Did You Have a ‘Clue’ These 8 Board Games Were Adapted for TV?
Voice actors, get ready to audition for Professor Plum and Miss Scarlett: An animated TV show based on the Hasbro board game Clue is in the works at Fox Entertainment. And it’s not the only Hasbro board game being developed for TV — Risk is also headed for the small screen via Hasbro’s eOne production company.
While we wait to head back to Clue’s cursed mansion, check out these eight other popular games that made it to TV, all in game show form, in the gallery below.
Surviving less than a year on The Family Channel — an ancestor of Freeform — the 1994 game show Boggle: The Interactive Game brought “America’s most popular hidden word game” to the small screen, with contestants spelling words from adjacent letter cubes, just as you do with the game at home. The TV version didn’t catch on, though, perhaps because host Wink Martindale had to spend a minute and a half of airtime just explaining the game.
The Game of Life
The Game of Life, which aired on Discovery Inc.’s now-defunct channel The Hub in 2011 and 2012, brought new life to the Milton-Bradley game of the same name. In this show, families steered a car — which actually rocked side to side through all of life’s proverbial twists and turns — through an animated board and answered trivia questions along the way to earn “Life points” and a shot at the grand prize.
After creating Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, Merv Griffin tried bringing Parker Brothers’ ever-popular real estate game to television, with contestants solving word puzzles to rack up properties from Mediterranean Avenue all the way to the Boardwalk. Monopoly lasted just three months on ABC before landing in TV jail. (The syndicated show Monopoly Millionaires’ Club, hosted by Bob ♥ Abishola star Billy Gardell, fared a bit better, airing two seasons between 2015 and 2016.)
This charades-like drawing game inspired two syndicated game shows, one in 1989 and one in 1997. In the latter, celebrities and laypeople teamed up to get each other to guess doodled clues, while Growing Pains star Alan Thicke hosted the proceedings. Lasting less than a year, Pictionary is now known as the game show on which CHiPs star Erik Estrada socked Real Time host Bill Maher in the nose.
Legendary TV host Dick Clark emceed Scattergories, a televised take on the party game in which players have to think of answers starting with a given letter to fit each category. In the game show version — which aired in 1993 and only 1993 — the contestants compared their answers to pre-recorded responses from celebrities, including Betty White, Alfonso Ribeiro, Kelsey Grammer, and Brian Austin Green.
“It’s the crossword game you’ve played all your life, but not like this!” That’s for sure! By far the longest-running entry on this list, NBC’s Scrabble lasted from 1984 to 1990, with a brief revival in 1993. Love Connection’s Chuck Woolery hosted the show, reading clues for each word that was added to the Scrabble board one letter at a time, Wheel of Fortune-style.
Before TNN was Paramount Network and before Chris Wylde was a Young Sheldon actor, they were the network and the host of Taboo, a faithful adaptation of the guessing game where certain words are verboten for the clue-giver. It went off the air in 2003 after a solitary season.
Martindale of Boggle renown also hosted another board game adaptation on the Family Channel: 1993’s Trivial Pursuit. And the similarities didn’t end there: In both shows, contestants rang in their answers through a phone keypad, and in an interactive twist, viewers could do the same from home. This trivia game inspired another show a decade and a half later: Trivial Pursuit: America Plays, hosted by The Brady Bunch alum Christopher Knight.