Storybook Squares

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Storybook Squares
Storybooksquares.jpg
Based on Hollywood Squares
Presented by Peter Marshall
Narrated by Kenny Williams
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 16 (1969 version)
30 (1976-1977 version)
Production
Location(s) NBC Studios
Burbank, California
Running time 30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Original run January 4, 1969 – December 30, 1977

Storybook Squares is a short-lived Saturday morning version of Hollywood Squares for children.[1][2][3]

The primary difference, apart from having children as contestants, was that it featured celebrities (usually the same ones from Hollywood Squares) in costume as well-known fictional characters and some as historical figures.

As with the adult version, Peter Marshall was host and Kenny Williams was announcer; Williams read the characters' names off a scroll as "The Guardian of the Gate", a role similar to his "Town Crier" on Video Village.

The series originally ran on NBC from January 4 to April 19, 1969, with repeats airing until August 30.

Format[edit]

Like the normal version, two contestants competed (with a boy as X and a girl as O). The game was played exactly the same as the original Hollywood Squares, but no money was involved. Instead, the children played for prizes, with one being awarded per game won.

Panelists (1969)[edit]

Ted Cassidy, best known as Lurch on The Addams Family as Tarzan with Cheeta was a 1969 panelist.

The only panelist from the adult show who played as he normally would was Cliff Arquette, who carried his "Charley Weaver" persona over to Storybook Squares. The other panelists played characters from fairy tales and books, historical figures, or in some cases the characters they played on television.

Unlike the parent series, on Storybook Squares each panelist/character was given an elaborate introduction as they entered the set and took their place on the board, allowing for a brief comic interaction with host Marshall as they did so.

Revival[edit]

Although the original 1969 series only made 16 episodes, the format returned as part of the regular series from 1976–1977 for special theme weeks. However, the format differed slightly, featuring teams with three generations of family members (for example, grandmother/mother/daughter). Each game was worth $300, with each team earning $50 per square should time run out (similar to the short-lived NBC primetime version from 1968). The kids played for the first segment of the show, and their parents squared off in the next game, and the grandparents for the rest of the game, unless time was running out, in which case all three players on each team played.

The team with the most money at the end of the game won a large prize, such as a car or exotic vacation.

Panelists (1976–1977)[edit]

Set[edit]

The 1969 set was decked out in a medieval theme for the host and players' podiums, while the gameboard remained the same as on the adult version. The 1970s sets extended the medieval theme to the entire set, with a sweeping castle facade built around and behind the "Squares".

Episode status[edit]

The 1969 version's status is unknown. While NBC kept most of its Saturday morning programming, they were also known to wipe episodes of game shows and it is believed that this practice was used on the series.

The 1970s episodes were also threatened by NBC's continued wiping and their fate is also largely unresolved. Game Show Network aired a December 1977 episode as part of a Halloween-themed marathon in 2002; it was the only NBC daytime episode to be rerun by GSN.

References[edit]

External links[edit]