Family Feud is a popular television game show that pits two families against each other in a contest to name the most popular responses to a survey-type question posed to 100 people. The format, which originated in the United States, airs in numerous local formats worldwide, including in the United Kingdom (Family Fortunes), Malaysia (Famili Ceria) and Australia (Bert's Family Feud). In addition, a Spanish-language US version airs, known as ¿Qué Dice la Gente?.
Richard Dawson, one of Match Game's most popular panelists, was the immediate next choice as host of the spin-off, which incorporated the team format and form of questioning (e.g. "Name a type of fruit") from the original 1960's The Match Game as well as the 1970's Match Game "Audience Match."
Family Feud premiered as an ABC daytime show on July 12, 1976 at 1:30 p.m. ET., with Richard Dawson as host and Gene Wood was the studio announcer. After its premiere, it wasn't an immediate hit, but ABC convinced the show to move to its new time slot at 11:30 a.m. ET, six months later, where it was a ratings winner, for the following several years, until 1984. A nighttime syndicated version was added on September 19, 1977, at first airing once weekly, then twice in January 1979, and finally every weeknight in September 1980, making that the first US game show to air ten episodes per week. When The $20,000 Pyramid was canceled in June 1980, "The Feud" took the 12:00 p.m. time slot as reruns of Love Boat filled the 11am-12pm hour.
With its ratings dropping, it was moved back to 11:30 a.m. in October 1984, in a game show hour paired with Trivia Trap preceding it at 11:00 a.m. ABC canceled the daytime show on June 14, 1985, and the syndicated version left the air three months later on September 13, 1985. Dawson hosting "The Feud" was best known for kissing his female contestants on the lips, especially several times if she played the "Fast Money" Round.
On June 29, 1992, the CBS daytime show became Family Feud Challenge, added the 'Bullseye' Round and expanded to a full hour. New episodes of the daytime show aired until March 29, 1993 and reruns continued through its cancellation on September 10, 1993.
On September 14, 1992 the syndicated version also added the 'Bullseye' Round, retitled itself The New Family Feud and continued as a half-hour show. Combs continued to serve as host until May 27, 1994, when declining ratings led to his replacement by Richard Dawson.
The syndicated version expanded to one hour with this season, although some markets chose to air only the second half of the show as a stand-alone program. Despite various efforts to revive interest, and although ratings initially increased, the series was ultimately canceled on September 8, 1995 in part due to the OJ Simpson trials.
The format was now "most points wins," meaning that the family with the most points after four rounds (the fourth round being a "Triple" round with only one strike allowed) played Fast Money.
Anderson hosted the show from 1999-2002, and oversaw the show's increase in top prize from $10,000 to $20,000. Anderson was well-liked as a host in about the first year of his hosting tenure, but as his three years progressed, Anderson became increasingly and visibly disinterested in the show. Anderson was dropped from the show in 2002 and replaced by Richard Karn.
The changes seen on these specials, most notably the new survey board, the show's logo hanging above the audience, and the 1988 theme's return, were used on the following syndicated season.
Previous staff members include Howard Felsher, the show's original producer before being an executive producer in the 1980s version who was also a Goodson-Todman staffer since the 1960s, Cathy Hughart Dawson, the show's original associate producer, who then became producer. Georgia Purcell assumed the associate producer role later in the series. Chester Feldman, who was a creative consultant for Goodson-Todman in the 1970s, was the show's executive producer in the 1980s version.
During the Dawson and Combs era, Gene Wood was the program announcer, with periodic fill-ins from Johnny Gilbert, Art James, and Rod Roddy. Burton Richardson has been the announcer for all versions since 1999, except for the Gameshow Marathon edition, which was announced by Rich Fields in 2006.
From 1999 to 2002, Family Feud used the Mark Goodson Productions name and logo at the end of each episode, even though the original production company no longer existed. The practice was abandoned during Richard Karn's era as host.
Since 1992, after Mark Goodson died, FremantleMedia, the eventual successor of respective distributors/successors LBS Communications, All-American Television, and Pearson Television, has distributed Family Feud. Midway through Karn's run, the overall third season of the current run, Tribune Entertainment was awarded syndication duties when FremantleMedia chose to focus on producing rather than distribution. However, Tribune's participation in the series ended in the fall of 2007 when Lionsgate-owned Debmar-Mercury assumed distribution and 20th Television assumed ad sales. Tribune suspended distribution of all shows shortly thereafter.
Episodes are taped on Saturdays and Sundays.
This theme was remixed in 2002 and again in 2006. These versions do not feature the sample from the original theme. The 1988-1994 Feud theme from the Ray Combs version was brought back in an edited form for the latter part of Richard Karn's first season from November 2002-May 2003. It was revived yet again in June 2008 for NBC's Celebrity Family Feud, with a looped intro, and was used as the opening/closing themes and as face-off/commercial cues, and was also useduneditedsince the beginning of the 2008-2009 syndicated season. A remix of the 2006 "party" theme was still used for episodes taped before the primetime version.
For the Gameshow Marathon episode, both the 1976 and 1988 versions were used. The 1988 version used for the opening was toned down to emulate the 1976 version as it was heard during Family Feud's first season on ABC. The 1988 opening cue was used, however, without manipulation of any kind, yet when the announcer introduced the second family, the song started over instead. However, the actual 1976 main theme and its related music also toned down was used for face-offs and bumper music going to and returning from commercial breaks. The survey oval was built upside down.
Examples of questions might be "Name a famous George" (asked on the first episode), "Tell me a popular family vacation spot", or "Name something you do at school."
The participants are not asked questions about what is true or how things really are; instead, they are asked questions about what other people think are true. As thus, a perfectly logical answer may be considered incorrect because it failed to make the survey (e.g.: for the question about Georges, George Jones was a popular country singer, but if his name was given by fewer than two people, it would be considered "wrong"; indeed it did not appear on the survey board on the first episode).
The family in control can keep the question in which the family attempts to give all the remaining answers on the board, or pass to the other family. Starting with the next family member in line, each gets a chance to give one answer. Family members may not confer with one another while in control of the board. The family gets a "strike" if a player gives an answer that is not on the board or fails to respond. There is no firm time limit, but the host has the discretion to impose a three second count if time is short or the contestant appears to be stalling. Three strikes cause the family to relinquish control of the board, giving the other family one chance to steal the points in the bank by correctly guessing one of the remaining answers. Any revealed answer is met with a clanging bell, and starting in 2008, a "swoosh" sound effect as the answer is being revealed, and a strike is accompanied by at least one red "X" inside a rectangular outline and the famous "strike" buzzer. This buzzer is also used on the NBC talent-search show America's Got Talent, when a panelist dislikes the currently-showcased act; that show also is an RTL Group programme.
In all versions except the 1988–1995 version, the entire family can confer before the answer was given. In the 1988–1995 and 2008 primetime versions, each family member gave his or her opinion one at a time. The head of household could then either select one of those four or give his or her own. In the 1976-1985 and 1999-2002 versions, a different-sounding triple-buzzer was used when the host asked for a final answer from the family who was attempting the steal.
After determining who takes the bank for a round, any remaining answers are then revealed; per tradition, the audience yells each unrevealed answer in a choral response.
From 1992 until 1995, and from 1999 until 2003, if the family stole the points in the bank by guessing one of the remaining answers, the value of the answer that "stole" would also be added to the bank. A rule first instituted in the 1987 computer version (see "Home versions" below).
Richard Dawson, in the show's early seasons, on at least one occasion during this situation, said that a team that "steals" gets only the amount built up during the round, rather than adding the value of the "steal".
The Bullseye round featured five questions. In Family Feud Challenge, the Bullseye Round was played in both halves of the show. Each family had $2,500 as their starting bankroll. The questions were worth in order: $500/$1,000/$1,500/$2,000/$2,500. The highest amount for a family to earn was $10,000. For the second half, all of these values were doubled, with the starting bankroll at $5,000 and the questions worth $1,000/$2,000/$3,000/$4,000/$5,000. The highest amount was doubled to $20,000 for the second half. The half-hour version, The New Family Feud, used the values in the Challenge's second half. Number one answers were seen on a specially-constructed prop that was lowered from the ceiling every time the round began and raised back up every time the round ended.
The "Bankroll" Round featured only three questions. Like the daytime Bullseye Round, the "Bankroll" Round was played in both halves of the show. Instead of each family member going up to answer a question, only one person on each team was required, and the two contestants participated in all three questions. The starting bankroll remained the same in both halves, but the values were changed to: $500/$1,500/$2,500 for the first half and $1,000/$3,000/$5,000 in the second half. The maximum amount was $7,000 in the first half and $14,000 in the second half; both were reached many times. The prop from the Bullseye Round was discarded, and two different methods were used for displaying the #1 answer: the Fast Money board also used for regular main game rounds was used in the studio, while a computer-generated design was seen superimposed over the board for TV viewers.
This round was discontinued when Family Feud returned in 1999, reverting back to a $10,000 jackpot for winning Fast Money (see below for more information). The introduction of the Bullseye Round was the reason for the changing of the scoring to 300 "points" in the main game; before it was introduced in 1992, all main game values were in dollars. Combs himself had often stated that the reason for the "point" system was because the family had already earned money during the Bullseye Round. Though the round is no longer played, the "point" scoring system remains intact; reasons for this are unknown.
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Once all the points for the first player are tallied, the second family member comes back on stage and is given 25 seconds (20 seconds prior to 1994) to answer the same five questions. The host will ask for another response should a duplicate answer be given; the contestant will know if they've duplicated an answer by way of a short double-buzzer and the host saying "Try again".
If one or both family members accumulate a total of 200 points or more, the family wins the top prize; if they score less than 200, they earn $5 for every point (Example: 198 x $5 = $990). Until 1992, the top prize a family could win in Fast Money was $5,000 on all daytime versions and $10,000 on the syndicated versions. From 1992 to 1995, the prize was the amount accumulated in the Bullseye/Bankroll Round (see above). The top prize reverted to $10,000 in 1999 and was raised to its current $20,000 in 2001. On the Gameshow Marathon episode in 2006, it was increased to $50,000 for a home viewer. On Celebrity Family Feud, the jackpot was $50,000 to the winners' charity, but if the goal was not reached, the $5/point rule was discarded and $25,000 was awarded to the charity instead.
The 1988–1995 versions featured returning champions, as has the current version since 2002. From 1988-1992 and again since 2002, the limit has been five appearances. From 1992-1995, a tournament of champions format was used (see below), but in the syndicated version, there was no returning champion limit.
The main game rules applied, but if a family reached 200 points in Fast Money, $5,000 went into a jackpot that started at $25,000, and went up to potentially $55,000 on the CBS version. Likewise, on the syndicated version, the jackpot started at $50,000 and went up $10,000 for each time Fast Money was won, up to a possible $110,000. If the score was less than 200, nothing was added to the jackpot as the $5 a point rule was discarded for the tournament. Each semifinal was best-of-three games, with the first family in each one to win two games advancing to the finals, which was also best-of-three. There was no Fast Money round played during the finals. The scoring was similar to the 1984–1985 season (single-single-single-single-double-triple) or the Combs' regular CBS/Syndicated version from late 1989-1990 (single-single-single-double-triple) in the finals, with the first family to reach $400 winning the game instead of $300. The first family to win two out of three games won everything in the jackpot in addition to what they won in the regular game. No Fast Money was played.
No more of these were done on the syndicated version after the second season. The CBS version continued doing them, but in mid-1990 started doing them every month, with the top four money-winning families of the previous month returning. The main game point goals for winning a semifinal and a final game were the same, but the match format was changed from best-of-three to a one-game match for both the semifinals and the finals. Thus, the potential maximum was lowered to $35,000.
This version, however, did not do tournaments on an occasional basis again until three years later, May 2005. Again, eight families were brought back, but this time consisted of either families who previously lost their first game for the tournament that was held in May 2005 and May 2006, or previously winning families but not necessarily focusing on the higher winning families of the past for the Tournament held in February 2006. The differences at this point for the tournaments were that the jackpot started with nothing except for the February 2006 Tournament of Champions, which started at $10,000, losses in Fast Money did not add anything to the jackpot as in the 1988–1995 version, and the championship game was played to 400 points. Trips were sometimes also awarded to the jackpot-winning family, including Hawaii during the February 2006 tournament and Mexico during the May 2006 tournament. Again, no Fast Money was played in the finals. Two Big Money Tournaments occurred during the last season, with each of the winning families taking home $60,000 out of a possible $120,000.
In 1980, members of the Kansas City Royals and the Philadelphia Phillies squared off against each other in a 6-show series, to reflect the teams' 6-game World Series that was held shortly before taping. ABC held Major League Baseball rights, and aired Family Feud.
In September 1993, three special weeks of shows were also filmed at Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee, using certain set/game elements that were later be seen on the syndicated 1994-1995 version. The second week featured Barbara Mandrell and her sisters against the Statler Brothers, with special guest Brenda Lee. The third week featured regular contestants, with the winning family of the final day receiving the right to compete in the next show back in LA.
Some special weeks on the aforementioned 1994 season included one featuring Carol Burnett and her family playing against Betty White and her poker players. In fact, there were so many special weeks during the 1994–1995 season that the show's Finale Week itself was special featuring the Los Angeles Fire Department playing against the Los Angeles Police Department.
Both the original and 2008 revival editions of the American Gladiators have participated in the Feud, with appearances in 1993 (Combs), 1994 (Dawson), and as one of the families in the 2008 Roker primetime series. Battles of divorced couples were also held throughout all eras, with the ex-husbands facing off against the ex-wives in each face-off.
A few weeks after the September 11, 2001 attacks, a special week of shows featured the New York Fire Department playing against the New York Police Department with their combined winnings going to help the victims and families of the attacks. Louie Anderson, who was host at the time, donated $75,000 of his own money and this was built on as a jackpot.
RTL, which produces Family Feud through FremantleMedia, has featured in recent years as sweeps weeks cast members of Survivor, even though they weren't allowed to use the name in the US. RTL holds international rights to the show, but not US rights, which is also the case with many Mark Burnett shows. Also included were figure skaters from the Stars on Ice Tour, finalists from varying seasons of American Idol (another RTL production), and NASCAR, with Family Feud's "NASCAR week", taped during Pop Secret 500 weekend in late August 2004, airing in the week leading to the NASCAR Championship Weekend in Homestead, Florida, featuring teams from all three national series.
During the NASCAR themed week, a Nextel Cup show car appeared on the stage, and NASCAR's own theme music used in the post-race disclaimer, and also as the base theme music for international broadcasts played instead of the usual music as the teams lined up for the face-off.
During the week of November 5, 2007, there was a WWE edition of the show featuring five WWE wrestlers: Batista, Ric Flair, Mr. Kennedy, King Booker, and Jonathan Coachman, versus five WWE Divas: Candice Michelle, Layla El, Michelle McCool, Maria Kanellis, and Queen Sharmell.
During the week of November 12, 2007, there was an NBA edition of the show featuring six NBA Superstars, including Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Grant Hill, David Lee, and Richard Jefferson versus their mothers.
In the first half of the special, two teams played until one reached $200 or more; that team went on to play Fast Money for $5,000 and competed in the finals against the team that won in the second half which was played the same way. The two winning teams then faced each other in a one-question showdown, with the team that won the pot going on to play Fast Money for an additional $10,000.
Originally, only the cast members of ABC series competed in the All-Star Specials, but when high ratings made it apparent that continuing to do so quickly exhausted the network's stable of celebrities, an agreement was reached with CBS, NBC, and the production companies, and stars from all three networks began appearing in the fall of 1979, similar to ABC's Battle of the Network Stars concept. At the time, networks did not own their own programming and had to rely on programming from the studios. As a rule, the studios dealt with all three networks, and often, the battles were between shows from two different networks, even if it was the same production company. Among the series represented were:
Occasionally, there would be an underlying theme to the series casts featured such as Nighttime vs. Daytime, featuring daytime soap stars competing against prime time TV stars, and some specials even scrapped the traditional "TV series cast" format, instead opting for a single unifying theme among the four teams competing such as Mutiny On The Love Boat, in which the cast of that show competed alongside such past guest stars as Robert Goulet, Jill St. John, Bert Parks, and Rhonda Fleming.
After nearly 25 years, a new series of primetime specials, entitled Celebrity Family Feud, debuted on NBC, the Feud's third network, on June 24, 2008, this time with Al Roker at the helm. This version featured teams composed of a celebrity captain and four friends or relatives, with a $50,000 charity payoff at stake. In addition, it featured a modified version of the current syndicated set and used the "classic" theme music and cues. The show ended on July 29, 2008.
Milton Bradley made eight editions of the ABC version after 1976 which were given to contestants on the show. Pressman Games created two editions similar to the MB editions based on the CBS version: one from 1990 and one from 1993 with the 'Bullseye' Round called The New Family Feud. Endless Games has made three editions since 1998.
The first computer version of Family Feud was released in 1983 for the Coleco Adam. Sharedata released versions for MS-DOS, Commodore 64 and Apple II computers in 1987 that were similar to the Adam version and based on the first Richard Dawson era. A 1989 sequel, The All New Family Feud, was based on the syndicated version of the Ray Combs era. GameTek released versions in 1990 for NES similar to Dawson even though the package shows the Combs set, 1993 for SNES and Sega Genesis, 1994 for Panasonic 3DO and 1995 on CD-ROM based on the 1992–1994 version, although the host resembles Dawson. Hasbro Interactive released a version from 2000 for the PC and Sony PlayStation. In 2004, Imagination Entertainment released a DVD game of Family Feud with former host Richard Karn providing the welcome, rules, and expectations, while announcer Burton Richardson narrated the questions and revealed the answers. A 2nd edition was released in 2006, with announcer Burton Richardson as host, and a 3rd edition was released in August 2007, with John O'Hurley hosting. A movie edition was released that same year, also with John O'Hurley hosting.
Uproar.com once had an online version of the show using the format from 1999, although this online version included a double- and triple-point round, while at the time the show was only using the triple-point round. In September 2006, however, Uproar.com removed all games from its lineup and functioned as a regular search engine site.
A new computer version, released in 2005, was created by IWin.com and can be bought online or downloaded for a free trial; it is based on the Karn version and can be played by single or team players. IWin.com also released a Holiday Edition of the game that was made available on a limited basis. A third version, the "Family Feud Online Party" allows multiple players to play on a team against other players. Several other versions, such as a Hollywood-themed edition and "Family Feud II," a sequel to the original, and this year, "Family Feud III: Dream House,", have also been available.
Seattle-based Mobliss Inc. also released a mobile version of Family Feud that is available on Sprint, Verizon, and Cingular. Currently, Glu Mobile has released a newer mobile version of Family Feud for other carriers.
In 2006, a PlayStation 2 and PC version was released. Even though it has the logo from John O'Hurley's first season, the first set used and the set depicted on the packaging is the one from Richard Karn's last season; the 1976–1985 and 1988-1994 sets are available for use also.
A Game Boy Advance version was also released in 2006. Like the Playstation 2 version, it featured the first O'Hurley logo, but its set and title graphic was based on the final Karn set.
A DVD set titled All-Star Family Feud was released in January 2008, and featured celebrity episodes from the original ABC/syndicated versions on its four discs. A second DVD set titled The Best of Family Feud featuring the Pilot, Premiere, and Finale hosted by Richard Dawson plus other episodes and special features is due out in late 2008.