Cash and Carry

Hosted by Dennis James

Cash and Carry


“Cash and Carry” stands as a pioneering American television game show that aired on the DuMont Television Network from June 20, 1946, to July 1, 1947. Hosted by Dennis James, the show marked a significant milestone as the first “network” television game show, aired on both affiliates of the DuMont Network. Sponsored by Libby’s Foods and produced by Art Stark, “Cash and Carry” brought an innovative format to early television, setting the stage for the evolution of game shows in the years to come.


The concept of “Cash and Carry” emerged during the nascent years of television, as networks sought to explore new programming formats. Created by Art Stark, later known for producing “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” the show introduced a novel concept set in a supermarket. With Dennis James as the host, “Cash and Carry” became a pioneering endeavor, paving the way for future game show adaptations on television.

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The format of “Cash and Carry” blended elements of a quiz show with interactive challenges set in a supermarket backdrop. Contestants would select cans from the shelves, each containing questions attached to the sponsor’s products. Dennis James would pose these questions to the contestants, with correct answers earning monetary rewards ranging from $5 to $15.

In addition to answering questions, contestants also engaged in various stunts and tasks designed to entertain viewers. For example, couples might be challenged to collaborate on a task, such as one partner being blindfolded while the other guided them towards a goal. The show aimed to combine intellectual challenges with physical tasks, creating an engaging and dynamic viewing experience.

Cash and Carry

Viewers at home were also encouraged to participate, with the opportunity to call in during the show and guess what was hidden under a barrel, adding an interactive element to the program.

Legacy and Impact:

“Cash and Carry” holds a significant place in the history of television as one of the earliest network game shows. While its run was relatively short-lived, the show laid the groundwork for future developments in the genre. Its innovative format, blending quizzes with interactive challenges, demonstrated the potential of game shows as compelling television entertainment.

Furthermore, “Cash and Carry” showcased the effectiveness of integrating sponsors into the fabric of the show, a practice that would become standard in television programming. The show’s pioneering spirit and contributions to the evolution of game shows have secured its legacy in the annals of television history.

In conclusion, “Cash and Carry” stands as a trailblazer in the realm of television game shows, introducing innovative concepts and setting new standards for interactive entertainment. Hosted by Dennis James and produced by Art Stark, the show left an indelible mark on the landscape of early television, laying the foundation for the diverse array of game shows that would follow in its footsteps.