusters. Tom Kennedy was chosen to be the new host of Password Plus. Sadly, Allen Ludden passed away in 1981.

In 1981, the format of the game changed. The first three games were worth $100 and contestants changed partners after the third $100 puzzle. The fourth puzzle was worth $200 and the contestant who reached $500 won the game. In Alphabetics the rules stayed the same except the jackpot went up an additional $5,000 each time the jackpot was not won. Password ran on NBC daytime until 1982.

Memorable Moments

The infamous "French" incident. Dick Martin gives Tom Kennedy a hard time and creates one of the most memorable game show bloopers ever!
The George Peppard "rant" that got episode #111 of Password Plus locked up in the library! This episode never aired until Game Show Network aired it in 1995.
The Password Plus segment you'll never see. This clip features Gene Rayburn and Wink Martindale.
Gene Wood gets a cameo as he explains why you should get tickets to see Password Plus in person!


Allen Ludden
Tom Kennedy
Bill Cullen (Sub)

Gene Wood
Johnny Olson (Sub)

January 08, 1979
Finale :
March 26, 1982
(801* Episodes)

*Due to a controversial rant by George Peppard, episode #111 went unaired until 1995 when it aired for the first time on Game Show Network. Six episodes were taped a few weeks later featuring Robert Walden and Judy Norton Taylor to make up for the unaired episode.

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