The Hollywood Squares (1966)

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The Hollywood Squares
The Hollywood Squares (1966)-Logo.jpg
Premiere October 17, 1966
Finale June 20, 1980
Creator Merrill Heatter & Bob Quigley
Host Peter Marshall
Network NBC
Style 30-minute game show
Company Merrill Heatter-Bob Quigley Productions,
Filmways Television
Episodes 3570
Origin USA

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 Premiere Finale #
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


External Sites