|Presented by||Justin Willman|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|Executive producer(s)||Pat Finn|
|Running time||30 minutes (including commercials)|
|Original network||The Hub|
|Original release||September 3, 2011 – April 22, 2012|
Scrabble Showdown was an American game show created for the American cable network The Hub. The program is based on the board game Scrabble and is hosted by Justin Willman. It premiered on September 3, 2011 with a special "preview" episode, and began its official run two weeks later on September 17, 2011, airing on Saturday nights. The series ended on April 22, 2012 and last aired on December 31, 2013.
Two teams consisting of a parent and a child compete for the grand prize of tickets for a trip to anywhere in the world. The teams compete in a total of four rounds; winning any of the first three rounds earns a prize and two "Bonus Scrabble Tiles," which provide an advantage in the final round; any time one of the first three rounds ends in a tie, both teams are awarded the prize and one "Bonus Scrabble Tile." The team that wins the final round wins the game and the trip.
Rounds 1 & 2
Games played in rounds 1 and 2 rotate from show to show and include, "Scrabble Babble", "Scrabble Knockout", "Scrabble Slam", "Scrabble Scream" and "Speedword". Winning a game wins the team a prize and two "Bonus Scrabble Tiles". A coin toss before the show determines which team has the option to play or pass for the first game. Subsequently the winner of the previous game gets the option for the next game.
The team that goes first picks one of two categories, leaving the other for the opponents. The team is shown a series of five words, one at a time. Each word has three extra letters added in; the first and last letters are always correct. Ex. LMOLVLIFPOP. The parent tells the child to knock out the incorrect letters; the parent tells the child which letter to knock out, and the child touches that letter on the screen. If the team tries to knock out an incorrect letter, then a klaxon sounds and the board locks up; the child must then press a plunger to reset the board before continuing to play. Answer: LOLLIPOP.
The first team attempts to solve all five words as quickly as possible, with the clock counting up to a maximum of sixty seconds; the second team must beat the first team's time, or, if the first team did not get all five words, to solve more words. The team that solves their words faster wins the round.
The parent is shown a three letter word with one of the letters being a blank tile (which can represent any letter). Ex. C A - The parent must think of a word and then describe the word to the child without saying any part of the word. The child must say the exact word that the parent is describing. If correct a four letter word is shown and so on up to a seven letter word. The team that gets five words faster, or, failing that, the team that gets more words in 60 seconds, wins the round.
In this round the team must unscramble a word together. Each word is divided into two parts; the first part is always three letters but the last part can be any length. One of the players unscrambles the first three letters of the word; when those three letters are unscrambled, the remaining letters are revealed for the other player, who must unscramble those letters and say the complete word. Ex. AES - - - - The first player would answer "S-E-A", once correct those letters would rearrange and the rest of the word is revealed. SEA KISC The partner must now say "S-I-C-K, SEASICK". After each word, the players switch places, so that the player who unscrambled the first part of the word now unscrambles the second part, and vice versa.
As before, the first team is allowed up to 60 seconds to solve five words, and the second team must beat the first team's time/score. The team that solves their words faster wins the round.
The players line up so that play alternates between teams. The first player presses a button to stop a randomizer, which sets the clock for the round (the clock is visible to the home audience, but not to the teams). A four-letter word appears on the screen, along with an extra letter. The players must use the extra letter and "slam" it over one of the letters in the original four letter word to make a new acceptable word. Ex. HUNK - T The player would say, "SLAM THE K" to make the word HUNT. When a player is correct play passes to the next player. When time runs out, the player who has control is eliminated from the round. For subsequent rounds, the next player in line after the eliminated player sets the time limit for the round as before; the last team to still have a player in the game, wins.
This game appears in only one episode. A team stands in front of a huge game board that consists of a series of five individual letters on screens. The board consists of a series of tracks the screens can move within. At any given time three screens can be at the top, two in the center and three at the bottom. The child stands at the board and with 30 seconds on the clock the parent yells out a three letter word that can be formed by the five letters in the board. The child must maneuver the letter screens in the track so the three letter word appears at the bottom of the game board. The team scores one point for each word they make and the opponents then try to beat that score.
Round 3: Scrabble Flash
There are a handful of episodes in which "Scrabble Flash" is played first and the minigames are played in rounds 2 and 3 but for most episodes, Round 3 is always "Scrabble Flash". In this round, the team is given five over-sized Scrabble Flash cubes, each with a different letter. The first team has thirty seconds to make as many words as possible; each word must contain at least three letters, and each valid word is worth one point for each letter used; there is at least one valid five-letter word. Both teams play the same set of letters; the team that is to go second is isolated while the first team plays. The team with the higher score wins a prize and two "Bonus Scrabble Tiles."
Final Round: Scrabble Lightning
Before the round begins, a set of 16 letter tiles are placed on the board. A randomizer then causes tiles to light up. Each team is allowed to stop the randomizer; a team starts the final round with the regulation value of the tiles that they stop the randomizer on; the number of tiles that the randomizer lights up is the number of "Bonus Scrabble Tiles" that the team had earned from the three previous rounds. This becomes their "head start" score before playing "Scrabble Lightning".
The game is played on a regulation Scrabble board with only the double and triple-word score spaces (the double and triple-letter score spaces are removed). A scrambled-up word appears on the board. The host then reads a clue to that word. The first player to buzz-in with the correct word earns the regulation value of that word (doubled or tripled if one of the letters is on a double or triple-word score space). Players must wait until the host finishes reading the clue before buzzing in. The children play the first word. They alternate words with their parents from then on. The first team to reach 100 points or more wins the game and the grand prize trip.
The show is produced by Rubicon Entertainment. Pat Finn serves as executive producer. Veteran game show producer Sande Stewart serves as creative consultant.
- Grosvenor, Carrie (2 September 2011). "The Hub: Family Game Night Premiere, Two Sneak-Previews". about.com. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
- "Series Premieres of Scrabble Showdown and The Game of Life". Hub TV Network. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- Burch, Cathalena E. (12 January 2012). "Abracadabra! Justin Kredible appears". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
Wilman's TV career has blossomed, going from regular spots on "The Rachael Ray Show" over the past six years into full-time hosting roles on Hub Network's "Scrabble Showdown"…
- Neal, Justin (17 September 2011). "Critic's Picks". Star Tribune. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
"Scrabble Showdown" (5:30 p.m. Saturday, Hub) is a fresh take on the classic board game as kids and their parents team up for clever word games and puzzles. Winners get a free trip anywhere in the world. Losers endure a long car ride home.