From a former game show host, Pat Finn (Shop ’til You Drop, The Big Spin) and a former network exec, Bob Boden (Fox Reality Channel) comes a new way of playing Hasbro’s board game Scrabble. It’s a version much different from the 1980s version hosted by Chuck Woolery. This one is called “Scrabble Showdown”.
Serving as Consultant Producer is another game show veteran/legend, Sande Stewart (Hollywood Showdown, The (New) 25,000 Pyramid, Jackpot), son of Bob Stewart, producer of classic games shows The Price is Right, To Tell the Truth, Jackpot, Chain Reaction, The (New) $25,000 Pyramid.
It’s a new world with new technology used in this new version to air on Hub Network in the Fall 2011. Hosted by Justin William (Cupcake Wars) “Scrabble Showdown” is a family game show played by family contestants. They are paired in twos. Some contestants that we watched play while on-set included: father/son vs. mother/daughter; father/daughter vs. father/daughter; mother/daughter vs. mother/daughter.
“Scrabble Showdown” consists of four rounds. Each round earns the winner a prize. The grand prize awarded to the winner of the fourth and final round, also the winner of the entire game is a trip to anywhere! That’s right – ANYWHERE in the world that the winning contestants want to go is what they win! The destinations that were being played for by some contestants were: Madrid,Spain; Tahiti, Polynesia; Rome, Italy; and Tel Aviv, Israel. Executive Producer, Pat Finn stated that there is no pre-conceived list of destinations that the show gives to the players to choose from. They really get to pick any location on Earth.
The Hub will be airing 30 episodes which are each a half-hour long. Production shot five shows per shoot day. Some of the prizes won in the rounds were: Round 1 – a guitar; Round 2 – a camcorder; Karaoke machine; Round 3 – flat screen plasma TV; Foosball table; Sony laptop computer.
HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED:
In the first two rounds of “Scrabble Showdown” the games are alternated with a variety of games. Some of these games are: “scrabble babble”, “scrabble scream”, and “scrabble slam”. The last two rounds seem to always stay the same with “scrabble flash”, and “scrabble lightening”.
Round 1 – “Babble” Players play this like “Pyramid”. One team member gives the other team member clues to 5-letter words that have one letter missing in them. The clue giver has to figure out the word, then give their team mate the clue without saying the word in the clue. One player said “Friday” to a clue that was “Day”. They lost the round. As stated by Executive Producer, Bob Boden, in this round, with some words that could go either way – for example a word like -lass can be “class” or “glass” – the clue giver can choose what they’d like the word to be.
Round 2 – “Slam” The winner of the last round gets to set the time on the clock in this round (which is “unknown”). The players must switch out a given letter to five-letter words to create new words. They say “slam the ‘p’” for example to a word. Then the host states the new word. Example: L-uck became D-uck, and so on. Players switch off with one team member at a time.
Round 3 – “Flash” Contestants take turns within their own team at creating new words from a 5-letter word given to them at the beginning of the round. The opponents play with the same word, but are taken off-stage until the fist team is done. Each team has 30 seconds to complete 3 to 5 letter words, five times or more. Players must have their hands off the tiles before switching to their team mate and stating the new word. The more letters in the words, the more points they earn for the final round. So, getting a lot of 5-letter words in this round is helpful.
Round 4 – “Lightening” Each letter of a crossword puzzle is worth a different amount of points. Here, the game is finally recognizable from the Chuck Woolery version in the 80′s. Some words are worth double or triple. Clues to words are stated by Willman. Words appear to contestants in crossword format and scrambled. Players must unscramble and state the word. They earn the total points of each word that they solve. Players rotate within their own team and must buzz-in to state the word. The first team to earn 100 points wins the game and grand prize trip.
Some of the cool technology being used on the show includes: giant wall sized touch-screens, i-pads, and digital crossword puzzles and word screens.
A special sneak-peek of “Scrabble Showdown” will air Saturday, September 3 (4:30 pm ET).
“Scrabble Showdown” premieres Saturday, September 17 at 6:30 pm ET