|NBC Daytime, January 6, 1975 - July 4, 1975|
|Johnny Jacobs, Johnny Gilbert|
|NBC Studios 2 and 4, Burbank, California|
Blank Check was a game show.
Six players competed for an entire week of shows, trying to fill in a four-digit check.
One contestant played as the "check writer" and stood behind a podium positioned stage left. That contestant hit a plunger that stopped five spinning numbers, which could be used to write the check. If the contestant spun a straight (e.g., 1-2-3-4-5) they won a bonus prize. Host James asked the other five contestants, seated in a gallery at stage right, a question requiring a response containing a common relation between two things. The contestant who rang in with the correct answer attempted to guess what number (from the five spun at the start of the game) the check writer chose as the ones digit in their check. Guessing correctly meant they switched places with the check writer and started a new check for themselves, and the check writer won the amount for which the check had been completed up to that point.
If the contestant answering the question was unable to guess which number the check writer had selected, the selected number became the ones digit in the check and play continued for the tens and hundreds digits as described above.
If the check writer was able to complete three digits in their check, the check writer played a game against a studio audience member. The audience member was shown four prizes and their values, and asked to pick one. The check writer had to guess the prize the audience member selected. If incorrect, the audience member won that prize, and the process repeated with the remaining prizes. If the check writer incorrectly guessed three times, the check writer lost their position and the audience member won all four prizes.
If the check writer guessed correctly at any point, the game ended with the audience member winning all prizes accumulated to that point and the check writer earned the chance to place a fourth digit in their check. James then asked one last question to the gallery contestants. The correct respondent tried to guess the final digit selected by the check writer for the thousands digit in their check. If successful, the respondent became the new check writer. If the correct digit was not guessed, the number was placed in the check and the check writer won that amount in cash.
Once a check writer completed a four-digit check (or if they lost the audience game), another question was asked to the remaining five contestants. The person with the correct answer then exchanged places with the former check writer.
The contestant who wrote the biggest check during the week also won a car.
James expressed dislike with the show's format. He and staff members sometimes referred to it as "Blank Mind" because they thought that it "was dumb luck, a guessing game".
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The company that created the show (Barry & Enright) began threatening to sue The Price is Right (created by Mark Goodson & Bill Todman) for copyright infringement because one of their long-running pricing games was also called Blank Check (which was later renamed as Check Game since 1987) the lawsuit is rumored to have stemmed from a playing in which former host Bob Barker said "I wish Goodson-Todman Company would get a show called Blank Check and find someone to emcee that and get me a new game!".
After the cancellation of Blank Check, Art James went on to host The Magnificent Marble Machine.