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Author Topic: An Oral History of 'The New Hollywood Squares'  (Read 1380 times)

Mike Tennant

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isucgv

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Re: An Oral History of 'The New Hollywood Squares'
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2020, 11:49:01 AM »
Thanks for sharing this link - this was a delightful read!

PPatters

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Re: An Oral History of 'The New Hollywood Squares'
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2020, 02:19:11 PM »
Wow. I loved this. Also, why doesn’t Jim have a Twitter or something? He’d be so funny on social media, I think!
Patrick

BrandonFG

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Re: An Oral History of 'The New Hollywood Squares'
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2020, 04:51:19 PM »
I checked this out last week and was immediately fascinated. This version was my first exposure to the show, although I admit being turned off by the gimmicks as I got older and watched Bergeron's version. That being said, I can now understand wanting to make the show your own; Marshall's was pretty damn dry and a product of its era. That dryness just wouldn't work on a new show in 1986.

I'm guessing the contestant island's similarities to the Vegas set were more than just a coincidence...

Quote
The original set, which had been in storage in Las Vegas, was destroyed a year before the pilot was shot because payment stopped on the storage unit. So Rosner’s team built a new one from scratch.
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Neumms

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Re: An Oral History of 'The New Hollywood Squares'
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2020, 01:52:32 PM »
The article was great fun. The show wasn't nearly as fun to watch as the producers thought it was.

If celebrities were knocking their doors down, they should have booked more who could deliver jokes. They had a couple good ones, but, say, giving Louie Anderson nothing but fat jokes was a waste of his talent. Say what you will about his hosting, he's a great comic.

I can see them wanting to liven it up, but Richard Simmons?

Ian Wallis

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Re: An Oral History of 'The New Hollywood Squares'
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2020, 09:19:56 PM »
I can now understand wanting to make the show your own; Marshall's was pretty damn dry and a product of its era. That dryness just wouldn't work on a new show in 1986.

I'm with you on that.  While I adore Marshall's Squares, when I saw the reruns on GSN way back when, I kept thinking that this isn't going to do well with today's viewer.  Since GSN cancelled it fairly quickly (less than a year, IIRC), I wonder if they were to have gotten Davidson's version instead/also, if it would have faired any better.
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TLEberle

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Re: An Oral History of 'The New Hollywood Squares'
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2020, 09:32:43 PM »
My problem with HS '86 is that the game was played to a time-up signal and not best of three. It may have been best-of-three in practice but when the score is 1000-0 and we come back from the last break before the end game and John says we have time for one more question worth a hundred bucks it's cold comfort, especially when the Cadillacs on offer were worth up to thirty grand.

Having read that article I have a new respect for what the show was going for in terms of big, brash and raucous humor. (plus Stormy Sacks providing a sound track too.) I also have new respect for Jm J. Bullock as well. (Still mostly indifference to John Davidson.) The show could be as crazy or visual as they want but play the game as a race to a thousand bucks. Card Sharks had no problem playing matches across editions.
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BrandonFG

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Re: An Oral History of 'The New Hollywood Squares'
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2020, 11:30:24 PM »
While I adore Marshall's Squares, when I saw the reruns on GSN way back when, I kept thinking that this isn't going to do well with today's viewer.  Since GSN cancelled it fairly quickly (less than a year, IIRC), I wonder if they were to have gotten Davidson's version instead/also, if it would have faired any better.
IIRC, I think it made it a little more than a year, but was gone by the time of the rebrand in spring 2004. And I think GSN pushed it to weekends pretty quickly.

Count me in as someone who gained a new respect for Jm. J.
“Hey, I’m TV’s Wayne Brady. I use Bald As Hell!”

Now celebrating his 18th season on GSF!

Eric Paddon

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Re: An Oral History of 'The New Hollywood Squares'
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2020, 12:36:34 AM »
I'm with you on that.  While I adore Marshall's Squares, when I saw the reruns on GSN way back when, I kept thinking that this isn't going to do well with today's viewer.  Since GSN cancelled it fairly quickly (less than a year, IIRC), I wonder if they were to have gotten Davidson's version instead/also, if it would have faired any better.

I admit I got tired of the reruns after a bit but IMO the chief flaw was the era they selected the bulk of episodes from, circa 1975-76 and an inordinate of them featuring the unfunny and tedious boredom that was Jonathan Winters.     He would grind the proceedings to a halt with his meandering before saying he didn't have a bluff and then to make him more comfortable Marshall would ask for him to answer as one of his characters which would give us more meandering followed by nothing.      When they aired the 68 night shows and the 71-72 era it was a much better show.     But I would have preferred seeing episodes from 77-79 and no Winters than the top-heavy volume they showed with him.   (I suspect they didn't show episodes from the final Charley Weaver season because of how deathly ill he looked after his heart attack and weight loss).

chrisholland03

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Re: An Oral History of 'The New Hollywood Squares'
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2020, 09:54:56 AM »
The pacing mid-late 70s is definitely what makes it tedious. While Winters is a good example of a grind-halt, there were more than plenty of others that were just as bad.  They seem to have resolved it with the Vegas episodes - the handful I've been watching recently are actually pretty good.

Neumms

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Re: An Oral History of 'The New Hollywood Squares'
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2020, 01:08:14 AM »
The pacing mid-late 70s is definitely what makes it tedious.

In Squares history, we know Merrill Heatter saw how slow the show was at first and said they’d edit to get more questions in. But did they? There were still drags when stars tried to figure out the not-funny answer. Even Paul Lynde spent too long doing that.