It was on the radio that Allen Ludden's career as an entertainer took off in 1953 when he became moderator of the original College Quiz Bowl, which aired on NBC. A few years later, he produced a kinescope version of the shoe for television "and CBS bought the whole package — including me!" he told a Times interviewer in 1963. The show was telecast by CBS for three years as the "GE College Bowl."
At the same time that he was being seen on Sunday telecasts of the quiz show, he was also an executive for CBS, first a director of WCBS radio in New York, then director of programs for all CBS-owned radio stations and then creative director for CBS News.
The first "Password" show, in which contestants guess at a mystery word using one-word clues given by a partner, made its debut in fall 1961.
Ludden was identified with the show over a 20-year period during which it was seen on all three major networks. After six seasons on CBS, followed by a syndicated version that sold to individual stations for several years, Ludden moved to the West Coast, bringing with him the show, which ABC aired from 1971 to 1975.
A later version, "Password Plus," was launched by NBC in 1979. In 1976, Ludden was awarded an Emmy as television's outstanding game show host.