Trivia / Merv Griffin's Crosswords

  • Author Existence Failure: Merv Griffin, who was in the middle of tweaking the format from the pilot (and hopefully into a good format), died five weeks before the premiere. Whether this led to the hoopla you see on this page and its YMMV tab is unknown yes, the resulting format may have been Merv's intention, but based on said hoopla it appears that the staff ran with a half-finished concept.
  • Fan Nickname: Crosswords, mainly since Merv had little to do with it.
  • No Budget: Boy, it certainly felt that way sometimes, didn't it?
  • Out of Order: Why a lot of this page and its other tabs are a bit vague, and the most likely reason for the show's ratings (hovering around a 1.0). Crosswords eschewed returning champions, and the airings basically played "format hopscotch" beginning in mid-December 2007. Repeats were seen in both single- and double-run markets, to the point where a particular episode was shown twice in a double-run slot. The kicker? A staggering 225 episodes had been recorded, which should have prevented something like this from coming anywhere near close to happening. The double kicker? It was the entire point of doing so many in the first place!
    • The show debuted on September 10, 2007 with the 27th episode recorded; the first taped episodes, using a format that somehow managed to be even cheaper, aired later on. The out-of-order airings were so bad, nobody is sure which episode was the last one taped.
  • Screwed by the Syndicate: Following a renewal for Season 2 and getting a firm "go" in 75% of the country, production was halted by the syndicator, Program Partners, due to "high production costs". Given the payouts (about $3,500 in earlier episodes, about $7,000-$13,000 later {the biggest winner being just over $17,000}) and overall No Budget feel, everyone was confused at how they were even able to come up with such an excuse! A few people at BuzzerBlog tried to make sense of it:
    Devares: [Y]ou have two powerhouse production companies (Sony and NBC Universal), and they have budget problems? Come on! There's more to this than they tell you...
    B-W: High production costs? This show? Who are they kidding?
    HomerJay: Hiatus in this case means cancelled. No-one is going to run repeats of Crosswords in the Fall. It's done, over, finished.
    • The syndicator offered a repeat package and two Canadian shows note  as options until Season 2 began, but Crosswords never got back up off the ground.
  • What Could Have Been: The NBC O&Os chose this show over a revival of The Joker's Wild and a new series called Combination Lock from King World and Sony. (Ironically, Ty Treadway hosted the second pilot for the latter- the first was hosted by Marc Summers.)
  • Working Title: The show was piloted under Let's Play Crosswords, then Let's Do Crosswords. Both ended up being used as Treadway's "let's start the game" Catch-Phrase.