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Mark Goodson

Mark Goodson

D.O.B.: January 14, 1915 (Sacramento, CA)

D.O.D.: December 18, 1992 (New York, NY)

Cause of Death: Cancer

Location: Hillside Memorial; Just outside the main entrance of the mausoleum

Biographical Notes:

The first game show he devised was for the Mutual Broadcasting System called POP THE QUESTION, in which contestants threw darts at balloons to determine the value of their prizes.

Mark Goodson and Bill Todman were among television's most successful producers of game shows. They refined celebrity panel quizzes with What's My Line and I've Got a Secret, and created games that lasted for years. Some, like The Price is Right, became even more popular in revived versions. Many of their shows have been adapted for production in television systems outside the United States.

In 1939, Mark Goodson created his first game, Pop the Question, for San Francisco's KFRC. In Pop the Question players threw darts at balloons to collect prizes inside. Goodson left for New York City in 1941, with an introduction from Berkeley alumnus Ralph Edwards. While working several announcing and writing jobs, he met Bill Todman, a radio writer, director, and advertising copywriter. The two found a shared love of games, and set to work on their first quiz show. They developed the methods that would serve them throughout their careers: Mark refined the format, while Bill tested possible flaws in the rules and worked out the financial angles. CBS Radio finally picked up the game, Winner Take All, after World War II, and the two also partnered to create four local radio quizzes: Hit the Jackpot, Spin to Win, Rate Your Mate, and Time's a Wastin'. Winner Take All used a lockout buzzer system and was the first quiz to pit two contestants against each other, rather than against the quizmaster one at a time. It was also first to have winners return each week until they were defeated. Winner Take All became the first Goodson and Todman show on CBS' new television network, debuting 8 July 1948


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