The Last Word (game show)
The Last Word is a game show seen in syndication in the United States and on the Global Television Network in Canada that was produced by Merrill Heatter Productions and ran from September 18, 1989 - January 5, 1990. The host was Wink Martindale, and the co-host/announcer was Jennifer Lyall. It was taped in Vancouver, British Columbia. In the Los Angeles-produced pilot, Burton Richardson was the announcer, and Jana White operated the computer and acted as co-host. The show was distributed by Turner Program Services.
Two teams consisting of a celebrity and a civilian contestant compete to guess a series of words that had something in common in order to win prizes.
Among the celebrities who appeared include Jill Whelan, Ted Lange, Susan Ruttan, and Gordon Jump.
The main game
To start, three rows of blank squares (indicating how many letters are in each word) were revealed along with three free letters (one in each row). The player in control presses a button which causes a yellow square to move around the board . When it landed on an empty square (the stopping sound when a letter is revealed is the same as the Fast Money reveal sound on Family Feud and also the same as the answer reveal sound on Trivia Trap), a letter in that square is revealed and then the player has to decide to either take a guess on any word in any row or pass control to his/her opponent; but if the yellow square landed on a square that already has a letter revealed, then the player had to choose which row & square to reveal a free letter in.
When guessing the word, if the team guessed correctly, they win that word; but if they guessed wrong, the computer typed in the letters that were correct (up to the first incorrect letter). The first team to guess the last word in the group of three wins the game. If they had solved only the last word, they won a rather cheap prize; two words won a better prize, and solving all three words and winning the game won the first two prizes & a bonus prize for that game. A game win was signified by a star lit up on the team's podium. A best two-out-of-three match is played with the winning team becoming champion & moving on to the bonus round.
Unlike most celebrity-civilian word games, the arrangement of which people played in each game varied. In the first two games, the celebrity from one team faces off against the civilian player from the other team. In the tie-breaker, both civilian players face off.
When time ran out in the middle of a game, all the words were revealed, and the game had to be restarted at the start of the next show.
60-second Challenge (Bonus round)
In the bonus game, the winning team has 60 seconds to solve 10 puzzles. Each puzzle has two words already revealed and act as clues to the third word which was unrevealed (one letter was given at the outset). Letters in the mystery third word are revealed one at a time in random order (the last letter is not given, similar to the Speedword round in Scrabble). Each correct answer was worth $100; solving all 10 puzzles won a grand prize package.
After the bonus round, both players switch celebrity partners for each new game, and the first player to win two matches becomes champion.