Name That Tune

Name That Tune is an American television music game show. Originally created and produced by orchestra conductor Harry Salter and his wife Roberta Semple Salter, the series features contestants competing to correctly identify songs being played by an on-stage orchestra or band.

Name That Tune premiered on the NBC Radio Network in 1952, where it aired until 1954 and made the move to television in 1953 on the same network. CBS picked up the television series in the summer of 1953 and carried it through 1959.

A short-lived revival for syndication followed in 1970 with Richard Hayes as host, but the second revival in 1974 was much more successful. Airing weekly, the 1974 syndicated offering used a new show format and, beginning in 1976, offered a top prize of $100,000 to a lucky champion (after which the show became known as The $100,000 Name That Tune). Tom Kennedy hosted this series, which ran until 1981 and began airing twice-weekly during its final season.

During the course of Kennedy’s series, two attempts were made at reviving the series for network television, both on its original home at NBC. Dennis James hosted the first of these series, which ran daily for five months in the daytime in 1974 and came to an end shortly after the new year in 1975. In 1977, a second daily daytime series with Kennedy hosting was conceived, but this too was short-lived and was canceled after six months.

Name That Tune returned in 1984 to syndication, again using the $100,000 prize in its branding. Hosted by Jim Lange, this revival was the first syndicated edition of Name That Tune not to air on a weekly basis from the start; instead, the show aired as a daily series with some changes to the format, including the tournament structure. It did not find the success that its predecessor had in syndication and came to an end after one season in 1985.

In November 2020, Prestige Entertainment, Eureka Productions, and Fox announced a new primetime version of Name That Tune hosted by actress Jane Krakowski, which premiered on January 6, 2021. It was filmed in Australia with American contestants.

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