First Episode: March 23, 1977 at 7pm
Last Episode:  March 31, 1977 at 7pm
Seen locally on Warner Cable in Columbus, Ohio
 
Bill hosted this brief (four episode) series as a test of the interactive QUBE cable television system.  Introduced in Ohio and later rolled out to Warner Cable subscribers in other markets, QUBE allowed the home viewer to react and respond to live programming by pressing buttons on a special box.  Hailed as the dawning of a new age in cable television, the reality of QUBE turned out to be low-budget and, for the most part, unimaginative local programming that viewers mostly ignored. By 1984 the ambitious project had been abandoned.

The legacy of QUBE ended up not being its interactive element but its niche channels dedicated to specific audiences.  Niche programming is now standard practice in cable, and two of the largest and most influential cable television networks -- MTV and Nickelodeon -- trace their origins directly to Ohio and the QUBE system.

Bill's game, like most of the interactive QUBE games, was just awful.  Two couples competed to predict the results of survey questions such as...well..."How do you like your eggs?"  Bill asked the home audience to respond to each multiple-choice question by pressing a button on their special QUBE box, and each couple in turn guessed which of the five choices was the most popular.  If successful, the couples could earn extra points by predicting the least popular choice.  The impossible bonus round had the winning couple rank by popularity all five choices to a question in order to win the grand prize -- a small color TV.

Besides being a simplistic and slow-moving game, the show was riddled with production errors and delays and looked very much like a particularly ambitious local access show.  Which is just about what it was.  Throughout it all, Bill remained smooth, funny and professional, by far (and virtually by default) the best thing about the program.

These special episodes aired many months before the official December 1, 1977 launch of the QUBE service, and the audience consisted of a special group of 200 cable subscribers wired in advance for testing.

How Do You Like Your Eggs? producer Howard Blumenthal (who would go on to develop such popular game shows as Remote Control and Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?) found our little page and, despite the mean things we had to say about his show, wrote us with his memories of working with Bill and developing this odd but ambitious effort:
 
"In fact, there were four half-hour episodes produced. Pretty sure they were done on four nights in mid-March 1977.  For most of the young staff, this was our first professional gig; later, most of us won Peabody Awards, Emmy Awards, and the like. But it would be fair to say that we approached the venture with more confidence than experience.
 
"The shows were intended to be a test of the QUBE interactive system. Mike Dann (who had been a CBS programmer in the 1960s) was the head of programming, and he asked us to include a professional host. I wandered over to NBC where they were taping To Tell the Truth for syndication, walked down the audience steps in 8H, introduced myself to Bill, whom I did not know, and mentioned Mike's name. Next thing I knew, Bill was hosting the little test. That meant we needed a proper set, etc., and what started small became bigger.
 
"The programs were cablecast to a few hundred homes (I can check the exact number; it's between 200 and 500), but they were the very first interactive programs seen on US television. And yes, there were endless production issues. When we arrived for rehearsals, the studio was still being wired.
 
"Bill was wonderful. He was, indeed, the best thing about our little project. And he was absolutely fascinated by the new toy we placed in his dressing room: a home version of PONG. We thanked him by presenting the PONG game to him as a gift. In 1977, owning PONG was something to talk about."
VIDEO 
All four episodes have been located and preserved by QUBE archivist Jon Cornell, who worked on the QUBE programs back in the 1970s and today has a marvelous website devoted to that unique programming experiment.  Our great thanks to Jon for making those episodes available to us.
 
Watch the first show:  
 
Watch an earlier run-through (without Bill):  
 
  

FOR MORE INFORMATION 
Jon Cornell's QUBE website offers lots of candid and behind-the-scenes photos, plus more links to video clips.
The Eggs page at Adam Nedeff's Bill Cullen's World
The Eggs page on Wikipedia
Mike Burger has info at his Game Show Pilot Light