Lifespan: September 1966 - September 1981, September 1986 - September 1989, September 1998 - Present
Host: Peter Marshall, John Davidson, Tom Bergeron
Announcer: Kenny Williams, Shadoe Stevens
Produced by: Heatter-Quigley Productions (1966-1989), Moffitt-Lee Productions (1998-)
Front Game Rules
Two players compete. Nine celebrities were situated on a 3x3 scaffold. A player would select a celebrity, who would be asked a question. The celebrity would give an answer, and the contestant would have to either agree or disagree with the answer. If the correct judgement was made, that player's symbol (X or O) would be placed in that celebrity's square; otherwise, his/her opponent's mark would go there (unless it would cause a win). The first player to get three squares in a row - across, vertically, or diagonally - or the first to acquire five squares, won the game. Here's how the rounds were scored:
|Original NBC version: Each win was worth $250; first to two games won the match and advanced to the bonus round.
Original Syndicated version: Each win was worth $250, the leader at the end of the show (with $50 awarded per square in case of an incomplete game) won a new car.
'86-'89 version: First two games worth $500, each subsequent game was worth $1000. Leftover squares were worth $200 apiece. The leader after time ran out advanced to the bonus round.
'98-'02 version: First two games worth $1000, each subsequent match was worth twice the last. Leftover squares worth $500. Leader after time ran out went on to the bonus round.
'03 season: Each win was worth $1000; first to win two games advanced to the bonus round.
The second game of each show was dubbed the "Secret Square", and the player who selected that square was eligible to win a selection of prizes if s/he could correctly judge the celebrity's answer.
End Game Rules (Original HS, '80s and 1998-2001 versions)
For the original network version of Hollywood Squares, the player simply picked a star, and won the prize that star guarded. From 1998-2001, the same format was applied, except that to claim the prize the contestant had to correctly judge the celebrity's answer to a Secret Square-like question.
In the '80s version of the show, the player selected a key from a bowl, and then selected one of five cars on the stage. If the chosen key started the chosen car, that player won the car and retired. Otherwise, the player returned the next day, with that car not available as a choice. Later on in the run, the keys were in the possession of the celebrities.
End Game Rules (2001-2 season)
After winning the front game, the contestant selected a celebrity to team up with. Each celeb carried an envelope; inside that envelope was the dollar value of each correct answer given in the front game. The contestant had 60 seconds to answer as many three-choice questions as he could. For each question, the star could help, but ultimately it was the contestant's answer that mattered. After the 60-second run, the player had a choice to play one final question for double-or-nothing.
End Game Rules (2002-Present)
The contestant had 30 seconds to determine if a given fact on each celebrity was true or false. After that, the player and the host went down to a display with nine keys on it. For each correctly judged statement, one key was nullified. A key was also ruled out for each previous failure at the current prize. The player then chose the key he believed would unlock the grand prize. The first prize a contestant tried for was a new car. If successful, the next prize offered was $25,000 cash. The third prize was a trip around the world, and the fourth another $50,000. Nobody ever reached the fifth prize level, but it's presumed to be $100,000 cash.
Under the current season, the prizes have been cheapened to a trip first, then $10,000 cash, then a new car. Obviously, there's a three-win limit to champions this time around.
Loogaroo Looks it Over
The original classic comedy game show. Both the joking aspect and the game were brought to terrific levels on this show. Hosts Marshall and Bergeron play terrific straight men/ringleaders, managing to keep control over the bunch. The rules were also well developed so as to make the game very simple and straightforward, letting the questions speak for themselves.
The Davidson version of the show is considered an aberration of the franchise. Whereas Marshall and Bergeron kept the celebs in check, Davidson let them run wild, and as a result the pacing was a whole lot slower than what viewers were used to. Guests like Jm J. Bullock and Bronson Pinchot didn't help, hogging a lot of screen time. It was a passable run, but not up to the level of the other two versions.
The series was starting to sag a bit in the 2001 era, especially since the 60-second quiz round both clashed with the format and gave no incentive to gamble (which few if any people did). When in returned as H2 in the 2002-3 season, though, Hollywood Squares had debatably its best format ever. The bonus round finally managed to use the "pick-a-key" gimmick in a way that actually added excitement to the game (and it's fun to watch someone run the table and go 9-for-9 in the first part of the round). It's been cheapened a bit in the most recent season, which kinda takes some of the life out of it, though.
Hollywood Squares (Marshall's version)
Gameplay: 3 pts.
Host: 3 pts.
Presentation: 1 pt.
Execution: 2 pts.
Total Score: 9 pts.
Hollywood Squares (Davidson's version)
Gameplay: 2 pts.
Host: 2 pts.
Presentation: 1 pt.
Execution: 0 pts.
Total Score: 5 pts.
Hollywood Squares (Bergeron's version)
Gameplay: 2 pts. (Original bonus round and 60-second bonus round), 3 pts. (Pick-a-key bonus round)
Host: 3 pts.
Presentation: 2 pts.
Execution: 2 pts. (1998-2003 seasons), 1 pt. (2003- season)
Total Score: 10 pts.
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