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Author Topic: Yahtzee production details?  (Read 2091 times)

Matt Ottinger

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Yahtzee production details?
« on: December 02, 2019, 04:27:31 PM »
A friend is trying to gather information about exactly how many episodes of the Yahtzee game show were actually made, before the fact that no one was getting paid stopped the production in its tracks.  Also interested in what markets aired the show.  Some of you with TVG collections might be able to help with some of this, I think.

Facts please, not speculation.
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Chelsea Thrasher

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Re: Yahtzee production details?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2019, 05:02:29 PM »
An AP article appearing in the Philadelphia Daily News on April 20, 1988 notes that on Feb. 2nd, the producers checked out of the Showboat and were detained by law enforcement, accused of stealing dice and other equipment from the set. (April 20, 1988, pg. 5).  This leads to the legal action that shutters production. Keep that date.  The April article is about the lawsuit.

The latest I can find any listings for the show appearing on Newspapers.com is for the week of April 18 in a handful of markets - the show’s market clearances start plummeting rapidly after the February ratings book and by the end of March the show is only airing on a relatively small number of stations whose listings are archived on Newspapers.com. The show definitely was not on the air by the May '88 book in any form.

The Asbury Park Press (1/31/1988) notes that the show had originally planned to tape for eight week at Trump’s Castle - 3 tape days per week, 5 shows per taping, but only taped for two (calendar) weeks there due to scheduling conflicts with “a long-running revue show, ‘City Lites’” that was committed for the space.   A similarly dated article in the Courier-News of Bridgewater, NJ (1/28/1988, p16) notes that the taping schedule had been three days a week, so with two weeks of tapings, that means 30 shows filmed at the Trump property.  The mid January eviction appears to have been sudden, and likely would have meant at least a short stop to find a new site, set up, work out production elements, etc

All hell broke loose with the production on check-out from the Showboat on February 2nd and never resumed, and given the articles a few days prior note the Trump departure as being recent, my assumption (I know you said no speculation, but I’m only doing this within the context of the info presented) is one batch of tapings - 3 days, 15 shows - at the Showboat.  Which would put the show at 45 episodes total.  45 first run shows also would get us to the point (March 1988) when affiliates began rapidly jettisoning the show.

I can't say positively 45 is the number, but from spending a half hour in Newspapers.com and the Broadcasting archives, it'd be my best, most educated guess based on the articles immediately available.  Apologies if the above isn't concrete enough.


« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 06:39:36 PM by Chelsea Thrasher »
Chelsea

Matt Ottinger

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Re: Yahtzee production details?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2019, 06:16:11 PM »
Great work, Chelsea.  Thanks!
This has been another installment of Matt Ottinger's Masters of the Obvious.
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TLEberle

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Re: Yahtzee production details?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2019, 09:15:47 PM »
Chelsea, is there any chance you could link to that story from Aprll 20? I am gobsmacked that producers of their own show would be arrested for stealing dice from their own set. Eruh?

Perhaps as interesting as discussing the monster hits is coming over details about the shows that made it. Having watching a single low-res copy of one edition I felt like that was enough--there wasn't anything new that would be explored with further viewings.
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Chelsea Thrasher

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Re: Yahtzee production details?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2019, 09:59:27 PM »
The Asbury Park Press actually goes into a bit more detail (same date) so I've clipped that instead:
https://www.newspapers.com/clip/39996186/yahtzee_2/

They were never arrested as far as I can determine, just detained by various police, security, and gaming officials.

the most interesting part is at the end. Quoting:
Quote
"Bernstein-Hovis Productions...mailed copies of the [original] lawsuits to television stations that had started airing 'Yahtzee', which prompted dozens of cancellations, [Ralph] Andrews said"

The April 20th article is round 2 of legal action; the article makes note that Andrews and Hovis/Bernstein's troubles had begun weeks before.
Chelsea

JakeT

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Re: Yahtzee production details?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2019, 11:16:49 PM »
In the article, Larry Hovis sounds like the proverbial squealing stuck pig...

Sucks when ya get caught on your way out the door...

Missed it by THAT much...

JakeT

colonial

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Re: Yahtzee production details?
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2019, 09:10:12 AM »
Thank you for posting that article. I have very vague memories about Larry Hovis being arrested or detained in Atlantic City during the show's production, but I only recall Hovis ranting and raving to a NY Daily News reporter about unfair treatment (for some reason, I thought he got busted for public drunkenness or cheating at a table game).

Even though it may only be of interest to us, a detailed story or oral history about this show would make an interesting read.


JD

tvwxman

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Re: Yahtzee production details?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2019, 06:13:17 AM »
A friend is trying to gather information about exactly how many episodes of the Yahtzee game show were actually made, before the fact that no one was getting paid stopped the production in its tracks.  Also interested in what markets aired the show.  Some of you with TVG collections might be able to help with some of this, I think.

Facts please, not speculation.
All I can add to this is : Miami/Ft Lauderdale Market , CBS4, Either aired at 10:30am or 4:30pm. (Pretty sure it was at 10:30, preempting Card Sharks)
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aaron sica

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Re: Yahtzee production details?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2019, 06:39:19 AM »
All I can add to this is : Miami/Ft Lauderdale Market , CBS4, Either aired at 10:30am or 4:30pm. (Pretty sure it was at 10:30, preempting Card Sharks)

Newspapers dot com to the rescue again for clarification - it aired at 10:30 a.m., pre-empting Card Sharks.

Ian Wallis

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Re: Yahtzee production details?
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2019, 06:36:40 PM »
I saw the show out of WROC in Rochester, NY
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JakeT

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Re: Yahtzee production details?
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2019, 07:38:53 PM »
In Dallas, it aired at 10AM on KXAS, channel 5, unexpectedly taking over the timeslot from the Wink "High Rollers", which preempted "Wheel Of Fortune"...I seem to recall "High Rollers" returning once "Yahtzee" was yanked...

JakeT

BrandonFG

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Re: Yahtzee production details?
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2019, 08:05:17 PM »
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oaklandfan2kx

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Re: Yahtzee production details?
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2019, 10:13:55 PM »
Also seen on WPEC In West Palm Beach, FL, KVOA In Tucson, AZ, KTVK in Phoenix, AZ, WCPO in Cincinnati, OH and KTVN in Reno, NV

aaron sica

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Re: Yahtzee production details?
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2019, 06:43:07 AM »
In Dallas, it aired at 10AM on KXAS, channel 5, unexpectedly taking over the timeslot from the Wink "High Rollers", which preempted "Wheel Of Fortune"...I seem to recall "High Rollers" returning once "Yahtzee" was yanked...

JakeT

Did a little research here too.......Your memory would be correct, except it looks like they aired WoF at 11:30 a.m. instead...Guess they weren't Scrabble fans there!

And "High Rollers" did indeed return once Yahtzee was yanked...

aaron sica

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Re: Yahtzee production details?
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2019, 07:55:28 AM »
Add WTHR in Indianapolis, at 7:30 p.m. to the list.

The theme music kind of smacks of Crosswits86.