|Gene Rayburn (Match Game portions)|
Jon Bauman (Hollywood Squares portion)
|NBC Studios, Burbank, California|
|Mark Goodson Productions|
This show was a fusion of Match Game and Hollywood Squares into an hour-long show.
Two new contestants played the Match Game half of the show. As with the previous 1973-82 run, the object of the game was to match as many of the celebrities as they can. At the beginning of each round, one contestant had a choice of two questions (A or B) leaving the other one for the other contestant. Each contestant was read a statement with a blank at the end or near the end. Then the six celebrities wrote down their answers to fill in the blank. When finished, the contestant in control gave an answer of his/her own after which the stars revealed their answers. Each time the contestant matched he/she scored a point but each celebrity can only be matched one time.
Like Match Game PM, the game was played in three rounds and the player who had matched the most celebrities at the end of Round 3 won the game. If the game ended in a tie, a Super Match-style question was read and the contestants were shown four possible answers which were faced away from the stars. Each contestant chose an answer by number and then the stars one at a time gave verbal answers. The player whose answer was mentioned first won the game.
At the start of round 2, a home viewer contest (dubbed "Telephone Match") was played during "sweeps" period in February and May 1984. In it, Rayburn called one home viewer that was previously selected at random and awarded him or her $500. That viewer then played a very special "Head-to-Head Match" against the celebrity of his or her choice. If they successfully make an exact match, the viewer received an additional $5,000 in cash along with a walk-on role on a popular NBC daytime soap opera.
NOTE: It is assumed that the winner would receive a trip to the NBC Burbank area or to NYC (if the soap was Another World which taped in NYC at the time) if the home viewer won their telephone match.
The winner of the game won the right to play Hollywood Squares against the show's returning champion.
In the Hollywood Squares portion, Jon & Gene traded places with each other and an extra tier swung in to make room for three more stars. As in Hollywood Squares all by itself the object of the game was to get three stars in row. They do that by agreeing or disagreeing the stars' answers to questions, each time they do that correctly they capture a square and scored $25, but each time they do that incorrectly the square and money went to the opponent. The first player to get tic-tac-toe or get five stars wins the game and more money. The first game was worth $100 and every game thereafter was worth $100 more than the previous.
What makes this Hollywood Squares different from all the other versions are these rules:
- The champion played X and the challenger played O. This was the only version where sex does not matter.
- A contestant can actually win by default by having the opponent fail to block by missing the question.
- All questions were multiple choice & true or false, because Mark Goodson said no to writing bluffs for the celebrities.
- There was no Secret Square game.
When time ran out, a school bell rang, and the player with the most money by that time won the match. If the match ended in a tie, one final question was played with the star of one contestant's choosing; if the contestant can agree or disagree correctly, he/she won the match; otherwise, the match went to the opponent. The winner of the match went to play the $30,000 Super Match. Both players kept the cash.
The Super Match was mostly the same as the original down to the host, for Gene Rayburn took over once again, but the Audience Match amounts were increased, and all nine stars participated.
A prior studio audience was asked to give its best response to a fill-in-the-blank phrase, and its three best answers were placed and hidden away on a game board. Each one was assigned a dollar amount according to the popularity of each answer; the top answer was worth $1,000, the middle answer was worth $500, and the least popular was worth $250. Once the question was revealed, the winning contestant selected three stars who gave their answers to help out the contestant. When the answers were given, the contestant then chose which answer to use or reject them all and give an answer of his/her own. When all was said and done, the answers were revealed one at a time starting with the least popular answer and ending with the most popular. If the contestant can match any of the answers, he/she won the money attached to the answer. If the player chose an answer that was not on the board, he/she earned $100.
The nine stars had numbered cards in front of them. Four of the stars have 10s, another four had 20s, but only one of them had a 30; those numbers affected the amount won in the Audience Match. The winning contestant chose which star to play with, at which point the chosen celeb revealed his/her number, and whatever the number revealed was multiplied to the Audience Match award won (ranging from $1,000 to $30,000). Host Rayburn then read another fill-in-the-blank phrase after which the chosen star wrote his/her answer. The winning contestant then gave his/her answer after which the chosen star revealed his/hers and if they match, the winning contestant won the grand cash prize.
In order to win the money, the contestant had to match his/her chosen celebrity's response exactly or it cannot be accepted; this meant that multiple forms of the same word, e.g. singular or plural, were usually accepted whereas synonyms were not.
Champions stayed on the show until they won five days in a row (for a possible payoff of $150,000 plus their Hollywood Squares winnings) or defeated.
The main theme from this show would be reused as a car prize cue on The Price is Right and the 1986 version of Card Sharks.
The ticket plug would also be reused on The Price is Right as a Showcase cue.
A fusion of formats based on Match Game by Mark Goodson & Bill Todman and Hollywood Squares by Merrill Heatter & Bob Quigley.
- This show replaced another short-lived NBC daytime game show, Fantasy.
- While one host hosted the appropriate half of the show, the other host sat on the panel.
- Due to conflicting ownership rights between Mark Goodson Productions (now Fremantle) and Orion Television (now MGM), The Match Game Hollywood Squares Hour was not reran for 35 years since its cancellation in 1984. But in 2019, this changed when Fremantle's digital multicast network, Buzzr, was able to clear all hurdles and began to air the series.
- Then-current and future hosts Pat Sajak, Bob Eubanks, Chuck Woolery, and Arsenio Hall appeared during some weeks.
Rules for The Match Game Hollywood Squares Hour
The Match Game Hollywood Squares Hour @ Game Show Utopia
David's Match Game Hollywood Squares Hour Page
Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour at ClassicSquares.com
Josh Rebich's Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour Rule Sheet