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NBC Daytime, Monday October 17, 1966-Friday June 20, 1980
NBC Nighttime, Friday January 12-September 13, 1968
Nighttime & Daytime Syndicated, Monday November 1, 1971-Friday September 11, 1981
Run time
30 Minutes
Peter Marshall (The Master of "THE HOLLYWOOD SQUARES")
Kenny Williams
NBC Studio 3, Burbank, California (1966-1980); Versailles Theatre, Riviera Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada (1980-1981)

The Hollywood Squares is a game show.

Game FormatEdit

Although there have been variations over the years in the rules of and the prizes in the game, certain aspects of the game have remained fairly consistent.

2 Contestants and 1's A Returning Champion, almost always a woman playing Os/naughts (called circles in the show) as Miss Circle and a man playing Xs/crosses as Mr. X by took turns picking a star and following the traditional tic-tac-toe/naughts-and-crosses strategies for which square/star to select/pick. The star's asked a question by The Master and gives an answer. The contestants had the choice of agreeing with the star to be right or disagreeing if they thought the star is bluffing to be wrong. If the contestant's right, he or she got the square; if the contestant's wrong, the other contestant got the square, unless that caused the opponent to get 3 Stars in a row. In that case, the opponent had to win the square on his or her own. A contestant could also win by getting 5 "squares" on the game board, there's no draws/ties on "THE HOLLYWOOD SQUARES" Board.

On rare occasions, a star wouldn't know the correct answer to a question, but will be unable to come up with a plausible bluff. In such instances, the contestant will be offered the chance to answer the question to win or lose the square as above. Usually the contestants declined, in which case they incurred no penalty and the same star's asked for another question.

The daytime series is played as a best 2-out-of-3 match between a returning champion and an opponent/CHALLENGER with each individual game worth $200 & $400 for the match (originally $100 for each game and an additional $300 for the match for the grand total of $500). A 5-Match champion retired with $2500 in 1966-1967 (later $2000 through 1980) and a new car. Beginning on January 5-9, 1976 on this edition, this is increased to include additional cash ($5000 or $10,000), 2 New cars and a luxury vacation from $20,000 to $25,000. On September 6-10, 1976, The Bonus Game is added called "The Bonus Prize Squares" that directly after each match with the champion simply selecting a star, each of whom held an envelope with a prize (certainly regular prizes along with merchandise prizes and cash amounts) and the top prize is $5000 in Cash.

Both the Syndicated and NBC Nighttime versions featured the same two contestants playing for the entire half-hour with each completed game worth $300 (NBC prime time) or $250 (syndicated). On the syndicated version, if time ran out with a game still in progress (interrupted by what the host called the "tacky buzzer", a loud horn and the last one for the Last NBC Daytime in 1980 & The 1980-1981 TV Season in Las Vegas, NV), each X or O on the board at that point it's worth an additional $50 to the contestants with each contestant guaranteed at least $100 in total winnings. The contestant with the most money at the end of the show won a bonus prize, which for the 1st 7 Seasons of the syndicated series from 1971 to 1978 is a car. From 1978 to 1980, the "endgame" described above was utilized with the car and $5000 (later $10,000) as the 2 Top Cash Prizes. For The 1980-1981 TV season in Las Vegas, NV each game awarded it's victor a prize (an incomplete game when time is called awarded the prize to the player with the most squares) and the winner of the most games won a trip and competed in a tournament worth $100,000 ($20,000 cash, a house by Domes America and a Midavan RV). Eric Lloyd Scott of Denver, CO won the tournament on The Program's Last Show.

If the match ended in a tie, one last question is played with the star of one contestant's choosing; if the contestant agreed or disagreed correctly, s/he won the match, otherwise the match went to the opponent.

Secret SquareEdit

The Secret Square is played as the 1st, 2nd or Tie game on a given broadcast (or the first complete game, if a show began with 1 Already in progress) during the daytime series. In this game, a randomly selected Secret Square star is shown only to the home audience. A contestant who picked that star 1st during the game won a bonus prize package if they correctly agreed or disagreed with the star. The Secret Square prize packages on the daytime edition started at around or otherwise exactly total of $1000 "Mainly $1000 Cash/Bill" (for the 1966 broadcasts; the base amount increased in the later years from 1967 to 1980) and grew daily until it won. The question for the star is sealed in a special envelope and it's actually an multiple choice.

For shows airing during the NBC Nighttime portion (in 1968), The 1st 2 Games are The Secret Squares. One Secret Square offered a trip and the other Secret Square offered a Pontiac Firebird (or a speedboat on one episode). If it's not won (lost), the prize offered in the 1st Game will be carried over to the 2nd & Last Game with a second prize added. If it's not won (lost) in the 2nd & Last Game, The Secret Square prize package will be unclaimed.

During the 1st 2 Seasons of the Syndicated Portion (1971-1973), The 1st 2 Games are again as The Secret Squares with the prize packages generally worth about $2500; if no one claimed the prizes offered in the 1st game, they can be carried over to the 2nd game and if it's still not won (lost) that can be unclaimed. Beginning in 1973 & Ended in 1978, The 1st 3 Games has each of it as The Secret Square with the offering of different prize packages, usually worth between $2000 and $7000. From 1978 to 1980, The 2nd & 3rd games (The 1st & 2nd Games early in the 1978–79 season) each featured a Secret Square with the addition of the bonus game as "The Bonus Prize Squares." The Program discontinued The Secret Square for it's the entire last TV Season in 1980-1981 in Las Vegas, NV Instead, a contestant won a prize or prize package for winning a game.

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).


International VersionsEdit

Main Article: The Hollywood Squares/International


Board GamesEdit

Watkins-Strathmore (1967-68)Edit

Ideal (1974)Edit

Milton Bradley (1980)Edit



Game BoardEdit

The $100,000 Money MachineEdit



Episode StatusEdit

See Also: The Hollywood Squares/Episode Guide


The Hollywood Squares close (partial), 2 16 79

The Hollywood Squares close (partial), 2 16 79

See AlsoEdit

Storybook Squares
Match Game Hollywood Squares Hour
Hollywood Squares (1986)
Hollywood Squares (1998)
Hip Hop Squares
Hip Hop Squares (2017)


The Hollywood Squares Go Country In 1980
The Hollywood Squares Website from 1966 to 1981 on NBC-TV & Syndicated