Lingo (U.S. game show)
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2009)|
|Created by||Harry de Winter|
|Presented by||Michael Reagan (1987–1988)
Ralph Andrews (1988)
Chuck Woolery (2002–2007)
Bill Engvall (2011)
|Starring||Dusty Martell (1987–1988)
Margaux MacKenzie (1988)
Stacey Hayes (2003–2004)
Shandi Finnessey (2005–2007)
|Narrated by||Randi Thomas (2002–2003)
Stacey Hayes (2004)
|Country of origin||Canada (1987–1988)
The Netherlands (1989-present)
United States (2002–2007, 2011)
|No. of episodes||130 (1987–1988)
|Running time||22–26 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Ralph Andrews Productions (1987–1988)
Bernstein-Hovis Productions (1987–1988)
Laurelwood Entertainment (2002–2007)
IDTV International (2002–2004)
ZOO Productions (2011)
|Distributor||ABR Entertainment Company (1987–1988)|
|Original channel||Syndicated (1987–1988)
GSN (2002–2007, 2011)
|Original airing||September 28, 1987
–March 25, 1988|
August 5, 2002 –June 29, 2007
June 6, 2011–August 1, 2011
|Related shows||Lingo (U.K. version)|
Lingo is an American television game show with multiple international adaptations. Three Lingo series have aired in the United States. The first was aired in daily syndication from September 28, 1987 until March 25, 1988. A revival/reboot of the series debuted on GSN on August 5, 2002 and ran for a total of six seasons, ending in 2007. A slightly reworked version of the 2002 series debuted on GSN on June 6, 2011 and ended its run on August 1 of the same year.
The game features two teams of two contestants each who attempt to guess five-letter words and use colored balls to place markers on a 5×5 numbered Lingo card, attempting to cover five spaces in a row in a fashion similar to bingo.
The game is played between two teams of two contestants each. At the start of the game, each team is given a Lingo card with 25 spaces on it, and seven spaces on each card are automatically covered. The champion team's card contains even numbers and blue markers, and the opponents' contains odd numbers and red markers.
The team in control (beginning with the challengers) is shown the first letter of a five-letter word randomly selected by the show's Amiga computer. One team member attempts to guess the word and then spells their guess. A red square is then placed around letters from their guess that are in the correct position and a yellow circle is placed around letters that are in the word but not in the correct position. If the team in control guesses the word on the first try, they win a $1,000 bonus. Otherwise, the other team member takes a guess, then the first team member takes the third guess, and so on.
If the team fails to identify the word within five guesses, fails to answer at any time within the five-second time limit, gives a misspelled or nonexistent word, gives a word that is not five letters in length, or gives a word that is only a proper name, control passes to the other team. If there is more than one letter unrevealed, one of those letters is revealed and the team is given five seconds to make a guess. If there is only one unrevealed letter in the word, it is not revealed, but during the five seconds of thinking time, the team is allowed to confer; this is the only time when conferring between teammates is permitted.
The team that correctly guesses the mystery word then pulls two Lingo balls out of a hopper in front of them. Eighteen of the balls are labeled with numbers corresponding to the numbers on their Lingo board; when a numbered ball is drawn, the corresponding space on the Lingo card is covered. Also in the hopper are three prize balls; when one of them is drawn, it is put aside and the contestant who drew it gets to pick again. Winning with one ball wins $250 in Traveler's cheques, winning with two also wins a trip and winning with all three is worth a jackpot which starts at $1,000 and increases by $500 every game the jackpot isn't claimed. Later in this version, there were only two prize balls. Winning with one got the trip and winning with both won the jackpot. Even later, the trip was phased out and the team had to draw both of the prize balls in order to win the jackpot. However, these prizes can only be claimed if the team wins the game.
Normally, the team keeps control after drawing their balls and may guess at the next mystery word. However, the hopper also contains three red balls; a team drawing one of these balls must immediately stop drawing and loses control. The opposing team then guesses at the next mystery word. Once balls are drawn, they are discarded (prize balls are placed in a stand on the team's podium as a reminder that the prize is in play), so the same ball cannot be drawn twice in one game.
The first team to cover numbers on their card that form a Lingo – five numbers in a vertical, horizontal or diagonal row – wins the game, $250 (along with the prizes from any prize balls they drew) and the right to play in the "No Lingo" bonus round. Later in this version the team won $500 for a vertical or horizontal Lingo, $1,000 for a diagonal Lingo and $2,000 for a Double Lingo (two lines completed with the same ball).
No Lingo bonus round
The team is shown another Lingo card filled with even numbers. Sixteen are covered before the start of the round, arranged in a star shape along the diagonals, middle row and middle column. The center space, where the free space is on a normal bingo card, is left uncovered. The hopper is loaded with 37 numbered balls plus one gold ball. Unlike the main game in which only the numbers that actually appear on the Lingo card are loaded into the hopper, all the even numbers from 2 to 74 are added even if they have already been marked off on the card.
The contestants are staked with $500 and can choose to simply take this money and stop, or risk it by continuing to play. If the team chooses to continue, a five-letter mystery word is shown with the first letter and one of the other four letters revealed. The team is given the usual five chances to guess the mystery word; for each guess they use, they must draw one Lingo ball. If they fail to guess the word in five tries, they must draw an extra two balls, for a total of seven balls. If the team draws a numbered ball that appears on the board, that board space is covered and the ball is discarded, just like it would be in the normal game. If this forms a Lingo, the team immediately loses the bonus round and the prize money. If the team draws a numbered ball that does not appear on the board, the ball is simply discarded. If the team draws the gold ball, they are immediately allowed to stop drawing, their prize money is doubled and the gold ball is returned into the hopper.
If they manage to draw the required number of balls (or draw the gold ball) without completing a Lingo, the team's money doubles. The team can continue guessing words and drawing balls until the team either chooses to stop playing, forms a Lingo (and loses the money) or plays a maximum of five words and increases their winnings to $16,000. Each time the team chooses to continue playing, the Lingo board remains as it was with any previously drawn numbered balls still out of play, so the risk of forming a Lingo increases as time goes on.
If the team wins the main game a second time, the initial stake in the No Lingo round increases to $1,000, for a maximum potential of $32,000. If the team wins the main game a third (and final) time, the stake begins at $2,000 and can increase it to $64,000 by surviving all five words.
Later, when the prize structure changed for the main game, the main game prize was the opening stake for the bonus round. Up to five words were played, which made the top prize $16,000 after making a horizontal or vertical Lingo in the main game, $32,000 after making a diagonal Lingo in the main game and $64,000 if the main game was won with a Double Lingo. Six balls (instead of seven) were drawn if a word was not guessed in five tries. Additionally, teams were not limited to three wins or eliminated by a single loss; they played until they were defeated twice in the main game.
The main game is played nearly identical to the original version's, except that the object is to score the most points instead of being first to complete a Lingo. The team in the left podium begins the game. Each team is given a Lingo card showing twenty five numbers, after which ten numbers are marked off. The 10 pre-marked numbers are chosen in such a way that no more than three spaces are marked off on any row, column or diagonal.
Teams again have five chances to guess the mystery word and control passes to the other team and gives them a bonus letter in the word (unless there is one unrevealed letter remaining) if an illegal word is given or the team runs out of time. The team who correctly guesses the mystery word receives 25 points and draws two balls from the hopper in front of them. Red balls again forfeit control to the other team, and unlike the original version, there are no prize balls. The team receives 50 points if they are able to complete a Lingo; otherwise, play continues with the team in control and a new five-letter word is played. After completing a Lingo, the team receives a new card with ten new numbers marked off, the hopper is reloaded with the corresponding numbered balls available on the new card, and control passes to the other team.
Each team's Lingo card carries over to round two from the first round, with the same numbers marked off as before. The team with the lower score begins the round, but if the teams are tied, the team in the right podium plays first in round two since the team in the left podium started round one. Points are also doubled as a points earned for the first round, which teams received 50 points for correctly guessing a mystery word and 100 points for completing a Lingo. Additionally, three balls with question marks on them are added to each team's hopper. Choosing a question mark-ball acts as a wild card and the contestant may choose which number to mark off.
The team with the higher score at the end of the second round wins the game and moves on to Bonus Lingo. If teams are tied at the end of the second round, a mystery seven-letter word is shown with the first and last letters displayed. To advance to the Bonus Lingo round, teams must ring-in and say the correct word. An incorrect guess locks out the team and gives a free letter to the opposing team. If that team does not know the word, their opponents are unlocked and anybody can guess. Letters are continually revealed until a team ultimately guesses the correct word and wins the game.
The winning team is given two minutes and tries to guess as many mystery words as possible within the time limit. In each mystery word, two letters are initially revealed: the first letter and one of the remaining four letters, similar to the original version's endgame. If the team fails to guess a word in five tries, the word is revealed and the team moves on to the next word. The team wins $100 for each correctly guessed word.
A Lingo card is then revealed with thirteen numbers marked off. The hopper contains twelve balls, one for each uncovered space on the board, and the team draws a ball for each mystery word successfully guessed in the first half of Bonus Lingo. Forming a Lingo wins the team a $4,000 prize package consisting of an Argus digital camera, a Borders gift card, a Croton watch and a Cassiopeia EM-500 Pocket PC plus the money earned in the first half of Bonus Lingo.
Season two changes
The team received one bonus letter for winning the game and an additional bonus letter for each Lingo completed in the main game. During the two-minute time limit, teams could shout "bonus letter" at any point to have an additional letter revealed in the current mystery word, even if there was only one unrevealed letter.
Additionally, the layout of the Bonus Lingo card changed so that a team could complete a Lingo with just one ball. Twelve spaces (instead of thirteen) were marked off the Lingo board, and the twelve pre-marked spaces were chosen so that there would always be exactly one row, column or diagonal with four spaces marked off. If the team successfully completed a Lingo, the team won $5,000; otherwise they received $100 for each word solved in the first half of the round.
If the team completed a Lingo on the first draw, the team received a trip in addition to $5,000. This was changed to a Jamaican vacation package worth over $10,000 in season two, a trip to Harrah's Entertainment in Lake Tahoe for season three, $10,000 in cash for season four, and a jackpot that began at $10,000 and grew by $1,000 each episode until won in seasons five and six.
Tournaments and special episodes
GSN held a tournament of champions with particularly successful contestants from its second and third seasons. Instead of playing Bonus Lingo in the final tournament episode, a third round was played in which teams earned 75 for a completed word and 150 for a Lingo. The question mark balls from the second round carried over to the third round. At the end of the show, the team with the most points won a Suzuki Verona for each teammate. If the score is tied after all three rounds are played, then a seven-letter tiebreaker word would determine the winner.
A special episode that aired on April Fool's Day in 2003 had the entire roster of GSN's six original show hosts together playing for charity. While Woolery hosted, Mark Walberg (Russian Roulette) and Marc Summers (WinTuition) played against Kennedy (Friend or Foe?) and Graham Elwood (Cram), with Walberg and Summers shutting them out 500–0. The sixth host to take part was Todd Newton (Whammy! The All-New Press Your Luck), who served as the show's announcer.
Lingo occasionally featured theme weeks where the set was decorated, the host, hostess, and contestants wore costumes, and the theme music redone in the theme's style.
The prize for winning Bonus Lingo varied for episodes in which celebrity contestants competed. In one episode teams received $25,000 for their charity for a first-draw Lingo, where in another the team received $30,000 for completing a Lingo even after the first draw. The prize ranged from $2,000 to $5,000 for celebrity teams who were unable to complete a Lingo in the bonus round. Beginning in the fourth season, celebrity teams received an additional bonus letter.
Each team begins the game with nine numbers marked off on their own board. At the start of the show, a member of each team draws a Lingo ball, and the team with the highest number gets to play first. If the ball is a number ball, it is also marked off as the tenth number on the team's board. If the ball is a stopper or a prize ball, no number is marked off.
Teams receive a clue to the word and attempt to guess the five-letter word after being shown the first letter, as before. Correctly identifying the word also lets a team draw two Lingo balls. Number balls drawn are marked off on the team's card. Drawing a stopper ball forfeits their turn and control goes to the opposing team. If a team draws a mystery prize ball, the team wins a bonus prize, theirs to keep regardless of the game's outcome. In addition, certain episodes feature a sponsor and a wild-card ball on the teams' racks in place of, or in addition to, the prize ball. If a team draws a wild card ball, they can use it to cover any number on their card, similar to the question mark ball from the earlier GSN-produced version.
Correctly identifying words in round one earn $100, $200 in round two and $500 in round three. Completing a five-number Lingo awards the same payouts as correct words in each round. When a new board is issued to a team, nine numbers are pre-marked. Three words each are played in rounds one and three, while four words are played in round two. The team with the most money after round three keeps it and plays Bonus Lingo. If a team is mathematically unable to catch up, the game ends once the balls have been drawn for the last word. If there is a tie after the third round, the seven-letter tiebreaker that was introduced in 2002 is played (see above).
In Bonus Lingo, the winning team has 90 seconds to correctly guess 5 five-letter words, receiving two letters in each word; however, no clues are given in Bonus Lingo. In certain sponsored episodes, the team may be issued a bonus letter on the first word. The team wins the identical amount earned in the main game for the first correct word and that amount is then doubled for each additional correct word until the fifth one, which earns the team $100,000. The amount earned in Bonus Lingo is added to the team's total winnings.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (August 2011)|
The first version premiered on September 28, 1987 with Michael Reagan, son of then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan, as host and Dusty Martell as co-host. Beginning on February 22, 1988, executive producer Ralph Andrews took over as host, and Margaux MacKenzie replaced Martell as co-host. New episodes aired until March 25, 1988, with repeats airing until September of that year. The show was produced by Ralph Andrews (in association with Bernstein/Hovis Productions) in Canada for syndication by ABR Entertainment in the United States.
On August 5, 2002, Game Show Network revived the program with Chuck Woolery as host. Woolery's co-host was Stacey Hayes in season three. Hayes later had Paula Cobb as another co-host near the end of the season. Both were later replaced by Shandi Finnessey for the remainder of the series. Randi Thomas, known for her work in Hooked on Phonics ads, was the offstage announcer in the second season, with Hayes acting as announcer in the third season. For the remainder of the series, contestants introduced themselves in the show's open and Shandi offered the "welcome back" before the beginning of Round Two after the second commercial break.
The first 20 episodes were recorded in the Netherlands on the set of the program's Dutch counterpart; subsequent episodes were produced in the United States. Five more seasons, filmed in Los Angeles and each consisting of 65 episodes, began in December 2002, December 2003, August 2005, April 2006 and April 2007. GSN held back five unaired Hawaiian-themed episodes from the fourth season, and these episodes later aired beginning January 1, 2007.
In 2011, GSN announced the show would restart production after a four-year hiatus, with Bill Engvall as the new host. The first (and only) season of forty episodes premiered on June 6, 2011. The last first-run show aired on August 1, 2011.
Reruns of Chuck Woolery's version can currently be seen weekdays on GSN.
GSN aired reruns of Bill Engvall's version at various times until July 15, 2013, when it was replaced on the schedule by The Pyramid.
The rights to the 1980s version of the show are held by Ion Television. Ion included it in a February 2007 "viewers vote" on its website, with site visitors being able to vote for the show to be included in the network's schedule. Despite this, Ion has not aired this or any other game show (except the previous year's Family Feud episodes by special arrangement) since 2005.
Versions produced after 2002 remain owned by GSN.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (June 2013)|
|Canada (English)||Lingo||Michael Reagan 1987
Ralph Andrews 1988
|Canada (French)||Lingo||Paul Houde||Radio-Canada||1988–2001|
|France||Motus||Thierry Beccaro||Antenne 2
|Germany||5 mal 5||Bernd Schumacher||Sat.1||1993–1994|
|Indonesia||Coba-Coba Kata||Denny Chandra||SCTV||1996–1997|
|Italy||Lingo||Tiberio Timperi||Canale 5||1992|
|Netherlands||Lingo||Robert ten Brink (1989–1992)
François Boulange (1992–2000)
Nance Coolen (2000–2005)
Lucille Werner (2005–present)
|Poland||5x5 – wygrajmy razem||Marek Grabowski||TVP2||1997–2000|
Tânia Ribas De Oliveira
|Lingo-Eu Gosto do Verão||José Carlos Melato||2007|
|Slovenia||Lingo||Eva Longyka||TV Slovenija||1990s|
|United Kingdom||Lingo||Martin Walker
|U.S.||Lingo||Michael Reagan 1987
Ralph Andrews 1988
* Aired in both the U.S. and Canada for both audiences
- Official website
- Lingo at the Internet Movie Database (1987–1988 U.S. Version) (Syndicated)
- Lingo at the Internet Movie Database (2002–2007 U.S. version) (GSN)
- Lingo at the Internet Movie Database (2011 U.S. Version) (GSN)
- Lingo at the Internet Movie Database (1989–2007 Dutch version)
- Motus at the Internet Movie Database (1990–present French version)
- Lingo at the Internet Movie Database (1992–1993 Norwegian version)
- Lingo at the Internet Movie Database (2006–2007 Portuguese version)
- Lingo at the Internet Movie Database (1993–1997 Spanish version)