In graffiti art, a type of street bombing where one's name is painted in big, blocky, easy-to-read letters. Blockbusters are usually executed in no more than three colors, for impact. In commercial advertisement, which has borrowed stylistically from graffiti art on many occasions, the "Looney Tunes" logo is a good example of the blockbuster style.

UK quiz show broadcast on ITV between 1982 and 1994, presented by Bob Holness. It was revived on Sky One in 2000, presented by Liza Tarbuck. Contestants are chiefly students between the ages of 16 and 18, normally accompanied by a dazzling menagerie of cuddly toys as mascots.

The format is unusual in that the competition was asymmetrical: each contest involved a single contestant competing against a team of two. The two, however, are handicapped in that they have to answer a minimum of five questions to win, whereas the single contestant could win with only four correct answers. Determining whether this handicap was sufficient to create a fair contest, however, is left as an exercise for the reader.

The quiz is based around a board of hexagonal shapes, 4 high and 5 wide, each marked with a letter. Before the questions are asked, a letter is chosen by the team which correctly answered the previous question, or at random if it is the start of a round. The answer to the question always begins with the letter chosen. Contestants buzz in to answer, and if they are correct the letter is illuminated with the team's colour (blue or white). The aim of the game is to create a chain of hexagons across the length or height of the board, depending on what colour you're playing.

If a team wins a number of these rounds (it's best of three, if memory serves), he/she/they get the opportunity to compete for prizes in a Gold Run. This is essentially a solo version of the quiz, where one contestant competes against the clock to create a chain from left to right across the board. Whether or not you complete this challenge, you get to stay on as champion, and face fresh opposition. After 5 gold runs, you win a big prize and they send you home. Unsuccessful teams are awarded a dictionary.

On ITV, Blockbusters was broadcast at 5.20pm, a period in the schedule often dubbed "limbo", and inhabited almost exclusively by game shows. This placed it head to head with its more intellectual counterpart, Countdown, on Channel 4. However, while it didn't boast sexy mathematicians or bejumpered clowns, neither did it place too much strain on the thinking apparatus, so it was popular with those who couldn't be bothered figuring out what the Countdown Conundrum might be. Nonetheless, it petered out in 1994, perhaps because it was increasingly difficult for students to keep a straight face as they asked, "Can I have an E, please, Bob?". It is too early to judge the success of Sky's revival.

A little-known fact about Blockbusters is that it was originally a family game show in the USA before being imported to the UK. As the UK is a net exporter of game show formats, it is possible to imagine that the whole thing was merely an elaborate charade to preserve the balance of trade.

In the United States, "Blockbusters" aired from October 27, 1980 to April 23, 1982, and then a new version aired from January 5 to May 1 of 1987. In both cases, the time slot was 10:30 A.M. Eastern Time on NBC.

The host of the 1980-82 version was longtime American game show personality Bill Cullen, whose childhood bout with polio led to the set being designed so that he could sit down behind a large podium throughout the entire show. (However, he would be shown standing up at the beginning of the show to welcome the audience.) To play the Gold Run, the winning contestant would walk to the podium, part of which would swing out to create a smaller podium where the contestant would stand.

The memorable opening spiel on this version, delivered by announcer Bob Hilton: "This is the battlefield for our game of speed and strategy....These are the letters that lead to victory onnnnnnnn 'Blockbusters'!"

The host of the 1987 version was Bill Rafferty, previously seen on a short-lived syndicated version of "Card Sharks." This version, instead of having a two-against-one format, had only two contestants competing against each other.

The two colors used on the board in the United States were red and white.

"Blockbusters" was a Mark Goodson-Bill Todman production; reruns have aired on Game Show Network.

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