Series / Definition

A well-known Canadian Game Show created by the same people who created The Newlywed Game, which ran from 1974 to 1989 on CTV, and was produced at the network's Toronto station, CFTO.

Much like Wheel of Fortune (which debuted at around the same time), Definition was a game show based on Hangman, where two teams of a celebrity and civilian player competed to solve such a puzzle. Both teams alternated guessing letters that were in a puzzle on a board (accompanied by a crossword-style hint); one team member had to guess a letter which wasn't in the puzzle, after which their teammate guessed a letter that was in the puzzle. Successful guesses earned chances to solve, and the first to win a best-two-out-of-three became champion and played a bonus round.

Game Show Tropes in use:

  • Bonus Round: One more puzzle, the letters are revealed in alphabetical order. Win $10 multiplied by the number of unrevealed letters and a prize if solved.
  • Consolation Prize: For losing the Bonus Round, you get just $10. No, that's not a typo—the actual consolation was ten bucks.
  • Home Game: One was issued by Milton Bradley in 1981, recycling parts from their 1975 Wheel Of Fortune games. Interestingly, the box art predates the change to all civilians.
  • Home Participation Sweepstakes: Later in the run, puzzles could also be sent in by viewers.
  • Personnel:
  • Undesirable Prize: Just about everything, given how cheap the show was.

This show provides examples of:

  • Ascended Extra: Jim Perry was promoted from announcer to emcee at the beginning of Season 2.
  • Hurricane of Puns: A lot of the clues were like this.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: "Soul Bossa Nova" by Quincy Jones (his music seemed to always end up on word games, it seems). Thanks to the popularity of Definition, the song became cemented in Canadian pop culture of the era — even before it became better-known internationally as the Austin Powers theme song. Mike Myers chose to use the song because he remembered it from Definition.
    • In tribute to the show, "Soul Bossa Nova" got a Sampled Up hip-hop version, "My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style", by Dream Warriors on their album And Now the Legacy Begins. This version became Ascended Fanon in a promo celebrating CTV Toronto's 50th anniversary, which featured clips from the show.
  • Transatlantic Equivalent: A British version ran on ITV from 1978 to 1986, hosted by Don Moss and Jeremy Beadle.