A game show that people have ever cared about -- even a little bit -- can go down, but it will never truly be out. Know the Dick Clark version of Pyramid that started in the 1970s and continued throughout the decade? No? Well, you've probably encountered the Bill Cullen version (also from the '70s), the John Davidson version (from the '90s) or the Donny Osmond version (from the '00s). And that's just one of many examples. If a dead title had any luster to it at all, odds are very good that it's going to be remade at some point.
Such is the case with Hip-Hop Squares, MTV2's revamp of Hollywood Squares, which debuts tonight (Tuesday, May 22). Hollywood Squares has drifted on and off the air waves since the mid-'60s, but you probably know the name best for the 1998 version that ran for six years and housed Whoopi Goldberg in the center square. The gist of Squares is that two non-celebrity players participate in a giant game of tic-tac-toe, with a rotating crew of celebrities ("celebrity" is often used loosely here) fielding trivia questions. The celebrity panelists are briefed with the answers before the game starts, so they can give various joke responses ("joke" is often used loosely here) to potentially trip up players. It's up to players to decide which answers are correct and which are bunk, and try to get three in the proper order.
Hip-Hop Squares already looks to be way better than Hollywood Squares based on the host alone. The show will be run by Hot 97 DJ Pete Rosenberg, who is approximately 30,000 times more genuine-feeling than Tom Bergeron. The rotating cast of rappers and other hip-hop-related celebrities impressively includes Common, Mac Miller, Fat Joe, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Biz Markie, Nick Cannon, Machine Gun Kelly, Childish Gambino, Tech N9Ne, Amber Rose, and DJ Khaled. Throwing a hip-hop makeover on the Squares concept is a cheesy, contrived move, yeah -- but it still looks like a whole lot of dumb fun. Plus, anything that brings Ghostface to the world is a beautiful thing.
Before Hip-Hop Squares launches tonight, let's look at eight (or so) past connections between hip-hop and game shows:More »