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Series / Scattergories

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Short-lived 1993 NBC Game Show adaptation of the Board Game, produced by Reg Grundy and hosted by Dick Clark. Two teams of four (men versus women) competed in a game where the five celebrity "panelists" appeared in prerecorded video clips. Clark revealed a category and a letter, and the team in control played through three phases on their turn:

  • Come up with six answers in 15 seconds, scoring points for each.
  • Let the opponents challenge any of these answers, with a five-judge panel (chosen from the audience) voting on each. Gain points for each good answer, lose points for each bad one.
  • Choose four celebrities and find out what answers they gave, scoring extra points every time an answer doesn't match anything said by the team.

After two rounds, the winning team played for a cash jackpot by giving answers in one category and five different letters, trying not to match at least three celebrities.

The series wasn't that popular, debuting in an era where games were heading out the door. The show ran from January 18-June 11, with a few weeks of repeats during that time.

Game Show Tropes in use:

  • Bonus Round: One more Scattergory; 10 words (two per letter assigned to each star) in 20 (later 25) seconds. For every instance of a celebrity saying a word not given, the team earned $100; three mismatches earned the team a Progressive Jackpot.
    • For the first few weeks, the team only won if they captured the celebrity whose name they had previously drawn at random. For the rest of the run, the team won by capturing three of the five celebrities instead.
  • Personnel:
  • Progressive Jackpot: The bonus round awarded a winning team $4,000 plus $1,000 for every day it was not won.

This show provides examples of:

  • Crossover: Scrabble host Chuck Woolery appeared as a celebrity for a few weeks, along with the pilot. The '93 Scrabble was paired up with Scattergories, and both emcees regularly plugged the other's show.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: The aforementioned change to the bonus round, most likely done because the fifth box was often disqualified due to time running out.
  • Pilot: One was done in 1992, with a very different set.
  • Recycled Soundtrack:
    • The background music used in the main game was recycled from Bruce Forsyth's Hot Streak.
    • The pilot theme was previously the main theme of Matchmates, an unsold Grundy pilot from 1985.