Sunday, March 29, 2015

What Might've Been: Monopoly (1990)

Don't laugh. It actually happened.

In 1990, Parker Brothers licensed the long running board game, Monopoly, to entertainer-turned-game show mogul Merv Griffin to adapt for television as a game show. Griffin initially intended for the series to go into syndication alongside his revival of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, which are still running 25 years later.

Unfortunately, Monopoly didn't survive the summer of 1990 as a Saturday night entry on ABC, back when that night of the week still mattered to network suits. Parker Brothers has since been absorbed, along with some of their competitors, by Hasbro, which has licensed Monopoly to lotteries in various states. The scratch-off game, Monopoly Millionaires Club, has been in turn adapted into a hour-long TV show, debuting tonight (check your listings), hosted by actor-comedian Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly).

Right now, let's turn back the clock to July 1990 and Monopoly, whose host, Mike Reilly, was a contestant on Jeopardy! and had gone back to his day job as a waiter before Griffin called him back to Hollywood......

I've played the game, and that usually turns into a marathon affair, often tedious and frustrating. I didn't watch the show, though, so there's no rating.

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