Wipeout (1988 U.S. game show)

For the 2008 U.S. TV series, see Wipeout (2008 U.S. game show).


Game show

Created by
Bob Fraser[1]

Directed by
Jerome Shaw[1]

Presented by
Peter Tomarken

Narrated by
Jim Hackett
Robert Ridgely
John Harlan

Theme music composer
Otis Conner[1]

Country of origin
United States

Original language(s)

No. of episodes


Executive producer(s)
Rob Dames
Bob Fraser

Bill Mitchell[1]

Paramount Pictures Studios
Stage 30
Hollywood, California

Running time
approx. 22-26 minutes

Production company(s)
Dames-Fraser Productions[1]

Paramount Domestic Television


Original network

Original release
September 12, 1988[1] – June 9, 1989

Wipeout is an American game show that aired from September 12, 1988 to June 9, 1989, with Peter Tomarken as host. The series was produced by Dames-Fraser Productions and distributed by Paramount Domestic Television.
Reruns of the series later aired on the USA Network from 1989 to 1991.[1]


1 Main game

1.1 First round

1.1.1 “Hot Spot”

1.2 Challenge Round

2 Bonus round
3 Versions outside the US

3.1 Their Descriptions
3.2 Australia
3.3 Germany
3.4 Greece
3.5 Netherlands
3.6 Spain

3.6.1 Format changes

3.7 United Kingdom

4 References

Main game[edit]
First round[edit]
Three contestants competed on each episode. Initially, each game featured three new contestants. After several weeks, the show instituted a returning champion policy.
The players were given a category and shown 16 possible answers on a 4-by-4 grid of monitors. Eleven answers were correct, while the five incorrect ones were referred to as “Wipeouts” (In one episode, Tomarken accidentally referred to them as “Whammies” from Press Your Luck, Tomarken’s well known game show), The contestant in the leftmost position began the round.
The contestant in control chose one answer at a time; each correct answer awarded money, while finding a Wipeout reset the score to zero and ended his/her turn. After each correct answer, he/she could either choose again or pass control to the next contestant. The first correct answer of the round was worth $25, and the value of each subsequent answer increased by $25, with the last one worth $275.
When either all of the correct answers or all of the Wipeouts had been found, the round ended and the two highest-scoring contestants kept their money and advanced to the Challenge Round. If there was a tie fo