Friday, August 17, 2007

"Wordplay" Set For October 16 PBS Debut

As part of its "Independent Lens" series, PBS will be broadcasting the Patrick Creadon documentary "Wordplay" on Tuesday, October 16. Please check your local PBS station schedule for airtime. I believe that this is the first time that "Wordplay" will be airing on television in any form.

"Wordplay", as you may already know, profiled New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz, some of his colleagues, and solvers competing at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, at that time held in Stamford, Connecticut.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Get Your "Crosswords" Early

NBC has announced a special primetime network broadcast of "Merv Griffin's Crosswords". The show will air one time only on Saturday, September 8 at 8:30 p.m. (NBC publicity simply titles the show "Crosswords". Hmmm....

This is similar to a stunt MyNetwork is running to promote Twentieth Television's "Temptation", by giving that new syndicated show a network window.

"Crosswords" will begin airing in syndication on September 10, and syndicator Program Partners has announced that a whopping 225 episodes will be produced during the first season to keep repeats to a minimum.

UPDATE: Due to an NBC scheduling change, the prime-time broadcast of "Merv Griffin's Crosswords" has been cancelled. It will still begin in syndication on September 10, but will just not have the primetime preview.

Meet Bonnie Gentry

Here's a nice article from the Arizona Republic about constructor Bonnie Gentry.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Two New Online Puzzles - Try Them Today!

One of the things that we're going to be ramping up as we head into the tournament season is our online puzzle offerings. I am kicking our new fall season off a little early with two new puzzles, "Abbott and Costello Meet..." and "ER Will Not Be Seen Tonight." Robert will soon be opening his archives as well.

Friday, August 10, 2007

"Crosswords" Creator Griffin Dead Of Cancer, 82

(Edited from a previous post)

Merv Griffin, the 82-year-old talk-show icon and game show creator who was rediagnosed with prostate cancer in July, has died.

Griffin's newest show, "Merv Griffin's Crosswords", with Ty Treadway as host, is set to premiere September 10 on stations around the country. The show reportedly will keep its name as a tribute to its creator.

Griffin, who started as a band singer with Freddy Martin's orchestra, hosted a late-night talk show for CBS that went up against similar offerings from Johnny Carson on NBC and Joey Bishop on ABC, then took his show into syndication where it did much better thanks to earlier time slots in most markets.

Griffin was responsible for creating two of the biggest game shows of all time - "Jeopardy!" in 1964 and "Wheel of Fortune" in 1975. Although they did well on network television, the syndicated versions - entering their 24th and 25th seasons in the fall, respectively - made Griffin a very wealthy man. He also had interests in closed-circuit racetrack betting very early in that game, and also owned hotels and other real estate, including (at one time) the Resorts hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Meanwhile, "Merv Griffin's Crosswords", presently in production at Tribune Studios in Hollywood, is still looking for contestants. Give the contestant staff a call at (323) 762-8282 if you think you've got what it takes to play the crossword game.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

"Merv Griffin's Crosswords" Books Due In October

St. Martin's Griffin is going to be publishing five volumes of "Merv Griffin's Crosswords" tie-in books, edited by Timothy Parker, who is going to be supervising the puzzles used on the show.

There will be three full-size volumes - 100 Easiest Puzzles, 100 Easy Puzzles, and 100 Easy To Hard Puzzles, and there will also be two pocket volumes. It is not known if these are going to be puzzles actually used on the show, or if they are from the Universal Puzzle archives.

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