The Hollywood Squares (1966)
The Hollywood Squares is a game show that aired on NBC. It was the first variation of tic-tac-toe to be used on a TV game show since the original Tic Tac Dough. At the time it was canceled in 1980, it was NBC's second longest running daytime game show, behind Concentration.
Nine celebrities are seated in a 3x3 set of lighted cubicles with readouts in front of them, which flash either X or O. Two contestants, one an X and the other an O, in turn select a celebrity who is read a question. The celebrity answers and it is up to the contestant to agree or disagree with the answer. A correct assumption captures that square. A tic-tac-toe (or five captured squares if a tic-tac-toe cannot be made) wins the game and $200. Two games wins a match and the championship. A player retires after five matches and wins a new car as well as everything else won to that point.
One game is set aside as the "Secret Square" game. One celebrity is pre-determined as the Secret Square, and the contestant choosing that star can win a prize package if he/she correctly agrees or disagrees with that celebrity's answer.
The show had come under criticism that the briefing of celebrities about questions and possible bluff and gag answers before airtime amounted to cheating along the lines of the Quiz Show Scandals. Mark Goodson would tell TV Guide that "I could guarantee twice as many laughs on Match Game if I had writers writing all the answers." Merrill Heatter and Bob Quigley defended that the show was on the up-and-up with their practice as it is the contestants who have to make the right decisions to make progress on the game board.
Two nighttime editions were produced. The first aired from January to September of 1968 Fridays at 9:30 PM on NBC, the other aired in syndication from 1971 to 1981. A children's edition, The Storybook Squares, aired on NBC Saturday mornings in 1969. It became an element of NBC's 1983 hybrid show The Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour. Two more syndicated editions were produced, one by Orion Television from 1986 to 1989 (hosted by John Davidson), the other by King World in association with Sony Pictures Television from 1998 to 2005 (hosted by Tom Bergeron).
The original Hollywood Squares was produced by Merrill Heatter-Bob Quigley Productions in association with Filmways Television. MGM Television, as successor-in-interest to Filmways, is the show's distributor.
|Season One||October 17, 1966||September 1, 1967||230|
|Season Two||September 4, 1967||August 30, 1968||260|
|Season Three||September 2, 1968||August 29, 1969||260|
|Season Four||September 1, 1969||September 4, 1970||265|
|Season Five||September 7, 1970||September 3, 1971||260|
|Season Six||September 6, 1971||September 1, 1972||260|
|Season Seven||September 4, 1972||August 31, 1973||260|
|Season Eight||September 3, 1973||August 29, 1974||260|
|Season Nine||September 2, 1974||August 29, 1975||260|
|Season Ten||September 1, 1975||September 3, 1976||265|
|Season Eleven||September 6, 1976||September 2, 1977||260|
|Season Twelve||September 5, 1977||September 2, 1978||260|
|Season Thirteen||September 4, 1978||August 31, 1979||260|
|Season Fourteen||September 3, 1979||June 20, 1980||210|
- At a Glance: Additional information about the series