Bill Wendell (sub)
|Dr. Frank Connolly|
|Milbarn Productions (Merv Griffin Productions)|
Word for Word (not to be confused with the unsold pilot of the same name) was a short-lived daytime game show based around anagrams.
Two contestants competed for cash and merchandise by making as many short words as they could out of one big word. Words could be three or more letters, but no proper names or foreign words were accepted. The round continued until one player could not come up with a new word. The other player continued to add words for as long as he or she could.
Players received two seconds of time for each word they created, plus an additional ten seconds if their lists contained a pre-determined bonus word. After two rounds, the player with the most words won the game and $100.
In the bonus round, the winning player used the time accumulated in the main game and was shown five prizes. In order to win that prize, the player tried to unscramble letters that made up a word.
The show's format came from the unsold pilot Shopping Spree, which had been shot in July 1962 but turned down by all three networks and syndicator United Artists. Merv Griffin's agent noticed that the anagram game Merv was developing for NBC bore resemblance to the main game of Shopping Spree, so to avoid a potential lawsuit Merv bought the rights from Bill Derman in August 1963; Merv also gave Derman a creator credit on the series, plus $750 for every week the show was on the air.
A board game was released by Mattel as Merv Griffin's Word for Word Game in 1963.
Studio 8H, NBC, New York City, NY