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    The Hollywood Squares (1966)

    The Hollywood Squares (1966)

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    NBC (ended 1981)
    Welcome to The Hollywood Squares guide at TV.com. After 2 failed multi-star games (People Will Talk and The Celebrity Game), Game show executive producers Merrill Heatter-Bob Quigley finally hit pay dirt with THE HOLLYWOOD SQUARES. The centerpiece of this classic game show was essentially a huge tic-tac-toe board. In each of the nine squares that sat a star (or often, more than one), armed with bluffs and quips aplenty. The show made its debut on NBC's daytime schedule on October 17-21, 1966. Actor-Comedian Peter Marshall served as "The Master of The Hollywood Squares" acting both as straight man and an abettor in the fun. 2 contestants, including a returning champion competed in a best 2-out-of-3 match of Tic-Tac-Toe. The male contestant was "Mr. X" while the female was "Miss Circle" (the "O"). In turn, each contestant chooses a star to which host Marshall read a question. Many of the stars gave zany bluffs (joke answers aka "Zingers") before coming up with their own answer; sometimes they also gave a funny explanation. It was up to the contestant to decide whether they would agree or disagree with the star. A correct judgment earned the player their mark in the square, but an wrong reply meant their opponent got the square. That's unless it led to tic-tac-toe for which the contestant had to earn himself/herself. The 1st player to complete a tic-tac-toe (up-and-down, across or diagonally) won the game and cash, which varied depending on the version: • NBC daytime: $100 per game+($300+100=$400 Bonus)=$500 per match up to $2500 (October 17, 1966-February 10, 1967). $200 per game, $400 per match up to $2000 from February 13, 1967 to June 20, 1980. • NBC nighttime (1968): $300 per game. • Syndicated (1971-1982): $250 per game. Certain games were designated as the Secret Square games (see below), which was a bonus prize (or prize package) for the contestant who won it. To earn the Secret Square prize package, the contestant had to choose that celebrity (up to that point, known only to the home audience) for which Marshall read a special Hollywood multiple choice question. If the contestant was correct in agreeing or disagreeing, he or she won the Secret Square prize package. The prize won with the Secret Square and the frequency played was as thus: • NBC daytime: The 1st or 2nd game of each match. A new prize package was worth started about $1000 and so on (especially if a trip, fur coat or boat were included) and depending on what was added grew in value until claimed. • NBC nighttime (Friday Night): The 1st 2 games of the show. The 1st prize was generally a trip (either around the world to Europe or South America), while the 2nd Secret Square was a new car (most frequently the 1968 Pontiac Firebird, though the Oldsmobile Cutlass and AMC AMX were also offered). • Syndicated: During the early years (1971-1973), the 1st 2 games of each show, later the 1st 3 games (1973-1978). At 1st, unclaimed Secret Square stashes carried over to the next playing, but later went lost if the contestant didn't win it. At first, each Secret Square was worth about $2000 but later, individual prize packages were worth as much as $7000! Later in the nighttime syndicated run (1978-1980) that went back to be having the 2 Games when "The Bonus Prize Squares" added to the nighttime syndicated run. The rules for becoming champion and reward also depended on the version you watched: • NBC daytime: Winning the best 2-of-3 match (which netted $400). At 1st, there was no bonus game; returning champions simply faced a new challenger before the commercial break and finally on September 6-10, 1976, a new "Bonus Prize Squares" game was added wherein the champion selected a star and won an merchandise item or additional cash prize ($500 to $5000) and in the 1978-1979 Season of the show, The Same merchandise items or the cash prizes are doubled ($1000 to $10,000 in 1979-1980). Originally, a 5-Match Champion retired undefeated also winning $2000 (Earlier $2500) and a new car. The bonus was upped handsomely on January 5-9, 1976 to include 2 cars (always at least one very nice car, such as the Chevrolet Caprice Classic or Pontiac Grand Prix), 1 Cruise Ship & $5000 cash for early of it's period (On January 3-7, 1977, the winners win 1 Car, 1 Cruise Ship & $10,000 Cash) are totaled $25,000 (Earlier it's all totaled $20,000). • NBC nighttime: The contestant in the lead won a bonus prize – usually a TV/stereo console or a new kitchen. Average value was about $1500. • Syndicated: The contestant in the lead won a new car – always an economy car (such as the Chevrolet Vega or Datsun B210). Also, in the NBC primetime and syndicated versions, when time expired in the middle of the game (with the sound of the horn aka "Tacky Buzzer"), each contestant was given $50 for each square they had after the final question was played (unless a contestant got a tic-tac-toe); even contestants who didn't win any cash were given $100 just for competing. Virtually every major star from every genre – television, movies, music, sports, experts & the stage of Broadway and other locales– of the 1960s through early 1980s are stopped by with their star quips and bluffs. Hollywood legends also appeared as cameos either as the star's squares or walk-ons. The most popular regulars were Rose Marie, Charley Weaver, Wally Cox, Morey Amsterdam, Abby Dalton, George Gobel and ... of course, longtime center square Paul Lynde. Paul Lynde – by the way – wasn't always the center square as he didn't become the permanent occupant of that space up to the weekday broadcast of October 14-18, 1968. Before Lynde the permanent center square, comedian Buddy Hackett was the most common star to sit in the center square (on the nighttime edition in 1968). Lynde was the center square on nearly every broadcast until he left on August 20-24, 1979; he returned to the center square for a part of the 1980-1981 Las Vegas syndicated season and was a special guest for not sitting the same center square, but sitting the different square for the final syndicated episode on September 11, 1981. Ernest Borgnine was the center square during the debut weekday broadcast of October 17-21, 1966, while Wayland Flowers & Madame was the NBC daytime show's last center square on the last weekday broadcast of June 16-20, 1980 and George Gobel was the last syndicated-version center square on September 7-11, 1981. On November 1-7 1971, a syndicated nighttime portion of The Hollywood Squares released. At first, the show was once-a-week, but once the show proved popular, it quickly expanded to a twice-a-week show starting on September 11-17 1972. 3 Months after the last NBC daytime show aired on June 20, 1980, the production of The Hollywood Squares moved to Las Vegas and the show expanded to five-day-a-week. The expanded syndicated format lasted one year (September 8, 1980-September 11, 1981) with a repeat of the last NBC-TV & Syndicated 1979-1980 Season for the 1981-1982 Season and being Distributed by RHODES PRODUCTIONS-A Filmways Company. 3 Theme songs of The Hollywood Squares were used. The 1st theme (1966-1969) called "The Silly Song" was composed by Jimmie Haskell. Beginning in the 1969-1970 season and it was replaced by a piece composed by William Loose for known to game show aficionados as "Merrill and Bob's Theme," it's the 2nd theme of The Hollywood Squares is mostly identified and ended before & after the 1978-1979 season. The disco-flavored theme called "The Hollywood Bowl" was composed by Stan Worth (who wrote many TV theme songs) became the 3rd and last theme song starting on September 3-7, 1979 and finishing on September 11, 1981. The Hollywood Squares ran on NBC daytime up to June 20, 1980, when it was replaced by David Letterman's ultimately unsuccessful daytime show. 3 revivals all had varying levels of success including a brief marriage to Match Game in 1983-1984 (as The Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour); A 1986-1989 syndicated entry hosted by frequent original The Hollywood Squares square placer John Davidson (as The New HOLLYWOOD SQUARES) and the 1998-2004 edition (as HOLLYWOOD SQUARES "H2") hosted by talk show personality Tom Bergeron (Fresh out of WBZ-TV NBC "Now CBS 4" Boston's "PEOPLE ARE TALKING"). From April 2002 to October 2003, reruns of the Peter Marshall-hosted Hollywood Squares ran on Game Show Network; the package included 14 NBC-TV primetime and 116 syndicated episodes (130 total). Originally having aired in several weekday timeslots, the show was eventually downgraded to weekend-only airings (at 10:30 a.m. EST). Despite a promising start and wide promotion, the reruns never drew high ratings or young audiences (in part because many of the stars have died or are unfamiliar to younger audiences) and were eventually replaced with reruns of the Tom Bergeron Hollywood Squares edition right through August 31, 2007. On March 30-April 3, 2009 "(The All-New) HOLLYWOOD SQUARES" has came back to GSN-play everyday to the lineup for GSN LIVE. In 2010 The Show now seen on weekends featuring the 1st 2 Seasons of "HOLLYWOOD Squares" from 1998 to 2000. The Broadcast History of THE HOLLYWOOD SQUARES {NBC Daytime} October 17, 1966-October 1, 1976 Monday-Friday at 11:30 AM-12NOON Eastern October 4, 1976-September 29, 1978 Monday-Friday at 10:30-11:00 AM October 2, 1978-March 2, 1979 Monday–Friday at 1:00-1:30 PM (or 4:00-4:30 PM) March 5-August 10, 1979 Monday-Friday at 12:30-1:00 PM August 13, 1979-June 20, 1980 Monday–Friday at 10:30-11:00 AM. {NBC Nighttime} January 12-September 13, 1968 – 9:30-10:00 PM Friday. {Syndicated} November 1, 1971-September 11, 1981 – Various nights at 7:30-8:00 PM Eastern (Monday-Saturday) & 5:30-6:00 PM Eastern (Sunday) and for the last 2 seasons for Weekdays/Weeknights at various times which depending on market and Distributed by RHODES PRODUCTIONS-A Filmways Company. "THE HOLLYWOOD SQUARES (1966)" is A MERRILL HEATTER (hQ) BOB QUIGLEY PRODUCTION-A Filmways Company. Now This Show Owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Television.moreless
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    Win, Lose or Draw

    Win, Lose or Draw

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    NBC (ended 1989)
    Game Rules:

    1. The game is composed of two teams (ladies & gentlemen), each composed of two celebrity guests and contestant. They are competing in a game of "sketch pad charades".

    2. A player from one team approaches the sketch pad and draws pictures to help their team guess the correct clue. However, you couldn't communicate using letters & numbers unless part of the clue was given.

    3. In the first round, teams alternate turns and each team has sixty seconds to guess the subject. If the team playing doesn't come up with the correct answer, the opposing team is given a chance to guess. Correct guesses earns $200 within the first thirty seconds and $100 thereafter.

    4. In the second round, called the "Speed Round", each team has ninety seconds to guess as many words as possible from their teammates' sketches, earning $100 for each correct guess. The team with the largest amount of money at the end of this round wins the game and an additional $1,000 (or $500 if both players tied).moreless
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    Miss Universe

    Miss Universe

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    NBC
    Miss Universe is an annual beauty pageant broadcast by NBC and run by the Miss Universe Organization. In the contest, women from more than 80 countries contest for the crown and the title of Miss Universe, vying for the highest cumulative score in swimsuit, evening gown, and question-and-answer competitions. The overall winner receives a contract with the Miss Universe Organization, a chance to spread awareness of disease control, peace, and AIDS awareness across the globe, and the keys to an apartment in Trump Tower (Donald Trump owns the rights to the competition). The pageant aims to host a competition of women that are beautiful, yet are still intelligent, goal-oriented, and well-mannered. The contestants are usually chosen through national pageants in countries across the world, although some countries refuse to participate due to cost or local customs. Over the history of the Miss Universe pageant, the United States has taken the most titles (7), followed Venezuela (6), Puerto Rico (5), and Sweden (3).moreless
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    Scrabble

    Scrabble

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    NBC (ended 1993)
    A six-letter word; it's where you go to read all about your favorite TV shows, including Scrabble. The age-old crossword game that everybody loved to play, but never quite like this, came to television in 1984 for a moderately successful six-year run. Here, contestants used punny and double-entendre clues to fill in words on a gameboard resembling the famous Scrabble game. The format for Scrabble (the TV series) was tweaked several times, but one format lasted longer than others, described below: Crossword Round Two Crossword Rounds were played per show, with two contestants competing at a time. The first game had the returning champion played a challenger, while two new contestants played in the second game. In each Crossword Round, a letter "to build on" is placed in the center "starred" space to begin the game, and host Woolery reads a clue, with the number of letters (five to nine) in the word. Example: A nine-letter word - Drunks hate to see pink ones; bargain shoppers hate white ones. Answer: ELEPHANTS.) A pool of tiles, each representing all the letters in the puzzle plus three stoppers (letters NOT in the puzzle) are placed in the rack between the players. The player chosen to go first draws two tiles from the rack and places them in an electronic reader. The player chooses one and, if the letter was in the word, it was placed in the proper spot (following effects denoting its "search" for the correct position). The player could guess the word or place the other tile in the reader; if he/she still could not guess, then they were allowed to draw two more tiles and play continued. That is, unless he/she chose one of the stoppers, which then passed control to the opponent. If all three stoppers are revealed before the word is guessed, a Speedword format is used, where each of the blanks (save for the last one) are filled in at the rate of one every half-second. The Speedword was also played if time was running short. At least one of the tiles in each word were colored (blue or pink), which provided bonuses for providing a correct answer immediately after filling it in. Those bonuses were $500 for the blue space and $1,000 for a pink space. A player also won the bonuses if he/she buzzed in and guessed immediately after the colored space was filled. After each word is guessed (or sometimes not, if neither player could provide a guess after all but one of the letters were shown), a new word was played, building off a letter in the previous word. The first player to correctly guess three words won $500 and advanced to the Scrabble Sprint Round. Scrabble Sprint Round Here, the winner of the first Crossword Round met the returning champion (or second-round winner, if the champion was defeated). The challenger is timed to the tenth of a second for how long it takes him to guess four words (again, five to nine letters, with shorter ones offered first) correctly. There were no stoppers in these words, and a player could choose from two possible letters in the word. All except the last letter were filled in, and a player offered a guess by hitting the plunger in front of him/her. Penalties were assessed for incorrect guesses (10 seconds) or failing to guess (5 seconds). The champion must then beat the challenger's time, playing the same four words. For either contestant, alternate words were played if they failed to guess or were incorrect. The winner earned $1,000 and advances to the Bonus Sprint Round. Bonus Sprint Round The Bonus Sprint Round was played exactly like the Scrabble Sprint Round, except the player had a fixed 10-second limit to guess two words (one six letters, the other seven). Guessing both words correctly won a jackpot that began at $5,000 and increased by $1,000 for each day it went unclaimed. The champion returns to the next show to face a new challenger. Several other formats were utilized during the run, briefly described thusly: * In the Crossword Round, two new players played. Regular tiles for each word were worth $25, blue ones $50 and pink ones $100, with the money added to a "pot." The winner of three words wins the value of the pot and advanced to the Scrabble Sprint Round to face the returning champion. Each Scrabble Sprint Round win was worth $1,500, with five wins amending his/her winnings to $20,000. A 10th win ammended the winnings to $40,000 and retired the player undefeated. * Later, before the longest-lived format was used, the "pot" was scrapped, and players won $500 and $1,000 bonuses for placing letters on blue and pink tiles. A flat $500 was paid to the Crossword Round winner. Scrabble was known for its highly imaginative clues and its extensive use of sound effects (14, according to several sources). That may have helped draw in viewers, but not so much as the fast-paced gameplay. Scrabble fared fairly well against The Price is Right, but eventually, the show surrendered in the ratings. In 1993, Scrabble returned once again, not in encore reruns (as was the case for Classic Concentration) but in a new, cheaper format. The game rules were the same, but smaller cash awards (a $1,000 base jackpot for Scrabble Sprint Round winners, plus extra money added for guessing words on pink and blue squares) turned off many viewers. It didn't help that demographics had changed and many NBC affiliates chose not to air Scrabble, instead opting for syndicated fare such as The Jerry Springer Show. After Scrabble's successor, Caesar's Challenge was cancelled in January 1994 due to failed ratings, NBC was out of the daytime game show business entirely. Scrabble is a registered trademark now licensed to Hasbro, but the original trademark holder - Selchow-Righter - was acknowledged on each show.moreless
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    Blockbusters

    Blockbusters

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    NBC (ended 1987)
    Are two heads really better than one? That's what the early 1980s version of Blockbusters attempted to determine. That's because a solo player was pitted against a family pair (siblings, parent/child, uncle/aunt and nephew/niece, grandparent/grandchild ... anything except husband and wife or other form of couple), with one set of contestants the returning champion(s). The object was to connect both sides of the 5-by-4 board of hexagons through correct answers. The solo player (red) had to connect vertically (at least four blocks), while the family pair (white) went side-to-side (needing to connect at least five blocks). Each hexagon had a letter, which was the first letter in the answer to a question host Cullen read. For example, if a player chose "B," the question might be – "What 'B' is a male amphibian or Jerimiah in the Three Dog Night song 'Joy to the World'?" Answer – Bullfrog). Anyone could buzz in and answer, with a correct answer gave the player/team the box and a wrong answer allowing the opponent(s) to answer. If nobody answered correctly, another question whose answer began with that same letter is asked. Players always tried to block the opponent's progress at all times (requiring them to work their way around and answer more than the minimum number of questions needed to win); often, players chose a box that could help them but not do their opponent's a bit of good. Each game in the best-of-three match was worth $500, with two games winning the match and a trip to the Gold Run bonus round. In the Gold Run, the player (or one member of the family team) had 60 seconds to connect the left to right sides of the board by answering Blockbusters-style questions. Each block represented a single letter or (much more often) an acronym (e.g., "YP" could lead to the question, "Telephone directory containing business listings and advertisements." Answer: Yellow Pages). Passing on a question or giving an incorrect answer caused that box to turn black, and the player had to work their way around it. The player/team won $5,000 for making a connection, but if they were unsuccessful, they earned $100 for every question they had right; and yes, Cullen was kind enough to provide the answers to those questions that were missed. (Note: If the player gets blocked out, he/she he/she could still continue and try to build up the consolation prize of $100 for every correct answer. Also, early in the 1980-1982 run, a player/team played the Gold Run after every game won for $2,500 the first time and $5,000 the second time.) Teams competed until defeated or winning 10 games; thus $60,000 was possible (achieved by several players/teams). On August 31, 1981, the 10-game limit was upped to 20 and successful contestants were invited back to compete for more cash; more than once, the $120,000 maximum was achieved. Oh, did two heads really prove better than one? On the last show, Cullen let us know – not really, since about half of the champions were solo players and the other half were the family pair. But it was an interesting concept and a fun game to watch. Nearly five years after the original Blockbusters left NBC, a new version appeared. While the major rules were similar, two solo players competed in the best-of-three affair (now hosted by Bill Rafferty). The champion (white) had to connect side-to-side and the challenger (red) went top-to-bottom in game 1, with both players switching in game 2. If a tie-breaker game was needed, the board was reduced to a 4-by-4 grid, with neither player having an advantage (white still went from side-to-side, red still went top-to-bottom). Games were worth $100 each instead of $500, and champions played the Gold Run as before (except that later in the run if the bonus game isn't won, the $5,000 bonus is increased by that much for every playing until claimed, but is reset to $5,000 if a new champion is crowned). Blockbusters is currently airing on weekday mornings at 9am on GSN.moreless
  • 6
    I'm Telling!

    I'm Telling!

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    NBC (ended 1988)
    Do you have a pesky little brother who follows you around, asks you a ton of questions and just gets in your way? Or a snobbish big sister who hogs the bathroom and grosses you out whenever she kisses her boyfriend? Perhaps kid sister is a tattletale and always reading your diary. Maybe big brother spends too much time bouncing a basketball and not enough time with you ... or on his homework (as his report cards full of C's and D's attests). This game show's for you. Laurie Faso hosted this junior version of The Newlywed Game, as three brother-sister teams competed. In round one, the brothers would be sent away to the Iso Zone while the sisters played. Three subjects were shown & the randomiser would spin as the player stopped the randomiser, then a question was asked to all three sisters. Each player would take a turn on the randomiser. After all three subjects were shown, the brothers returned & the game was on. Each right answer earned points (25-question 1, 50-2 & 75 for 3) while wrong answers ended up in squabbles. Round two was played the same, except the sisters went away & the brothers chose the categories. The points were higher (50-1, 75-2 & 150-3). The game would be over if there was no way the team would catch up mathematically or won outright. If there was a tie, the tiebreaker would have kids guess how many items were in a jar (IE; jellybeans, cookies, etc.). The one that comes closest wins. The winners got $1,000 savings bond while losers got consolation gifts. The winning siblings played the Pick-A-Prize Arcade, where the brother had to guess what prizes his sister would pick & the other way around. Each kid picked 6 prizes by hitting a button at that prize. Right guesses earned them the prize. But if they made 10 matches, they won all 20 prizes! There were eight brother-sisters episodes in the series. They also had two episodes of each for Brothers Day (where on both episodes, a set of brothers didn't bicker because they made a perfect score of 425) & Sisters Day. Plus one celebrity episode where all winnings were donated to charity.moreless
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    Fantasy

    Fantasy

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    NBC (ended 1983)
    coming soon
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    Time Machine

    Time Machine

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    NBC (ended 1985)
    The early 1980s brought a wave of trivia-based game shows, all trying to duplicate the success of Jeopardy! (which had recently entered syndication). The short-lived Time Machine tried to tie another relatively recent craze – nostalgia – with trivia in a conglomeration that people probably thought was better-suited for a radio call-in game than an entire series. Contestants who dared step into the Time Machine competed to answer questions about popular culture and recent (usually post-World War II) history. Most of the questions focused on the year an event occurred. Several mini-games were played, with two players each. Some of the games included: • The "Jukebox Game" – A year was given (e.g., 1963) and contestants had to guess whether a hit song occurred before or after (for instance, "The Twist," hit BEFORE (1960). • The "Tube Game" – Questions centered around television and when a particular show was on (see above example). • "Decades" – Players had to guess when a particular event occurred (e.g., the start of the Korean War occurred in 1950). Other games centered around news events, sports and other entertainment genres. The winners from each of those rounds competed against a returning champion in a question and answer-type quiz. The winner of that round played a bonus round. Two different bonus games were used during the show's run, played thusly: • January to early February – Davidson read a list of items all tied to a specific year – for instance, "West Side Story," Chevrolet Impala Super Sport introduced, "I Fall to Pieces" by Patsy Cline, Peace Corps started and Roger Maris' 61st home run. If the contestant correctly identified the year (1961), he/she won a bonus prize. • Early February-April – A specific year was given (e.g., 1959) and up to four questions relating to whether a certain event happened before or after that year were read (e.g., Vietnam War started; correct answer, BEFORE). Four correct answers won the player a new car, while an incorrect answer before then stopped the game. Many viewers decided to bypass this Time Machine (opting for The $25,000 Pyramid instead), and after the concept was stretched way, way beyond its limit (16 weeks), NBC decided to set the Time Machine's destination for "oblivion."moreless
  • 9
    Wordplay

    Wordplay

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    NBC (ended 1987)
    Wordplay was a word game played for laughs.

    Two contestants competed.

    The Wordplay game board consisted of 9 words, in three rows of three. It looked a little bit like this.

    IDIOCY = LUNATIC--BRIOCHE--CONUNDRUM = = = PLATITUDE=PSYCHE=ONOMATOPOEIA = = ASSONANCE PHLEGM

    The lines and equal signs show how certain words were connected to each other (each one is connected to at least one other).

    As you can see, the first and third rows were on a level with each other; the middle row was one row higher.

    Alternating turns, the contestants would each pick a word, and a panel of three celebrities would give their definitions (getting more than a few yuks from the audience at times). It was up to the contestant to pick which one was right. If correct, they would earn the amount of money behind the word. If incorrect, their opponent would have a chance to guess the word. If both guessed wrong, it's placed as a block! Two words were played per round, and three rounds per game.

    The dollar values were as follows: $25, $50 and $75 in round one, $50, $100, and $150 in round two, and $100, $200, and $300 in round three. Also, if the word was connected to any other of the money words from the previous rounds, the player would get that added to the amount of the played word.

    One of the 9 words was the bonus word. If the contestant who picked it & guessed the definition correctly, won a trip (whether the player won or lost).

    The player with the most money at the end of three rounds won the game and played the bonus round, called Double Definition.

    If there was a tie, a 7th word was played. The champ would pick a word, the stars would just say the defination (sans the wit). The champ could either guess it or have the opponent guess, hoping the challenger would be wrong.

    In Double Definition, the winning player faced a board with 24 squares (6 across, 4 down), and tried to make a path from one side to the other. The player would be presented with two definitions for one word, and had to figure out what the word was. (Like Type of Fish/Massachusetts Cape, where the answer would be "cod). The player had 45 seconds to accomplish this feat. There was no limit on guesses, but if the player passed a block would go up and s/he would have to work around it. If the player was successful in conquering Double Definition, they would win a cash jackpot that started at $5,000 and went up by $2,500 everyday until won (the highest pot ever won was $27,500). If the player couldn't get it done, they received $100 per correct guess.

    Champions could return up to a max of three days.

    This turned out to be Tom Kennedy's last hosting job on a game show after a long career.

    Other Wordplay trivia; the game show replaced the 35 year old soap, Search For Tomorrow.

    Mousketeer Lonnie Burr was a contestant on that show.

    There is no editor for this show. If you would like to be the editor look here for details.moreless
  • 10
    Hot Potato

    Hot Potato

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    NBC (ended 1984)
    Meet these men; they're three of a kind. BARRY: "Hi, I'm Jack Barry." ENRIGHT: "I'm Dan Enright." CULLEN: "I'm Bill Cullen, and we're…" ALL: "Dead game show kingpins!" And they were the energies behind Hot Potato, the last-ever game show co-produced by Jack Barry. Quite often, Hot Potato is compared to Family Feud. While the two games have some similarities, Hot Potato had distinct differences that made this NBC program one of the more unique game shows of the early 1980s. Two teams of three members each competed. Early in the run, the civilian-only teams had something in common (e.g., beauty operators, police officers) hence, they were billed as "three of a kind." Host Bill Cullen announced a question, which could be based on general knowledge (e.g., Name the states that start with the letter "M"; list the presidents who were born in Ohio) or on polls ("We asked men if they were stranded on a desert island, which female celebrity would they most want with them?"; "What are the most popular hamburger toppings?"). Each question had no less than seven possible answers that the contestants had to guess. (One question had thirteen responses, but only seven were required to win a round.) A member of the champion team went first, electing to either give an answer or force a specific member of the opposing team to answer (see below) thus, passing the "Hot Potato." A correct answer by the team in control allowed the team to retain control and one of his/her team members took a turn. Players were eliminated in the following ways: * By giving an incorrect answer or one not on the survey (a light on Cullen's podium signified simply if that player was right or wrong). * Taking too much time. * Repeating an answer (or more often than not, two answers since Cullen usually gave players a second chance). That eliminated player was disqualified from the remainder of the round and retired to a bench behind the podium. The opposing team then took control. If a member of the team wished to challenge, he/she chose a specific member of the opposing team, who then had to give an answer. If a correct answer was given, the person making the challenge was benched and the other team took control; if a wrong answer was given, the challenged player was knocked out and the original team kept control. Also, after five correct responses were given, Cullen would review the answers to aid the contestants. A team won a round in one of two ways: * By giving the seventh correct answer. * After an opposing team had all three of its members eliminated through challenges or incorrect answers. Cullen then revealed any answers that were not yet given. At the beginning of Hot Potato's short run, a "Seven Straight Jackpot" was instituted, wherein a team that gave seven correct answers without a miss or challenge won a jackpot (which started at $500 and grew by $500 until claimed). The team that won the best-of-three front game was the champion, earned $1,000, and advanced to the end game. There, Cullen announced a category (e.g., length) and read a question that had two possible answers ("Which is longer, the longest earthworm or the longest Cadillac?"). Each correct answer added $500 to the pot, and a team could stop at any time and collect the money, or go on. An incorrect answer at any time stopped the end game and lost any accumulated winnings. Teams were allowed to pass on one question if they were stuck. Five correct answers won the end game's cash jackpot, which increased by $5,000 until claimed (though each new champion started with $5,000). About halfway through the run, the series was reformatted and given the title Celebrity Hot Potato. Teams were changed to having one contestant (one of them a returning champion) paired with two celebrities each. Also, the "Seven Straight Jackpot" - which, BTW, was won on the final civilian show - was scrapped. While Hot Potato was fun, a poor time slot and inevitable comparisons to Family Feud (both aired at 12:00 P.M. ET) led to poor ratings. Several NBC affiliates opted to air their local news at that time. Add to that the death of executive producer Jack Barry in May of 1984 and, well, the show was more doomed than the proverbial hot potato in a microwave oven. After broadcasting 115 shows, NBC canceled Hot Potato June 29, 1984, in the middle of a game that ended in a 1-1 tie (both contestants were awarded $500). Bill Cullen immediately became the new host of The Joker's Wild in the fall of 1984, supplanting Jack Barry. Not long after it was canceled by NBC, Hot Potato saw its first reruns in the fall of 1984, courtesy of CBN (later ABC Family). Only then did audiences get to see Celebrity Hot Potato in the correct order. The show subsequently reran on USA and on Game Show Network (now GSN), though it hasn't been aired in some time. TV.com wishes to extend a big thank-you to David Schwartz at GSN for providing much-needed broadcast information on the Celebrity Hot Potato episodes. The Hot Potato Episode List is correct and complete. Now it's up to you, the contributors, to confirm the questions that were asked in each show and contribute them.moreless
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    Reach for the Stars

    Reach for the Stars

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    NBC (ended 1967)
    Reach for the Stars was a game show where contestants achieved their dreams via a series of trivia questions and stunts.
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    All American Ultra Quiz

    All American Ultra Quiz

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    NBC (ended 1981)
  • 13
    Just Men!

    Just Men!

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    NBC (ended 1983)
    NBC alleviated its Great Game Show Crisis on January 3, 1983 by launching three game shows on the same day. One was Just Men!, which used to air at NOON EST/11:00 CST. "It's the most unusual show in daytime & talk!" That's how Just Men! was described as by announcer Steve Day. Betty White hosted this show where two female contestants had to guess how seven male celebrites respond upon a "Yes-No" type question (i.e.: Do you know how to type?) Three rounds were played & the female with the most keys won the game & got a chance to start the beautiful Ford Mustang Convertible. Depending on how many days she's won determines how many keys she selects (if she had all 7 keys, she gets an extra key). If she failed to start the car, she won a consolation prize that was placed in the trunk & returned as champion. If she started the car, she left undefeated while balloons fell down! Thank goodness no confetti & sirens were added, you'll have The New Treasure Hunt! This game show had a winning streak of 4 straight car wins in a row! This feat would also happen on Rosner's other game, Hollywood Squares (Davidson-1986), Card Sharks (CBS-Eubanks) and Hollywood Squares (Bergeron-1998). The reason this show was short lived? NBC president Grant Tinker saw the show when he was ill and thought it was a turkey. Also, it was opposite Family Feud on ABC, either way, female contestant favored shows were opposite each other! On April Fools Day 1983, thirteen weeks after it premiered, Just Men! was canceled, as was Hit Man. That left $ale of the Century as the strongest of the three game shows that debuted the previous January to increase NBC's game show population fourfold. The New Battlestars replaced it. But Betty White had the last laugh when she won a Daytime Emmy for hosting that show. However, the Daytime Emmys weren't telecast in 1983. 22 years later, Meredith Vieira would have the honor of winning Best Host on a televised Daytime Emmys for Millionaire.moreless
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    Whodunnit?

    Whodunnit?

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    NBC (ended 1979)
    Three contestants competed in this short lived prime time game show. First, a mystery was presented in two acts. If by after the 2nd act a contestant locks in a suspect & is correct, that player wins $10,000. Then the interrogation round begins as experts questions the witnesses. Then the contestants can lock in a suspect for $5,000. The suspect is revealed & payoffs are paid. If you're wrong, your consolation prize was a color tv. NBC wouldn't try another prime time game show until (pardon the pun) 21 years later with Twenty-One with Maury Povich.moreless