Supermarket Sweep
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Supermarket Sweep
GenreGame show
Created byAl Howard
Directed byLloyd Gross (1965-67)
Peter Molnár (1965-67)
Chris Darley (1990-95, 2000-03)
J. Rupert Thompson (2020)
Presented by
Narrated by
Theme music composerThe Dave Brubeck Quartet &
Score Productions (1965-67)
Christopher Rhyne (1990-95; 2000-03)
Hurby Azor & Ray Davies (2020)
Opening theme"Supermarket Sweep Theme" (1965-67; 1990-95; 2000-03)
"Push It" by Salt-N-Pepa (2020)
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons3 (ABC)
6 (Lifetime)
3 (PAX)
No. of episodes1,113
Executive Leonard Stern (1965-67)
Al Howard (1990-95; 2000-03)
Leslie Jones (2020)
Hunter Seidman (2020)
Jennifer Mullin (2020)
Alycia Rossiter (2020)
Wes Kauble (2020)
Jerome Schnur (1965-67)
Joel Stein (1990-95)
Mark Maxwell-Smith (2000)
Jim Rossi (2001-03)
Rosemarie DiSalvo (2020)
Production location(s)Food Fair (1965-67)
Hollywood Center Studios,
Hollywood, California (1990-95)
Santa Clarita Studios,
Santa Clarita, California (2000)
NBC Studios,
Burbank, California (2000-03)
Santa Monica Airport,
Santa Monica, California (2020)
Running time22-26 minutes (1965-2003)
42-46 minutes (2020)
Production Talent Associates (1965-67)
Al Howard Productions (1990-95, 2000-03)
Fremantle (2020)
DistributorFremantle (2017-present)
Original networkABC (1965-67; 2020)
Lifetime (1990-95)
PAX TV (2000-03)
Original releaseDecember 20, 1965 (1965-12-20) -

Supermarket Sweep is an American television game show. The format combined an ordinary team-based quiz show with the novel concept of a live, timed race through a supermarket. In the timed race, cameras followed the teams with shopping carts through a large vacated supermarket with several aisles; the value of items thrown into the cart determined the winning team. The original show was broadcast on ABC from December 20, 1965 to July 14, 1967.[1] Revivals aired on Lifetime from February 5, 1990 to June 16, 1995 (with reruns until August 14, 1998, and on PAX TV from April 5, 1999 to March 31, 2000), and later from April 3, 2000 to May 23, 2003, with reruns airing until March 26, 2004.

The 1960s Supermarket Sweep was broadcast from Food Fair supermarkets, mostly around New York City. For the Lifetime version, a mock supermarket was created at Hollywood Center Studios. It was modeled after a Hughes Family Market (which was later merged into the Ralphs chain in 1998). The first season of the PAX version was taped at Santa Clarita Studios in Santa Clarita, California. Beginning on November 20, 2000, the show moved to NBC Studios, with that series' set modeled after a Unified Western Market. The 2020 revival is filmed at the Barker Hangar at Santa Monica Airport.[2]

The host for the 1960s version was Bill Malone. The announcers were Wally King from 1965 to 1966 and Richard Hayes from 1966 to 1967. The host for the Lifetime and PAX versions was David Ruprecht. The announcer was Johnny Gilbert from 1990 to 1995 and again from April to June 2000, with Randy West taking over for Gilbert in July 2000 and continuing for the rest of the series.

A revival of the show premiered on October 18, 2020, broadcast on ABC and hosted by Leslie Jones.[3] Episodes are 60 minutes long and consist of two complete half-hour games, with three new teams per game.



Three teams competed. Each team began with a base time of 1:30. In the first round of the game, one contestant from each team was shown a grocery item and asked to guess its retail price. The team who came the closest won the item and an additional 15 seconds were added to their time. Four items were shown.

In the second round of the game, the contestant from each team who did not play the first round went on a shopping spree through the market, using the time accumulated. Bonus items worth $10-$100 were also spread throughout the store. All teams kept every item they picked up, with the team with the highest total in groceries, bonus prizes and other items winning the right to return to the show and play in the next game. Teams remained on the show until they were defeated or until they reached the winnings cap of $20,000.

1990-2003, 2020

The gameplay of the Lifetime/PAX version of Supermarket Sweep consisted of three segments: the question round, the Big Sweep, and the Bonus Sweep. The game was played between three teams of two related individuals, such as a parent and child, spouses, siblings, or best friends, initially called to play by an object they were holding (in the studio audience for the Lifetime version, backstage for the PAX version). Beginning with the Big Sweep, the team members would put on sweatshirts of the same color, with each team ranked depending on how much time they earned in the question rounds. In the first season, the sweatshirt colors for teams 1, 2, and 3 were light blue, red, and yellow, respectively; the sweatshirt colors of teams 1 and 2 were swapped in subsequent seasons.

Three new pairs of contestants appeared in each episode. Some contestants on earlier episodes later appeared in various tournaments.

The 2020 revival largely uses the same format as the 1990-2003 version.[2]

Question rounds

Former logo, used during the 2000-03 Pax TV version; it is based on the designs used for the Lifetime version from 1993 to 1995.

Similar to the original version, all three teams started with a base time of 1:30. For the 2020 revival, the base time was increased to 2:00. Through a series of three rounds, contestants were asked a series of questions, usually centered around knowledge of products found in a grocery store. Each correct answer added 10 seconds to a team's time bank. The first two question rounds were played by one team member, with team members swapping positions after the first round. Questions included identifying a product that was missing letters, determining the brand of a product via an edited picture, and identifying a product based on a series of facts. Occasionally, questions centered around pop culture, movies, or stories found in checkstand tabloids.

Other questions centered around identifying the price of an item. This was accomplished in several different ways; two popular methods included determining which item in a set of three did not fit the designated criteria (e.g. +/- $3.00), or which item was incorrectly priced. A mainstay in the second round gave contestants the opportunity to add 30 seconds to their time banks if all three contestants gave the correct answer.

Occasionally, the second question round was replaced with one of the following games:

  • "30-Second Shootout" – Each team played this round individually. One member was given a list of words and had 30 seconds to get their partner to say as many of them as possible. The first letters of these words spelled out a brand or product name; if the partner could guess it, the team received 30 seconds of Sweep time. If the clue-giver said one of the target words, the team forfeited their turn. A variant of this game required one member to describe three particular brand names for their partner to guess (with their logos shown on-screen), with 10 seconds awarded for each correct solution.
  • "Snack Attack Movie Game" – Three questions about movies worth 10 seconds each were asked. The contestant who answered the last of the three questions correctly earned the right to take a taste test of a food item in the market; correctly identifying the item earned that team a $50 bonus for the Big Sweep. If the contestant guessed right on a second chance (multiple choice at that point, and consisting of a maximum three choices), that team earned $25. Originally, the question related to the item only had two choices and only the correct choice earned the $50 bonus.

The final round was the "round robin" game, in which the members of each team alternated turns buzzing in to answer questions (typically six altogether) that awarded 10 seconds apiece. The most common format featured a brand name that had its letters scrambled. The emcee would then offer a maximum of three clues to help contestants zero in on the correct answer. Occasionally, an alternate format was used that omitted the word scramble; instead, the host would offer five clues.


Beginning in the show's second season in 1991, a Mini-Sweep was played at the beginning of the first round. A toss-up question (usually a rhyming couplet) was asked with a particular product as the answer. The team that correctly answered the question earned 10 seconds, as well as a chance for one team member to run into the market to retrieve a package of that product marked with the show's logo. If the product was returned within 30 seconds, the team won $50 towards their Sweep total. The team won no bonus if the runner failed to find the marked package, returned it after time ran out, or returned an incorrect item or unmarked package. Originally, contestants were only required to bring back any one package of the item in question.

A year after its debut, the bonus was doubled to $100 if the product was brought back within 20 seconds. Starting with the fourth season, a second Mini-Sweep was added at the beginning of the second round; while this was later discontinued as a regular feature, it would be used during special weeks on the PAX version.

For the 2020 revival, the Mini-Sweep consists of a clue read to all three teams. Instead of buzzing-in, the teams discuss the clue and send one member apiece into the market to find the correct item. The first person to bring it back wins $250 for their team.

Big Sweep

The "Big Sweep" was the chance for the teams to run throughout the supermarket and take products from the shelves with the seconds they had earned in the front game. One contestant from each team was designated as the "runner," with the job of collecting items in a shopping cart, and the teams were assigned numbers based on their accumulated time: 1 for the most, 2 for the second-most, 3 for the least.

The clock for the Big Sweep was set to the leading time, and it started when Team 1 was sent into the market. Teams 2 and 3 were sent in when the clock displayed their respective times. If any of the teams were tied, they were sent into the market at the same time.

A camera operator would follow each shopper throughout the Big Sweep. In each finished episode, the footage was spliced together to create one near-real-time highlight reel, and the announcer would add a play-by-play commentary to the reel, describing the items being placed in each contestant's cart.

At any time, runners could bring full carts back to their partners' checkout counters and exchange them for empty ones. With the exception of certain bonuses, items had to be in a team's cart (either the runner's current one, or a full one already delivered to the checkout) when time ran out in order to count toward their total.

The main rules for the Big Sweep were:

  • Each runner could take no more than five of any one item.
  • If an item was knocked off a shelf or otherwise upset or damaged, the runner who did so either had to replace the item on the shelf or put it in their cart, or take a $25 penalty for each item. Teams were also penalized $100 for running into supermarket displays, cameramen or any other personnel, including opponents.
  • Only the runners could be in the market; their partners were required to remain at the checkout counter behind a red restraining line and unload the groceries. The partners could cross the line only with permission from the producers, typically to pick up a dropped item or bonus or to take part in a bonus activity that required their participation.

The five-item limit was absent in the original ABC version of the show, but was added to prevent a team from overloading their carts with expensive items, such as poultry, laundry detergent or over-the-counter drugs. The store was stocked with at least 15 items of each product, ensuring all three teams could have as many of a given item as they were allowed.

In most episodes early in the show's first season on Lifetime, costumed characters such as Frankenstein's monster, a gorilla, or a creature named Mr. Yuck ran through the aisles during the Sweep. If the character came near a contestant or vice versa, the contestant had to turn around and go in the other direction; if the contestant's cart hit the character, a penalty was also imposed. The characters were dropped later in the season.

A variety of opportunities to earn additional cash were available during the Big Sweep. The one constant throughout the entire run of the second series was a group of giant "bonus" items (stuffed animals, advertising signs, inflatable displays, etc.) placed throughout the market in plain sight. Attached to each of these items was a peel-off sticker that concealed a value between $50 and $250 (originally $200). Each runner could take only one bonus, and its value was added to the team's total only if it was returned to the checkout counter before time ran out.

Later in the Lifetime series, Supermarket Sweep began employing more ways for the teams to build up their sweep totals. The first such method employed was called the Shopping List, where teams could earn an extra $250 for bringing three specific grocery items back during the course of the Big Sweep ($500 in the 2020 version). Over the years, more variations on that theme would be used; for instance, the teams might be asked to fulfill a bread order or retrieve magazines.

Other ways for teams to earn money included:

  • Searching through a bin of canned goods to find a marked can of a specific brand, announced by Ruprecht during the Big Sweep
  • Finding a mystery product or movie, with the help of clues given by Ruprecht or a set of monitors in the aisles
  • Retrieving a sack of empty cans for the partner to stack or crush
  • Grinding a bag of coffee beans
  • Weighing and bagging $1.00 worth of self-serve candy, as shown on a digital scale, with a 2-cent margin of error
  • Making a sandwich using every ingredient on a table
  • Finding a token by popping balloons or emptying bags of popcorn

The following bonuses were introduced in the 2020 version:

  • Requesting an item from a staff member or placing an order, then waiting for it to be delivered or prepared
  • Finding a "golden can" in a specified aisle announced on the loudspeaker
  • Finding a cup tagged with the contestant's name at the in-store coffee bar
  • A "Triple Bonus" item with three stickers concealing values of $100, $200, and $300; a team claiming this item may peel off one sticker at the end of the Big Sweep and receive its value

Teams received money for these tasks only if they were completed in the manner specified by Ruprecht before time ran out.

Once time expired, the runners had to stop whatever they were doing and return to the checkout counters. All of the products were scanned while the show took a final commercial break, and the grand totals of each team's takes were revealed when the show returned, beginning with Team 3, and ending with Team 1. Each team's groceries were tallied and any bonuses/penalties were applied to determine the final totals. The team with the highest score won their Big Sweep total in cash and advanced to the Bonus Sweep for a chance to win an additional $5,000. The other teams received parting gifts. Sweep totals included cents in the first season, but were subsequently rounded to the nearest dollar.

Bonus Sweep / Super Sweep

During Ruprecht's tenure as host, the bonus round was called the "Bonus Sweep." The winning team had 60 seconds to win $5,000 by finding three particular items in succession. Ruprecht read a clue to lead the team to the identity of the first item, and the clock started immediately afterward as the team ran into the market. The correct item was tagged with a large circular token bearing the show's logo and a clue for a second item to be found. This item in turn had a clue for a third item, which had a bundle of $5,000 in cash hidden behind it. In order to win, the team had to find all three items and have their hands on the money before time ran out. If they fell short, they received $200 for each item they had found.

Originally, if the team found the final product and the $5,000 before either of the other two, they automatically forfeited the bonus round. However, after the first two seasons, this was changed so that an overhead announcement was made reminding the team to find the first two products, then return to the third product and claim the cash.

For the 2020 revival, the bonus round is known as the "Super Sweep." The initial rules and time limit are the same as for the Bonus Sweep, but the prize for finding all three items is $25,000. Instead of a bundle of cash, the third item has a sealed envelope hidden behind it. The team must decide whether to "cash out," ending the round and keeping the $25,000, or trade it for an additional 20 seconds on the clock to find a fourth item worth $50,000 and tagged with another envelope. If successful, they may cash out or trade the money for another 15 seconds to find a fifth and final item, worth $100,000 and tagged with an oversized gold bill in that amount. If the team chooses to continue the round after finding the third or fourth item, the clock restarts as soon as they open the envelope containing the next clue.[2] If time runs out at any point, the team wins nothing beyond their Big Sweep total.

Episode status

Seven episodes of the 1960s version survive (the rest were destroyed to recycle film). The Lifetime/PAX version remains completely intact. On April 11, 2015, the pilot episode for the Lifetime version was posted on YouTube by Wink Martindale as part of his "Wink's Vault" series of rare game show findings.

Fremantle owns the worldwide format rights, including the American productions which it acquired in 2018. Since January 15, 2018, Fremantle's American digital subchannel Buzzr has been airing the 1990s series that originally aired on Lifetime, and has also aired the PAX episodes from the 2000s. Episodes from the Lifetime/PAX revival are available on Amazon Video through Buzzr.

In July 2020, 15 episodes of the 1990s series were made available on Netflix.[4]


On October 13, 2017, it was announced that Fremantle had acquired the global rights to the format and that a revival of the show was in the works. Fremantle stated that the new incarnation of the show would incorporate "modern technology" into the program to reflect 21st-century shopping habits.[5][6][7][8] On August 27, 2019, Deadline reported that Leslie Jones had signed on as the revival's host and executive producer. Several networks, including ABC, NBC, and Fox, as well as Netflix, were said to be interested in acquiring the revived series.[9] On January 8, 2020, Deadline confirmed that ABC had picked up the series, with Jones as host.[10] On June 17, 2020, it was announced that the series would premiere on October 18, 2020, and air on Sundays at 8:00 P.M.[11][3]


A board game based on the original ABC version was manufactured by Milton Bradley in 1966.

A video slot machine based on the Lifetime/PAX version was released to North American casinos by WMS Gaming.

International versions


  (4) Currently airing  
  (11) No longer airing  
Country Name Host(s) TV station Premiere Finale
 Arab League El-Sawaq Ali Mahmoud GEM TV 2019 present
 Argentina Sume y Lleve Doris del Valle
Emilio Disi
Canal 9 1987 1988
Ana María Campoy
Daniel Castex
Clink Caja Beruga Carámbula 1996 1996
 Australia Supermarket Sweep Australia Ian Turpie Nine Network February 10, 1992 February 4, 1994
 Brazil SuperMarket [pt] Ricardo Corte Real [pt] Band August 30, 1993 June 8, 1998
RecordTV September 18, 2000 January, 2001
 Belgium Iedereen Beroemd
De winkelkarquiz
Frederic van Landeghem (Votum) Één 2012 2012
 Canada Supermarket Sweep (English)[12] Tino Monte Syndication September 13, 1993 September 15, 1995
Global Television Network
L'épicerie en folie Metro (French) Christian Tétreault TQS September 12, 1994 June 9, 1995
 Chile Supermarket Pablo Krögh Canal 13 August 21, 1995 November 21, 1997
Juan La Rivera
Soúper Márket
Pounentis Matt ANT1 1993 1994
Michael Tsaousopoulos
Tony Sfinos Mega Channel 2020 present
 Japan ?!! [ja]
Ikkaku senkin!
Kazuki Kosakai Nippon TV April 7, 1991 September 29, 1991
 Spain Supermarket Enrique Simon [es] Antena 3 February 24, 1992 1992
 Turkey Süpermarket Erdinç Do?an Kanal 6 [tr] 1993 1994
Yi?it Alici Kanal D 2009 2009
 Ukraine ?
Shou Shara
Gennady Popenko
Yulia Kovaleva
ICTV 2013 present
 United Kingdom Supermarket Sweep Dale Winton ITV September 6, 1993 September 6, 2001
February 12, 2007 August 31, 2007
Rylan Clark-Neal ITV2 (2019)
ITV (2020)
September 9, 2019 present
 United States Arrasa con Todo con Kmart (Spanish) Carlos Calderon
Carolina Delgado
Univision February 7, 2011 August 13, 2011
 Vietnam Siêu th? may m?n
Lucky Supermarket
Thanh B?ch HTV7 June 5, 2005 February 2012
Quy?n Linh
Minh Quân
Minh Béo (as Th?n Tài)
H?ng Thiên Phúc (as Th?n Tài Con)

See also


  1. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1997). The Encyclopedia of Daytime Television. Watson-Guptill Publications. pp. 418-419. ISBN 978-0823083152. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ a b c First Supermarket Sweep footage showcases fun-filled grocery store race for $100k. Entertainment Weekly (August 31, 2020). Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Jacobs, Meredith. "ABC Fall 2020 Schedule: 'Supermarket Sweep' & More Unscripted Premiere Dates". TV Insider. Retrieved .
  4. ^ Harmata, Claudia (July 8, 2020). "Netflix Now Has Original Episodes of the Beloved 90s Game Show Supermarket Sweep". Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ FremantleMedia goes wild in the aisles with Supermarket Sweep
  6. ^ Attention Shoppers! Supermarket Sweep is Coming Back to TV
  7. ^ Supermarket Sweep Returning
  8. ^ A Journey Through the Many Worlds of 'Supermarket Sweep'
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 28, 2019). "Leslie Jones To Host 'Supermarket Sweep' Reboot For Fremantle With Multiple Networks Pursuing". Deadline Hollywood. United States: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 8, 2020). "ABC Nabs 'Supermarket Sweep' Revival Game Show Hosted By Leslie Jones". Deadline Hollywood. United States: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved 2020.
  11. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 17, 2020). "ABC 2020-21 Schedule: 'The Bachelorette' Makes Fall Debut As 'The Conners' Moves To Wednesday, 'Black-ish' Is Benched & Net Goes Down To One Comedy Night". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2020.
  12. ^ information on the 1993-1995 (Canadian) version

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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