Get the Picture (game show)

This article is about the children's game show. For the internet game popular in the 1990s, see Get the Picture (online game).
Get the Picture
Created by Marjorie Cohn
Developed by Gwen Billings
Herb Scannell
Presented by Mike O'Malley
Narrated by Henry J. Waleczko
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 115[1]
Location(s) Universal Studios
Orlando, Florida
Running time approx. 23 minutes
Original network Nickelodeon
Picture format NTSC (480i)
Audio format Stereo
Original release March 18 – December 6, 1991 (1991-12-06)

Get the Picture is an American children's game show that aired from March 18, 1991 to December 6, 1991 on Nickelodeon. Hosted by Mike O'Malley, the show features two teams answering questions and playing games for the opportunity to guess a hidden picture on a giant screen made up of 16 smaller screens. The show was taped at Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. The program's theme music and game music was composed by Dan Vitco & Mark Schultz, and produced by Schultz. Its tagline is The Great Frame Game.

40 episodes were taped for season 1 in the Spring of 1991; 75 episodes were taped for season 2 in the Summer of that same year.[2][3]


Two teams of two players, one wearing orange jumpsuits and one wearing yellow jumpsuits, competed.

The object of the game was to correctly guess hidden pictures on a 16-square video wall, and to answer general-knowledge trivia questions to earn opportunities to guess. This was done in two separate rounds.

Round 1 (Connect the Dots)

The gameplay described here is from the first season. Changes are detailed in another subsection.

In this round, an outline of dots representing something in a set category was revealed on the 16-square video wall. A series of general-knowledge trivia questions would be asked to the teams, with a correct answer earning that team $20 and a choice of a square. Once a square was chosen, the dots in it were connected to the rest of the puzzle and the team had five seconds to guess the picture. Guessing correctly earned $50, while an incorrect guess lost $20. There was no penalty for not guessing.

The round continued until time ran out. If a picture was being played when time was called, it would be revealed one square at a time until someone guessed correctly and earned the $50. Multiple guesses were allowed, with no penalties for incorrect guesses.

Power Surges

At various points in the game the teams would uncover Power Surges randomly hidden on the board. In round one, a square that hid one allowed the team to play a bonus game for a chance at $20 and see an actual piece of the puzzle instead of the connected dots. There were two of these hidden in each picture and every Power Surge in the round involved some sort of knowledge-based activity.

Round 2 (Dots)

The second round featured an actual image hidden behind the video wall. Each of the squares' four corners were marked with numbers, and each question had either two, three, or four possible answers. As in Round 1, if a team failed to answer correctly (in this case, come up with the allotment of correct answers) the opposing team would be able to steal control by completing the allotment themselves. Giving the required amount of correct answers won a team $40, and the team was able to complete as many lines as there were correct answers in the question. Once the four dots on the outside of the square were connected, the part of the image hidden behind the square was revealed.

Pictures in round two were worth $75, with incorrect guesses still costing $20, and one Power Surge was on the board. This time the Power Surges were played at center stage and involved the players doing some sort of physical activity in order to reveal pieces of a picture puzzle.

Again, if time was running short the puzzle in play would be revealed one square at a time until someone guessed correctly for $75. Whoever was ahead when time was called won the game and advanced to the bonus round, dubbed "Mega Memory". Both teams kept whatever they had won with a house minimum of $100.

In the event of a tie, one final puzzle was played with the speed-up rules; whichever team guessed it correctly won the game.

Knowledge activities

Physical activities (Season 1 only)

All physical Power Surges, except one, involved players performing tasks in order to reveal pieces to a picture. After the team completed the Power Surge, they were given one chance to guess what the picture was for $40; failure to do so earned $40 for the opposing team. The games continued until all nine numbers were revealed, time ran out, or a team ran out of objects.

Mega Memory (Bonus Round)

The winning team faced a nine-square board that hid nine pictures, all in relation to a theme revealed before the round. The pictures were shown to the players for ten seconds, with the object being to remember where they were placed. A nine-numbered keypad was used by the players, with each picture hidden behind a corresponding number. For 45 seconds O'Malley would read clues one at a time and the team would hit the number on the keypad that they thought would reveal the correct picture. A team was encouraged to take turns, but this rule was not enforced.

For each correct answer up to six, the team split $200. The seventh and eighth matches won merchandise prizes, and if a team matched all nine pictures before time ran out they won a grand prize.

Season Two changes

In season two, the rules were changed to the following:


Although the series ended first-run episodes on December 6, 1991, reruns aired weekly until March 13, 1993. Reruns aired on Nickelodeon GAS from the channel's launch on March 1, 1999 until its closure on December 31, 2007. Episodes of Get the Picture could be watched on Nick's own TurboNick service from 2007 until 2009.

International versions

The United Kingdom had its own version on Nickelodeon UK.


  1. The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows: 1946-Present by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh
  2. Daily Variety; February 25, 1991 issue; Page 10
  3. Daily Variety; July 22, 1991 issue; Page 10
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