Home Shopping Game

The Home Shopping Game is an American television game show that aired in syndication during the summer of 1987 and blended the popularity of home shopping (such as HSN) with word-identification challenges. It was syndicated nationally, but failed to attract enough viewers to remain on the air beyond its initial 13-week summer run.

The Home Shopping Game
GenreGame Show
Created byRoy Speer
Lowell Paxson
Presented by
Narrated byBob Circosta
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes65
Executive producersKen Yates
Robert O. Kaplan
Production locationsKHSC-TV, Ontario, California
Running time24 minutes (without commercials)
Original networkSyndicated
Original releaseJune 15 (1987-06-15) –
September 11, 1987 (1987-09-11)

Bob Goen was the host; Bob Circosta, who was the first ever host on the Home Shopping Network, served as announcer/co-host, and Debbie Bartlett was the female model and assistant. Taped at the studios of HSN affiliate KHSC in Ontario, California, the show was produced in association with MCA Television.


Two players competed in the main game, which consisted of four rounds. At the beginning of each round, a piece of merchandise was shown (which was also offered to viewers watching at home via an 800 number) and three scrambled words that pertained to that item, each between six and eight letters in length. They were then asked a series of toss-up questions in a related category (for example, if the item offered was a man's watch, the category would be "Famous Men").

A correct answer to a question awarded money and revealed one letter in each word, and the player was given a chance to guess any one word. An incorrect buzz-in response gave the letters and guess to the opponent, but no money was awarded. Players earned additional money for solving words, with each word worth more than the one before it. In addition, the player who solved more words in a round won the merchandise offered at its start. If time ran short in a round, the questions stopped and one letter at a time was put in place until a player could buzz in and solve a word.

Questions were worth $100 each in the first two rounds, and the words paid $100/$200/$300. These values were doubled for the last two rounds.

The player with the higher score after four rounds won the game and advanced to the bonus round; both players kept their accumulated money and prizes.

Bonus RoundEdit

The champion was shown one more piece of merchandise, followed by the initial letters of a five- or six-word phrase pertaining to it. For example, if the item was a home blood pressure monitor, the letters might be "B-I-T-T-W." If the champion could immediately solve the phrase (here, "Blood Is Thicker Than Water"), its value was set at $2,000. If not, the value was cut in half, one additional letter was filled in on each word, and the champion could offer a new guess. This process continued until the champion solved the phrase.

The champion then had 30 seconds to rearrange the letters in the longest word of the phrase (here, "Thicker") and make as many valid words as possible of three letters or more, saying and spelling each one. The value of the phrase was multiplied by the number of words to determine the champion's bonus round winnings for the day (e.g. 11 words and a $1,000 phrase value paid $11,000).

Champions remained on the show until they lost the main game or had played the bonus round five times.