Scrabble Game Show - Television Show Based on Scrabble
The Scrabble Game Show was an NBC game show hosted by Chuck Woolery from 1983 to 1990. The Scrabble Game Showalso had a short run in 1993.The Scrabble Game Show ran on American airwaves for the better part of seven years in two different runs. If you are in the younger generation, you might not remember a Scrabble Game Show hosted by Chuck Woolery. But Classic Scrabble has sustained enough popularity in recent decades that the television networks have tried several times to tap into Scrabble's fan base.
The Classic Scrabble Game Show
The most successful Scrabble Game Show is the one hosted by Chuck Woolery in two different runs from 1984 to 1993. The first run of the Scrabble Game Show lasted from July of 1984 until March of 1990. Chuck Woolery, at the time a big name for his concurrent role on Love Connection, was the host during these six years.
Chuck Woolery returned to host the show a second time, a less successful run from January to June 1993. The earlier broadcasts of Scrabble were announced from 1983 to 1986 by Jay Stewart and from 1986 to 1990 by Charlie Tuna.
Scrabble Crossword Round
The Scrabble Game Show did not follow the format of the Scrabble board game, for obvious reasons. Instead, the game was formatted along the lines of the popular Wheel of Fortune game show. Players would take turns trying to place a letter into a mystery word.
If that letter appeared, the player could guess which word was the mystery word. If the chosen letter was not in the grid, then it was the other player's turn.
Other elements of the Scrabble Game Show included the speed word (where game play simply went quicker) and bonus squares, which attempted to incorporate something of the double-letter and double-word squares from the Scrabble boardgame.
Scrabble Theme Weeks
Like other game shows of the time, the Scrabble Game Show had its own theme weeks. Examples of theme weeks included College Week and Teen Week, as the contestants were drawn from that particular demographic. One of the favorite theme weeks was Game Show Hosts Week, when classic game show hosts like Wink Martindale and Peter Tomarken competed.
Another popular Scrabble Game Show theme week was Battle of the Soaps Week, when soap opera stars would show their word skills.
Other Scrabble Game Shows
Between the two Chuck Woolery runs on The Scrabble Game Show, another Scrabble show was in production hosted by Steve Edwards, the erstwhile host of several different local and national broadcasts, such as Good Day L.A. and Entertainment Tonight. This version of The Scrabble Game Show was never broadcast.
John O'Hurley, best known for his role as J. Peterman on Seinfeld and his dancing skills on Dancing With The Stars, was slated to host a Scrabble game show on the Game Show Network. The name of this project was going to be Scrabble Challenge.
Scrabble Challenge would have been an interesting departure for a Scrabble game show. The premise of Scrabble Challenge is that it would have been less derivative of shows like Wheel of Fortune and more like the Classic Scrabble board game.
Unfortunately, Scrabble Challenge never aired on The Game Show Network. Scrabble Challenge no doubt would have been the favorite Scrabble Game Show of Scrabble purists.
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