This question and answer game show hosted by Dick Clark ran in daily syndication in the United States from September 3, 1990, to August 31, 1991. Many of the questions involved current events, and the shows were taped within a week prior to their air date. The immediacy was reinforced by having the announcer open each show by announcing the date.
Three contestants competed, starting with a score of $200. Each show opened with a 60-second "Challengers Sprint," a rapid fire round in which contestants buzzed in to try to answer the questions; correct answers were worth $100, and incorrect answers meant a $100 deduction. The player with the most money got control of the board for the main game.
The board contained six categories, each with three questions of increasing difficulty, worth $150, $200, and $250. Each contestant secretly locked in which of the three questions they wanted to try for. If each question was picked by a different contestant, each question was asked to each contestant separately. If two contestants picked the same question, it was treated as a buzz-in. If all three players picked the same question, the values of the three questions in the category doubled and all three contestants competed to buzz in and answer the first question; the first correct contestant then had the opportunity to choose to answer the remaining two questions.
The second round was played just like the first, except the dollar values of the questions were raised to $300, $400, and $500.
At the end of the game came the Final Challenge, with one category and three questions. Instead of dollar values, these questions had odds: the easiest was at even odds, the hardest was worth 3:1 odds, and the middle question was 2:1. Each contestant wagered all or part of their score and picked a question. If two or three contestants picked the same question, the contestant with the highest wager would be the only one allowed to answer it. A correct answer on a 3:1 question could be quite lucrative indeed.
The winning contestant returned the next day as champion, but even the losing contestants got to keep their daily winnings, in the form of a credit line on a Citibank Visa card.
After winning three games, a champion would play the bonus round, "Ultimate Challenge," answering three questions in one category for a progressive jackpot prize that started at $25,000 and went up by $1,000 daily until it was won.
Although the concept was fairly unoriginal, essentially "Jeopardy!" crossed with elements of a 1960s game show called "The Who, What, or Where Game," "The Challengers" was actually an entertaining game show. The questions were fairly challenging (it definitely helped to keep up with what was in the newspaper last week), and the fact that it was possible for contestants to double or even triple their money in the final round meant there were few, if any, runaway games.