Griffin's Crosswords Cleared in 65% of the U.S.


Program Partners has cleared Merv Griffin’s new game show Let’s Play Crosswords in 30 of the top-40 markets for fall 2007, bringing its clearances to more than 65% of the U.S.

The distributor says the clearance level will ensure the show is a “firm go” for next season. But there has been little doubt that it would go ahead since last month’s announcement of a deal with the NBC O&Os in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Dallas.

The expanded clearance list includes Boston (WHDH/WLVI), Atlanta (WXIA/WATL), Phoenix (KTVK/KASW), Seattle (KING/KONG), Minneapolis (KSTP/KSTC), Cleveland (WOIO/WUAB), Denver (KUSA/KTVD), Orlando (WFTVWRDQ), Sacramento (KTXL), St. Louis (KPLR) and Pittsburgh (WPXI).

Affiliates include stations from NBC, Belo , Clear Channel, Cox, Gannett, Gray, Hubbard, McGraw-Hill, Pegasus, Raycom, Scripps-Howard, Sinclair, Sunbeam, Tribune and Young.

Program Partners principal Ritch Colbert calls the response to the game show, which also comes from Merv Griffin Entertainment and The William Morris Agency, “a statement of the high regard” that stations have for Griffin, who brought to syndication its highest-rated shows with Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!