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Hollywood Squares (1985)

Producer: Rick Rosner/Orion Television
Host: John Davidson
Announcer: Shadoe Stevens
Celebrities: Marla Gibbs, Loni Anderson, Steve Landesberg, Apolonia Kotero, Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, Tony Danza, Dick Butkus, Bubba Smith, Jackie Collins
Taping Info: December 12, 1985
Made it to Air: This pilot was directly responsible for the 1986-89 syndicated version. It had previous airing periods from 1966-1980 and a later one from 1998-2004.
Other Pilots: Not of this version, but the first version had pilots by Bert Parks and probably Sandy Baron.
Availability: It is available on the trade circuit and on YouTube.

After The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour died an ignominious death on NBC, Orion wanted to keep the Squares franchise alive. However, Peter Marshall was not invited along, so former semi-regular square John Davidson became the host. This one was star-laden, as Burt Reynolds, Loni Anderson, Jackie Collins, Marla Gibbs, Apollonia Kotero, Dick Butkus, Bubba Smith, Steve Landesberg and Tony Danza join Dom DeLuise in the classic tic-tac-toe game.

Each game was for $500, with game #2 being a secret square game. On this particular pilot, one of the most interesting questions occurred when Johnny Carson did a walk-on for a question. After stealing the show, and about three minutes of air time, the game continued. Whichever player had the most money at the end of the game went on to play the bonus game. The bonus game was simply pick a car, a celebrity was along for good luck, and if that car was the pre-selected car (a one in five chance), the player won it.

If only the series ever had this much star power. It didn't, and had to rely on the Jm J. Bullocks of the world, and the show was off after three years. John Davidson was OK as a host, but always seemed he was screaming since the set was much larger than the previous version.

The new, fancier set.

The new, fancier podium.

The new, clichéd host

Here's Johnny

The bonus game

Loni Anderson

Steve Landesberg

Marla Gibbs

Tony Danza

Dom DeLuise

Jackie Collins

Dick Butkus and Bubba Smith

Appolonia Kotero

Burt Reynolds

This pilot has been viewed 11345 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Jan 14, 2010 18:37 ET
Feedback? Contact me at usgs-pilot at the usgameshows dot net domain