The Hollywood Squares (1966)

NBC (ended 1981)




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The Hollywood Squares (1966)

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Welcome to The Hollywood Squares guide at 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 it's debut on NBC-TV Daytime on Monday-Friday October 17-21, 1966. Actor-Comedian Peter Marshall served as "The Master of THE HOLLYWOOD SQUARES" acting both as the straight man & the abettor to the fun. 2 contestants which is including a returning champion compete in A Best 2-out-of-3 match of Tic-Tac-Toe. The male contestant is "Mr. X" (The "X") & The female is "Miss/Ms. Circle" (The "O"). In turn, each contestant picks a star to which "The Master" Marshall reads a question. Many of the stars gave zany bluffs (joke answers aka "Zingers") before coming up with the actual answer; sometimes they also gave a funny explanation. It's up to the contestant to figure it out when the answer to the question by saying "I Agree" or "I Disagree" with the star. A Correct judgment wins the contestant gets the square otherwise An Wrong Judgment meant the contestant gets the square. That's unless it leads to win Tic-Tac-Toe for which the contestant willing to earn him/herself in order to win the square. The 1st Contestant to complete a tic-tac-toe (3 Stars Across: Left & Right, Up & Down or Diagonally & Sideways or Otherwise 5-6 Squares on NBC-TV) win the game/match & collects the cash, which varied concerning on the show's portion: • NBC-TV Daytime: $100 per game+($300+100=$400 Bonus)=$500 per match up to $2500 (October 17, 1966-February 10, 1967) & The New Car. $200 per game, $400 per match up to $2000 & The New Car from February 13, 1967 to June 20, 1980. • NBC-TV Nighttime (1968 ) : $300 per game. • Syndicated (1971-1981): $250 per game. The Certain Games are designated as the Secret Square games (see below), which is a bonus prize (or prize package & early on with the additional cash) for the contestant who'll wins everything. To Win The Secret Square Prize Package, The contestant will picks the star (up to this/that point, known only to the home audience at the shot of Color Television Camera to Make A Close-Up on 1 of The 9 Stars) for which Marshall reads a special Hollywood multiple choice question. If the contestant's correct by agreeing or disagreeing the right or wrong, he or she wins The Secret Square Prize Package. On NBC-TV Daytime: The prizes (as well as Cash) can win on "The Secret Square" for The 1st, 2nd or The Rubber Game of The Match for the cash & prize package is worth started about & exactly $1000 from October 17 to December 30, 1966 and begins increasing the total within $1000 Greater or Less from January 3, 1967 to June 20, 1980 (especially if a trip, fur coat or boat are included) and before being itself collected. • NBC-TV Nighttime (Friday Night January 12-September 13, 1968 ) : The 1st 2 Secret Square on the show. The 1st Prize is generally a trip (either around the world to Europe or South America) & The 2nd & Last Prize is A New Car (most frequently The 1968 Pontiac Firebird though the Oldsmobile Cutlass and AMC AMX are also offered). • Syndicated (Nighttime & Weekday/Night) : In The 1st 2 Seasons (1971-1973), The 1st 2 Games of each & every week, Season 3 to 7: The 1st 3 Games (1973-1978 ). At 1st, The Losing Secret Square Prize Packages going up to 2-3 Games of the show and losing it when the contestant made the star's answer to the Secret Square Question by Agreeing or Disagreeing Wrong. At first, each Secret Square is worth about $2000 but later, All individual prize packages are worth as much as $7000! Later in the nighttime syndicated run (Seasons 8 & 9: 1978-1980 ) The Secret Square goes to Games 1, 2 (and later 3) are used in separate style in Season 8 when "The Bonus Prize Squares" is added to the nighttime syndicated edition along with NBC-TV Daytime Edition. At 1st, There's No Bonus Game from October 17, 1966 to September 3, 1976; The Returning Champions simply faced The New Challenger before the commercial break & Finally on September 6-10, 1976, The New "Bonus Prize Squares" game is added & where's the champion to picks the star and win 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 Undefeated also winning $2000 (Earlier $2500) & A New Car to Leaves the show from October 17, 1966 to January 2, 1976. The Bonus Award are upped handsomely on January 5-9, 1976 as called "THE WHOLE THING" and this/that 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 own 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 leads to win A Bonus Prize – usually a TV/stereo console or a new kitchen. Average value is about $1500. • Syndicated: The contestant in the leads to win a new car – always an economy car (such as the Chevrolet Vega, Pontiac Astre or Datsun B210). Also, in The NBC Nighttime & Syndicated Portions, when time expired in the middle of the game (with the sound of the horn aka "The Tacky Buzzer"), each contestant is given $50 for each square they've got after the last question is answered & 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, Fashion, Regular Experts, New York's Broadway & Other Local Shows in The U.S. of the 1960s through early 1980s are stopped by with their star quips (zingers) & bluffs. Hollywood legends also appeared as cameos either as the star's squares or sit-ins. The Most Popular Regulars (SQUARE OWNERS) are Rose Marie, Charley Weaver (1966-1974), Wally Cox (1967-1973), Morey Amsterdam (1967-1969), Abby Dalton (1967-1970), George Gobel (1974-1981) and ... of course, the all-time center square Paul Lynde (1968-1981). Paul Lynde – by the way – He's not 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 season (September 8, 1980-September 11, 1981) with a repeat of the last NBC-TV 1979-1980 Daytime Season for the 1981-1982 Season and being Distributed by RHODES PRODUCTIONS-A Filmways Company. 3 Theme songs of The Hollywood Squares are all used. The 1st Theme (1966-1969) called "The Silly Song" is composed by (The Late) Jimmie Haskell. Beginning in the 1969-1970 season (Season 4) and it's replaced by a musical piece is composed by (The Late) 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 it ended before & after the 1978-1979 season (Season 13.) The Disco-Flavored Theme called "The Hollywood Bowl" is composed by (The Late) Stan Worth (who wrote many TV theme songs) became The 3rd & Last Theme Song Starting on September 10-14, 1979 & Finishing it on September 11, 1981. "THE HOLLYWOOD SQUARES" broadcasted on NBC-TV Daytime and cancelled severely on June 16-20, 1980, when it's replaced by David Letterman's ultimately unsuccessful daytime talk-variety show on June 23-27, 1980. 3 Remarks are all having tries for 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) & 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 (and now GSN); the package included 14 NBC-TV primetime and 116 syndicated episodes (130 total). Originally having aired in several weekday/night timeslots, the show is eventually downgraded to weekend-only airings (at 10:30-11:00 AM EDT). Despite a promising start and wide promotion, the reruns never drew high ratings or young audiences (in part because many to most of the stars have died in the same & different years or are really too unfamiliar to younger viewers) and are all 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 and soon after it's gone for good.

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.


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