Pictionary (1997)

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(ended 1998)

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Pictionary (1997)

Show Summary

Love to draw and have others guess what person, place, thing, phrase, etc., you're trying to draw? Lots of people did, and thousands of teen-agers and young adults found "Pictionary" as the perfect setting. The board game was among the hottest-selling board games of the late 1980s, with stores often selling out as quickly as they got copies in.

"Pictionary" spawned two attempts to bring the game to the small screen – the 1997 five-a-week syndicated game was the second of those attempts and is covered here.

In Pictionary, two teams of three members (each having a contestant and two celebrities) competed in a series of rounds based on guessing phrases, people, places, things, etc., based on pictorial charades. The game was played in three rounds (two front game rounds plus a bonus round), as thus:

Round 1 – Teams have 45 seconds to convey phrases sharing a common word (e.g., bread might have "wheat bread" and "bread basket"), with $100 per correct guess.

Round 2 – Teams have three minutes to guess as many phrases, with each phrase connected by one word (e.g., "Bengal Tigers," "Lions, tigers and bears, oh my!" "Detriot Lions," etc.); the team members rotated duties after each phrase, with correct answers worth $100.

The team leading at the end of the second round won and advanced to the bonus round. In the bonus round, one member of the winning team had 90 seconds to draw as many words as possible, with each word being related in some way to the one previous (e.g., red, riding, hood, wink, eye, brow, beat, egg, etc).. The first four words were worth $100, the second three worth $300 and all subsequent words $1,000 (up to a maximum of $10,000, accomplished just once).

Two new contestants competed each day, while the celebrities stayed on for a week. The 1997 version of Pictionary, much like its 1980s bretheren, did not get high enough ratings to earn a second season. Too bad, since it was a rather fun game, and host Thicke (of Growing Pains fame) added a lively touch to the proceedings.

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