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Archive: Feb 5, 2007
Canada at the Oscars
27th Annual Genie Awards
Film & Television


Featured Careers
by: Feb 5, 2007 Print

This has been quite the week for me: first I am an answer in a National Post crossword puzzle, now I note you referred to my show, The Mad Dash, in Matthew Hays' Jan. 22 article "Insight makes a Deal."

The case of The Mad Dash actually was somewhat more illustrious than other game shows of that era in that it actually was Canadian and not a foreign-acquired format such as Definition, It's Your Move and Deal or No Deal Canada.

I can go into a long explanation why Canadian game shows of that era had smaller prizes, but I'll save that for now. The reasons DONDC can put its toe in the big-prize water are its huge lead-in promotion from the U.S. version, the fact they are only doing five episodes, (Jeez, Millionaire only did two shows for CTV), that it runs in primetime, and that Global is putting all its weight behind this special show.

What I am trying to say is that you made an apple-and-orange comparison. The Mad Dash gave the largest prizes on Canadian daytime TV (in addition to a house plant). We gave prize packages worth up to $10,000 (tax free - and not bad for the early '80s) and everybody who appeared on our show won something. Not always the case on the new "all or nothing" shows of today.

And finally, The Mad Dash is fondly remembered by a whole generation as one of their favorite shows when "they were growing up." It was a small Canadian show that in its time pulled very high ratings across the country with no help from a U.S. broadcaster and no promotion from, at that time, a fractious CTV network.

In spite of that, the format still sold abroad where hundreds of episodes were produced, and I am delighted to note that there is ongoing interest in new production.

Can't think of any other English-Canadian-created game show that can say that!

Sidney M. Cohen,
Creator, The Mad Dash.



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