Hollywood Squares (TV Series 1998–2004) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • An updated version of the classic game show. Celebrities, each sitting in a square of a giant tic-tac-toe board, are asked questions by host Tom Bergeron. Contestants must then guess whether the celebrity's answer is correct or incorrect in order to gain control of the square and hopefully get three squares in a row.

  • The 1998 version of "Hollywood Squares" was the second revival of the classic celebrity tic-tac-toe game. The object of the game was simple: Get three stars in a row, either across, up-and-down or diagonally. The contestant (men were "X" and the women were "O"), in turn, chose a celebrity, to whom host Bergeron asked a question. After (usually) a joke answer, they gave a response, to which the contestant either agreed or disagreed. If correct in their judgement, they received their mark in that box; if wrong, their opponent got the square (unless it led to three in a row, in which case that player had to earn it him/herself). Each game (ended by three in a row or getting five of their mark) was worth cash: $1,000 for the first two games, $2,000 for game three, and $4,000 for each game thereafter. The second game of each show was the Secret Square, which contained a prize package worth thousands of dollars; the celebrity was asked a multiple-choice question and the contestant won the prizes if he was correct in agreeing/disagreeing. The top money winner when time expired was champion and played an end game. The end game changed several times during the run; initially, they chose a celebrity and simply won whatever was inside an envelope they kept. A few weeks into the run, the player chose a celebrity and had to correctly agree or disagree on a Secret Square-type question. In 2001, the contestant and a celebrity of his choosing played a 60-second rapid-fire type question round, with each correct question worth cash (between $1,000 and $5,000); after time expired or 10 correct responses, the player could take his winnings or answer a difficult double-or-nothing question. The 2001 bonus round was considered a failure by critics, and a year later, the bonus round was completely retooled (along with other changes, including new producers and theme music, and the departure of regulars Whoopi Goldberg, Bruce Vilanch and Caroline Rhea). Now, the winner plays a 30-second rapid-fire quiz round for a grand prize played thusly: The contestant must agree or disagree with statements read about the celebrity guests; each correct response eliminated a "bad key"; once the round ended, the contestant chose from the remaining keys the one they thought would either start a new car, unlock a safe full of cash ($25,000, $50,000 and $100,000), or open a "steamer trunk" for an around the world trip; if the contestant didn't win the prize, one key was eliminated for each return trip, though the game was reset for each new prize. Five-time champions retired undefeated and returned (along with other top winners) for the annual tournament of champions.

  • Contestants guess the correctness of celebrities' answers in order to win spaces in a tic-tac-toe game.


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