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Trivia / The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour

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  • Adored by the Network: Buzzr has been giving its reruns of the show this treatment. Months before its official premiere, a marathon was shown on President's Day and an episode featuring Howie Mandel played during their annual "Lost and Found" event, held a day before the regular premiere. Then, when the show premiered, they would play promos for it during every commercial break on the channel. After this effort, reruns replaced other shows on the network seemingly out of nowhere. For instance, in spring 2020, this show replaced an hour of regular Match Game on weekday mornings.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • According to Gene Wood in a 1996 phone interview, Rayburn was "dragged kicking and screaming" into the Hour. From the circulating episodes, one can see he's having some fun doing Match, while his mood hits rock-bottom when Squares rolls around, and his lamenting the flaw in execution out loud on an episode very late in the run (see the YMMV tab) indicates it was due to the format. Other sources have said that Peter Marshall not being considered for Squares was another factor, as Rayburn had wanted to work with him and openly disliked Jon Bauman. Hour was also this for longtime Goodson-Todman producer Ira Skutch, who called it "misbegotten". Skutch was so displeased that he quit working for Goodson after it was cancelled.
    • Curiously averted for the other half of the hosting duo. When Buzzr announced it was bringing the Hour to its lineup, Jon Bauman took to Twitter to praise and defend the series, even going so far as to boast about how his half was "the only honest version of Squares" (i.e. no celebrity briefings or bluffs, never mind how that honesty ended up affecting this version of Squares for many people).
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Legendary producer Mark Goodson refused to do Squares the way it had always been done, prohibiting celebrities from being briefed on possible question topics, possible answers, and bluffs. Goodson point-blank saw this practice as cheating, and firmly believed the panelists shouldn't have needed that type of coaching in order to be funny with their responses, since that was exactly the case on Match Game. The problem was, unlike that series, said briefing ultimately provided part of the formula that made Squares work. Add the aforementioned conflicts, plus competition from General Hospital, and it's a grand wonder how the Hour even managed to last 39 weeks.
    • NBC was responsible for Bauman being picked to host Squares, even turning down original host Peter Marshall, who reportedly was interested in the job but somehow pissed off NBC executives who never considered him.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • A glorious subversion. For over 35 years, the show was unable to be rerun at all since its initial airing, since the rights to both Match Game and The Hollywood Squares are owned by two different companies (Fremantle Media and MGM Television, respectively... with ViacomCBS complicating things even further by owning Squares' format rights). Fans instead had to make do with the 20 or so episodes circulating from their original airings (including at least one full week), many of which were/are available on YouTube. Then in February 2019, Buzzr announced it would be airing the series beginning later in the month, suggesting the legal issues have finally been cleared up. Barring a few skipped episodes, MG/HS was the first series that Buzzr got through the entire run of.
    • Several stories have existed through the years, including host Gene Rayburn's extreme dissatisfaction with the show leading to him insisting that this show never be rerun. As it turns out, he never put an embargo on the show. The most likely reason for the story is people confusing the Hour with Rayburn's next series Break the Bank (1985), on which he did put an embargo.
    • However, a couple of episodes throughout the series have been skipped by Buzzr for unknown reasons. Because most of these have not been part of the trading circuit, they may count as "lost episodes." Two such episodes include ones that ARE available from original broadcasts: the premiere of the series, and an episode from the week Chuck Woolery and Arlene Francis are on the panel (which includes Gene's Take That! about the format to Goodson Squares).
      • The premiere has never been seen in full, but Buzzr does post clips from the show, leading one to wonder if there was a problem with the entire episode, either tape faults, or content that does not age well in the 2010s/2020s. The episode does include Match Game questions that seem to be transphobic or make light of school violence.
      • Several MG/HS episodes have been edited by Buzzr to remove insensitive jokes, particularly utterances of the word "midget." Unedited versions of these shows, not being on the trading circuit, can be considered "lost."
  • Throw It In!: During the Squares portion of Episode #58 (OAD—January 20, 1984), the board started to malfunction, so Jon threw to commercial. Unfortunately, the crew was unable to correct the malfunction during the break, so the rest of the game was played with the stars holding their arms in the positions of their respective symbols (X or Circle). Additionally, after the day's champion subsequently won $20,000 in the Super Match, all the celebrities then celebrated her win by making rapid "X/O" motions with their arms!
  • Troubled Production: Evidently, given NBC's meddling and Goodson's head-scratching tweaks to the Squares format.
  • Vindicated by Reruns: Minor example. While the show still has its fair share of detractors, it's gained something of a cult following through the aformentioned Buzzr reruns, ostensibly enough for the network to continue to add it to the schedule.
  • You Look Familiar: Jon Bauman was "Bowzer" in the group Sha Na Na, and had appeared as such on Match Game in the 1970s.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Peter Marshall was interested in a revival of Squares, and had a financial stake in it. However, he made some bad business decisions and lost that stake, as well as somehow upsetting NBC execs who never considered him for the Hour (ironically, his show Fantasy was replaced by this show).
    • The original idea was to have Rayburn host the entire show. NBC insisted on two hosts, hence Bauman.