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"Crosswords" Cross-Up
September 18

I think a travesty of ratings justice is happening in the TV world. I understand in this "it has to hit in the first ratings week or else it must be cancelled" world the numbers aren't good, but I think "Merv Griffin's Crosswords" is a victim of not being a bad game (unlike it's brethren Temptation), but of bad scheduling, especially here in New York.

The show is averaging in it's first week around a 0.5 on average. Yes that is a disaster, but if you look at where it is placed in New can see why. It
is up against both a double run of Judge Judy, and Oprah at 4PM. That is not just bad scheduling, that is just plain dumb.

Now on WLTI this week, we had a vigorous discussion of the merits of "Crosswords". For me, I liked this show a lot. I liked the fast pace, the concept (filling in a
crossword) and the clues which (sorry, Gordon) are not Playmania style. This is a THINKING SHOW. They are smart and keep within the parameters of the game idea... and yes some crossword clues HAVE multiple answers which can have the same amount of letters. That IS part of a crossword.

Is it a perfect show? Not by a long shot. Recycling a music cue for your theme song is weak, and using it over and over again is cheap. So is the budget. Ty Treadway is better than Rossi Morreale, but doesn't have the emotional heart yet to be a great host. The one and win concept of the spoilers to me is not as mission critical to me as some, but I understand why it leaves a bad taste in some viewers' mouths.

But I truly think this show deserves a better fate. WNBC here in NY has to move the show to a better time slot...otherwise this show will NOT get a second season.

So my grade on Crosswords was B-. I think this show, warts and all, is a much better show than Temptation and should get a second season. I just hope the
viewers find this show and are willing to give it a try.

The puzzling thing is why it hasn't happened yet.

Five letters, $125,000. The clue: Jason Block's is