Sale of the Century

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$ale of the Century
Created by Al Howard
Camera setup Multiple-camera setup
Running time 30 minutes per episode
First shown in September 29, 1969 (United States)
External links
Production website
Countries which have their own version

Sale of the Century (stylised as $ale of the Century) is a television game show format that has been screened in several countries in various incarnations since 1969.[1] The show found its biggest success in Australia, where it aired weeknights from 1980 to 2001.[2] A new version had aired in Australia from May 2005 to January 2009[3][4] and in the United States during the 2007–2008 television season in syndication under the title of Temptation. The format is a general knowledge quiz, where a set of contestants (usually three) earn money for correct answers, and occasionally have the chance to "buy" heavily discounted prizes with their score money via "Instant Bargains" (also known as "The Gift Shop"). Long-running champions would compete to win enough money to buy larger prizes, such as trips or cars, at show's end; more successful ones could end up buying all the prizes on offer and/or a large cash jackpot. In 1973 the three contestant format was dropped and two married couples were used as contestants. This two couple format was also used during the 1973–1974 night time syndicated version as well.

After its original run (1969–74) in the US and during its successful run (1971–83) in the UK, the format was purchased by Australian TV mogul Reg Grundy, whose Grundy Television had produced a similarly formatted program called Temptation (as well as a primetime version called The Great Temptation) between 1971 and 1976. The Grundy version of Sale premiered on Nine Network on July 14, 1980 and became a massive success, spawning versions all across the world (including new versions in the United States and the United Kingdom). At its close in 2001 it was Australia's longest-running game show (a record since surpassed by Wheel of Fortune).

The game format varied in its details over the years and in various nations; however, the core format which debuted in the 1980 Australian version remained unchanged.

International versions[edit]

Region or Country Local Name Hosts Hostesses Network Dates
 Australia Great Temptation Tony Barber Barbie Rogers Seven Network 1970–1976
Sale of the Century

(stylised Sale of the New Century in 2000)

Tony Barber (1980–1991)
Glenn Ridge (1991–2001)
Victoria Nicholls (1980–1982)
Delvene Delaney (1982–1985)
Alyce Platt (1986–1991)
Jo Bailey (1991–1993)
Nicky Buckley (1994–1999)
Nine Network 1980–1999
Karina Brown (2000-2001) 2000–2001
Temptation Ed Phillips Livinia Nixon 2005–2009
 Brazil So Compra Quem Tem Silvio Santos SBT late 1960s to mid-1970s
 France L'Affaire du Siècle Alexandre Dubin TF1 1995 (unaired pilot)
 Greece Aφεvזіκό Tρελάθηκε
The Boss has gone mad
Star Channel 1994–1995
Η αуоρά тоυ αiώvα
The Purchase of The Century
Mary Miliaresi Mega Channel 1997–1998
 Germany Hopp oder Top Andreas Similia
Thomas Aigner
Hermann Toelcke
Angela Petersen/Angelica Tele 5 (1990–1992)
DSF (1993)
 Hong Kong Daai Sau Bat Wong Dic-Thung ATV 1982
 India Super Sale Sajid Khan Niti Mohan STAR One 2004
 Mexico La Venta Increible Guillermo Huesca Anette Cuburu TV Azteca 1998
 New Zealand Sale of The Century Steve Parr Judith Dobson
Julie White
1989–1993, 1995
 Nigeria Temptation:Nigeria Ikponmwosa "ik" Osakioduwa Oluwakemi "Kemi" Adetibathe M-Net 2006
 Paraguay La Venta del Siglo Mario Ferriero
Nestor Porvigna
Maruza Monutti
SNT 1997–1998
 South Africa Temptation:South Africa James Lennox Bridget Masina M-Net 2006
 Turkey Yüzyilin Indirimi Mehmet Aslantug Kanal D
Star TV
1995–1997, 1998
 United Kingdom Sale of the Century Nicholas Parsons
Steve Jones (1981 celebrity special)
Linda Hooks
Angela Daniels
Sneh Gupta
Tina Robinson
Sophie Batchelor
Eunice Denny
Laura Beaumont
Caro Greenwood
Christine Owen
Caroline Villners
Carole Ashby
Karen Loughlin
Jennifer Cresswell
ITV 1971–1983
Peter Marshall Maria Rice Mundy Sky Channel 1989–1992
Keith Chegwin no hostess Challenge TV 1997–1998
 United States Sale of the Century Jack Kelly (1969–1971)
Joe Garagiola (1971–1974)
Barbara Lyon (1969–1971)
Kit Dougherty (1971–1974)
1969–1973, 1973–1974
Jim Perry Sally Julian (1983)
Lee Menning (1983–1984)
Summer Bartholomew (1984–1989)
1983–1989, 1985–1986
Temptation Rossi Morreale no hostess Syndication 2007–2008


United States[edit]

Sale of the Century made its debut in the United States on September 29, 1969, on NBC daytime. The series aired until July 13, 1973, then aired in a weekly syndicated version for one additional year. A new version of the show ran weekday mornings (again on NBC) from January 3, 1983 to March 24, 1989, with a concurrent version airing weeknights in syndication from January 1985 to September 1986. The original version was hosted by Jack Kelly and later by Joe Garagiola. Both of the 1980s versions were hosted by Jim Perry.

A syndicated edition of Temptation (The New Sale of the Century) premiered on September 10, 2007, and was televised through September 5, 2008. Rossi Morreale was the host. The announcers included Bill Wendell on the 1970s version, Jay Stewart and Don Morrow on the 1980s version, and former talk-show hostess Rolonda Watts forTemptation. The series has been rerun at two different periods: USA Network aired 390 episodes, 120 1988–89 daytime episodes, and all 270 syndicated episodes between 1985–86,[5] from 1992 to 1994, and GSN began running 65 episodes from 1988 to 1989 on April 1, 2013.

As a sweepstakes promotion for the BUZZR network, fans voted for Sale of the Century to be added to the network's Sunday night lineup. Reruns of the show currently air at 8:00 PM, Sundays on BUZZR.

United Kingdom[edit]

The United Kingdom version of Sale of the Century, produced by Anglia Television, was hosted by Nicholas Parsons. A 1989 remake presented by Peter Marshall aired on Sky TV, and Keith Chegwin hosted a Challenge version in 1997 and 1998. John Benson was UK's most famous of the show's announcers, thanks to his "From Norwich, it's the quiz of the week!" introduction.

In 2005, Sale of the Century was part of Ant & Dec's Gameshow Marathon hosted by Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly and the three celebrities that competed in this episode were Vernon Kay (who was the winner of this episode), Ruby Wax and Eamonn Holmes.


In Australia, Tony Barber hosted Sale of the Century from its 1980 debut until 1991, when Glenn Ridge took over for the rest of its run. Ron Neate was the show's announcer for the first ten episodes in 1980 before Pete Smith took over as announcer until its end in 2001.[6] Sale of the Century was later revived in 2005 under the name of Temptation and continued production until 2008 with the final episode airing on January 23, 2009. It was hosted by Ed Phillips and co-hosted by Livinia Nixon. In the 1970s there was a similarly formatted game show to Sale of the Century hosted by Tony Barber also called "Temptation". It had aired on the Seven Network, while the other versions have aired on the Nine Network.

Clips from the 1980s US, Australian, Hong Kong, New Zealand, 1989 UK, German, Greek, and Paraguayan versions, as well as a French pilot were seen on the Australian version's 15th anniversary special in 1995.

Hong Kong[edit]

A Hong Kong version debuted in 1982 called Daai Sau Bat (Chinese: 大手筆; Jyutping: Daai6 Sau2 Bat1). It aired on ATV and the host was Wong Dic-Thung.

New Zealand[edit]

In New Zealand, Sale of the Century originally screened on TV2 and debuted in April 1989 the show later moved to ONE. The New Zealand version was hosted by Steve Parr and Judith Kirk. The show was cancelled in 1993 but over a year later the show was revived on rival network TV3 still hosted by Steve Parr but now with Julie White as co-host.

The TV3 version was axed in early 1995 due to low ratings and not being able to compete with TV1 extending their news to an hour long making the top rating Holmes show a competing show. In 1990 a competition between New Zealand and Australian past Sale of the Century champions was held in New Zealand.


The hosts for the German version Hopp oder Top (Hopp or Top) (originally titled as angebot des Jahrhunderts/Offer of the Century in the pilot)included Andreas Similia, Thomas Aigner and Hermann Toelcke, originally running on Tele 5 from 1990 to 1992 and a few months in 1993 on DSF.


In Greece, the show's title is Aφεvזіκό Tρελάθηκε (The Boss Has Gone Mad). It aired on the Star Channel from 1994 to 1995. Two years later another version ran on the Mega Channel from 1997 to 1998 unter the title Н αүορά זоυ αiώvα (The Purchase of The Century) hosted by Mary Miliaresi (of Rouk Zouk fame).


Paraguay had its own version called La Venta del Siglo (The Sale of the Century) from 1997 to 1998. It aired on SNT and the hosts were Mario Ferreiro, Nestor Porvigna, and Maruza Monutti.


In 1995, TF1 in France had two pilot episodes for a French version called L'Affaire du Siècle (The Deal of The Century) shot in the studios of GTV9 in Melbourne, Australia in the same studio and on the same set as the Australian version (at the time) with the help of the local French-speaking organisation, Alliance Francais De Melbourne. The host was Alexandre Dubin. The pilot was not sold. Host Dubin walked on crutches during the shows as he suffered an Achilles tendon rupture prior to recording.


In Turkey, the version is called Yüziylin Indirimi (Century Discount) the host of the show was actor Mehmet Aslantuğ. The show ran on Kanal D from 1995 to 1997 and later Star TV in 1998.


In 2004, India had a version called Super Sale, hosted by Sajid Khan, for the STAR One channel.

South Africa[edit]

In 2006, South Africa had its own version of the show called Temptation, just like the 2005 Australian revival. It aired on M-Net, and the host was James Lennox while Bridget Masina was the hostess.


M-Net also had a version of Temptation that started in 2006 airing out of Nigeria, where it follows a similar format, with contestants competing to win prizes of more than US$100,000 (about 13,000,000). It was hosted by Ikponmwosa "Ik" Osakioduwa and Oluwakemi "Kemi" Modupeola.


The first Brazilian version was called So Compra Quem Tem (But Who's Buying), which aired from the late 1960s to mid-1970s. The show, which aired on SBT, was hosted by Silvio Santos.


Mexico had a version called La Venta Increíble (The Incredible Sale), hosted by Guillermo Huesca, for TV Azteca in 1998.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "SALE OF THE CENTURY". The Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "Australian production of Sale of the Century FAQ". Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  3. ^ Knox, David (23 December 2008). "The last Temptation". Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Knox, David (22 January 2009). "Nine Network takes axe to Temptation". Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "Variety Archives". 
  6. ^ "Trivia for "Sale of the Century" (1980)". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]