Monday, January 15, 2007

Merv Griffin Bringing New "Crosswords" To NATPE

How they'll resemble for-real crosswords is anyone's guess, but Merv Griffin's got some new ones up his 81-year-old sleeve.

Program Partners, the syndicator behind the recent success of anything with the name "DeGrassi" on it, has optioned "Let's Play Crosswords", based on a concept by the creator of "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy!", to this week's NATPE television programming convention in Las Vegas. We'll keep you posted on the success of this venture.

Crosswords and game shows have been blended before with varying success: some formats were hits, like "The Cross-Wits" (a celebrity-driven show featuring kriss-kross style puzzles, the more recent version of which boasted Merl Reagle as a writer) and "Scrabble" (which boasted some very clever crossword-style clues for its words), and some were flops (a 1960's pilot called "Crossword" which was hosted by perennial Groucho toady George Fenneman is as dull as dishwater).