Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Created by Don Reid, University Challenge was British TV's answer to America's GE College Bowl -- except that the answer remained on the air far, far longer than the question. Debuting in 1962 on BBC2 and originally hosted by bespectacled Bamber Gascoyne, the series pitted two teams from two different British colleges, who fielded a variety of difficult questions in pursuit of the grand total of 500 points (each winning round earned the team ten points, but five could be taken away every time the team gave an incorrect answer). The BBC2 version of University Challenge lasted until 1987; seven years later, the series was revived by Granada Television. Emceed by Jeremy Paxman, the new University Challenge expanded the basic concept by including ongoing tournaments, weekly eliminations, and a finalists show at the end of each TV season.