CTV Television Network

Super Pay Cards

Network: CTV Television Network

Broadcast Run: 1981 to 1982

Broadcast Medium: Television

Producers Roger Muir and Nick Nicholson had had their show Pay Cards (q.v.) on CTV in 1974-1976, and were able to persuade the network to give their new and improved version of a television poker game, Super Pay Cards, a shot at success as a daytime strip in the 1981-82 season. Experienced U.S. game show host Art James was brought back, largely to help potential U.S. syndication sales. However, to meet more stringent CRTC regulations as to what qualified as Canadian, Nicholson-Muir had to hire a Canadian co-host, a job that was given to Montreal radio host and commercial actress Mary Lou Basaraba.

As Mary Lou tells it, while she indeed had a co-host role in the Canadian version, her participation in the U.S. programs was edited so that she was only heard as an announcer and seen on camera introducing the contestants to Art and the audience. Interestingly, she later moved to Los Angeles and became an opera singer.

Super Pay Cards fared less successfully in Canada than its predecessor. The Montreal-produced series ran on CTV for just one season, 1981-82, 10:00 – 10:30am daily, Monday through Friday.

Written by Pip Wedge – February, 2003