|Created by||Mark Goodson|
|Directed by||Paul Alter (1976–95)
Marc Breslow (1988–95)
Andy Felsher (1988–95)
Ken Fuchs (1999–present)
|Presented by||Richard Dawson (1976–85, 1994–95)
Ray Combs (1988–94)
Louie Anderson (1999–2002)
Richard Karn (2002–06)
John O'Hurley (2006–10)
Steve Harvey (2010–present)
|Narrated by||Gene Wood (1976–95)
Burton Richardson (1999–2010)
Joey Fatone (2010–present)
|Theme music composer||Score Productions (1976–95)
John Lewis Parker (1999–present)
|Country of origin||United States|
|Producer(s)||Howard Felsher (1976–95)
Cathy Dawson (1976–85)
Gary Dawson (1988–95)
|Running time||22–26 minutes:
Syndicated (1977–94, 1999–present)
ABC Specials (1978–84)
|Production company(s)||Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions (1976–82)
Mark Goodson Productions (1982–2002)
|Original channel||ABC (1976–85)
Syndicated (1977–85, 1988–95, 1999–present)
|Original run||July 12, 1976
– June 14, 1985 (ABC daytime)|
September 19, 1977 – September 6, 1985 (daily syndication)
July 4, 1988 – September 10, 1993 (CBS Daytime)
September 19, 1988 – September 8, 1995 (syndication)
September 20, 1999 – present (syndication)
Family Feud is an American television game show created by Mark Goodson. The show features a competition in which two families must name the most popular responses to a survey question posed to 100 people in order to win cash and prizes. The original network version of the show aired on ABC from July 12, 1976 to June 14, 1985, then returned on CBS on July 4, 1988, where it remained until it was canceled on September 10, 1993. The show has also existed in three syndicated versions: the first aired from September 19, 1977 to September 6, 1985; the second aired from September 19, 1988 to September 8, 1995; and the third, the current version, debuted on September 20, 1999.
The ABC network version of the show and the first syndicated series were hosted by Richard Dawson. Ray Combs hosted the CBS series and the first six seasons of the accompanying syndicated version, then was replaced by Dawson for the remainder of the latter show's run. The 1999 syndicated series was hosted by Louie Anderson from 1999 to 2002, by Richard Karn from 2002 to 2006, and by John O'Hurley from 2006 to 2010. Gene Wood served as announcer until 1995, and Burton Richardson was the 1999 syndicated series' announcer until 2010. Since 2010, the show has featured Steve Harvey as host and Joey Fatone as announcer.
Family Feud has spawned regional adaptations in over 50 international markets outside the United States. Within a year of its debut, the original version became the number one game show in daytime television; however, as viewing habits changed, the ratings declined. Harvey's takeover of the 1999 syndicated series increased its Nielsen ratings significantly and eventually made it the fifth most popular syndicated program. In 2013, TV Guide ranked Family Feud number 3 in its list of the 60 greatest game shows of all time.
Each episode of Family Feud features ten contestants from two different families competing to win cash and prizes, with five members apiece representing each family. The original version of the show began with the families being introduced, seated opposite each other as if posing for family portraits, after which Dawson would spend approximately five minutes interviewing them.
During the game proper, the families are presented with a survey question that was posed to an audience of 100 people before the show. The families are required to guess how most of the people surveyed would have answered. For example, if the survey question were "Name a tourist attraction that is popular among most people in the United States", a possible answer would be "Mount Rushmore". Points are awarded according to what percentage of the survey actually gave the same answer provided by the family; for instance, if an answer was given by 70 percent of the audience, the family would get 70 points. The family who earns the most points on the initial answer gets the opportunity to guess all of the answers generated by the survey, accumulating points until they either get all the answers correct, or give three incorrect answers. If three incorrect answers are provided by the first family, the second earns the chance to come up with one of the remaining correct answers to win the points that the other family accumulated. Preliminary rounds are played until one of the families' scores amounts to at least 300 points. The family whose score reaches 300 or more gains the opportunity to play the final round for the chance to win a $20,000 grand prize ($10,000 in syndication before 2001, and $5,000 on the daytime versions), with one dollar added for every point accumulated in the preliminary rounds.
Hosts and announcers
The ABC and first syndicated versions of Family Feud were hosted by Richard Dawson. As writer David Marc put it, Dawson's on-air personality "fell somewhere between the brainless sincerity of Wink Martindale and the raunchy cynicism of Chuck Barris". Dawson showed himself to have insistent affections for all of the female members of each family that competed on the show, regardless of age. Writers Tim Brooks and Earle F. Marsh owed Family Feud's popularity to Dawson's "glib familiarity" (he had previously played Newkirk on Hogan's Heroes) and "ready wit". The show's original announcer was Gene Wood, with Johnny Gilbert serving as an occasional substitute.
In 1988, Ray Combs took over Dawson's role as host on CBS and in syndication; Wood again served as announcer, with Rod Roddy and Art James serving in that role when Wood was not available. The CBS version was canceled in 1993; also that year, after the syndicated show had struggled in the ratings for some time and was being threatened with cancellation by local stations, the production company decided to offer Dawson a chance to return to Feud, which he did for the 1994–95 season; Dawson's return, however, did nothing to increase the syndicated series' ratings, as the show was ultimately canceled. After this, Dawson decided to have no further involvement with the show.
When Feud returned to syndication in 1999, it was initially hosted by Louie Anderson, who was chosen to host the new incarnation over Dolly Parton (the other leading candidate), while Burton Richardson took over as the new announcer. Richard Karn was selected to take over for Anderson when season four premiered in 2002, and when season eight premiered in 2006, Karn was replaced, likewise, by John O'Hurley. In 2010, both O'Hurley and Richardson departed from the show; comedian Steve Harvey was named the new host for season twelve, and former 'N Sync member Joey Fatone became the new announcer.
The first four versions of the show were directed by Paul Alter and produced by Howard Felsher and Cathy Dawson. For the 1988 versions, Gary Dawson worked with the show as a third producer, and Alter was joined by two other directors, Marc Breslow and Andy Felsher. The 1999 version's main staff include executive producer Gabrielle Johnston, supervising producers Kristin Bjorklund and Brian Hawley, and director Ken Fuchs; Johnston and Bjorklund previously worked as associate producers of the 1980s version. The show's classic theme tune was written by an uncredited Walt Levinsky for Score Productions, and the current version's theme was written by John Lewis Parker. The production rights to the show were originally owned by the production company Goodson shared with his partner Bill Todman, but were sold to their current holder, FremantleMedia, when it acquired all of Goodson and Todman's works in 2002.
Mark Goodson created Family Feud during the increasing popularity of his earlier game show Match Game, which set daytime ratings records in 1976, and on which Dawson had previously appeared as one of its most popular panelists. The show premiered on ABC's daytime lineup on July 12, 1976, and although it was not an immediate hit, before long it became a ratings winner and eventually surpassed Match Game to become the No. 1 game show in daytime. ABC periodically broadcast primetime specials based on Feud, in which celebrity casts from various TV series competed instead of ordinary families. The popularity of the daytime series inspired Goodson to consider producing a nighttime edition, which launched on September 18, 1977. Like many other game shows at the time, the nighttime Feud aired once a week, but as it became popular, it expanded to twice a week, like its daytime counterpart, in January 1979.
However, the viewing habits of both daytime and syndicated audiences were changing. When Merv Griffin brought his game show Wheel of Fortune, starring Pat Sajak and Vanna White, to syndication in 1983, that show climbed the ratings to the point where it unseated Feud as the highest-rated syndicated show; the syndicated revival of Wheel's sister show Jeopardy! with Alex Trebek as host also siphoned ratings from Feud with its early success. ABC decided that it would not renew Feud for the 1985–86 season, and a cancellation notice was issued for the syndicated version as well. The syndicated series was brought to an end on May 17, 1985, and the network version was canceled on June 14 that same year.
Three years after the original version ended, Family Feud returned to CBS on July 4, 1988, while an accompanying syndicated version debuted in the fall of that year. In June 1992, the network version expanded from its original half-hour format to a full hour, and was retitled The Family Feud Challenge; this new format featured three families per episode, which included two new families competing in the first half hour for the right to play the returning champions in the second half. The Family Feud Challenge aired its final new episode on March 26, 1993, with reruns airing until September 10. Meanwhile, the syndicated Feud was struggling in the ratings and Goodson was beginning to deal with an increasing number of cancellation threats from local stations. The producers believed that reinstating Dawson, with whom Goodson had clashed during the run of the previous series, would resolve the ratings issues; but it did not, and the syndicated Feud was finally canceled at the end of the 1994–95 season.
After a four-year hiatus, Family Feud returned in syndication on September 20, 1999. After Karn took over the show, the format was changed to reintroduce returning champions, allowing them to appear for up to five days. However, even after Karn's takeover, Anderson-hosted episodes continued in reruns that aired on PAX Network. In O'Hurley's later days, the show's Nielsen ratings were at 1.5 (putting it in danger of cancellation), but when Harvey took over, ratings increased by as much as 40%, and within two short years, the show was rated at 4.0, and had become the fifth most popular syndicated program. During the Harvey era, Family Feud regularly ranks in the top 10 highest rated programs in all of daytime television programming; in February 2014, the show achieved a 6.0 share in the Nielsen ratings, with approximately 8.8 million viewers.
The popularity of Family Feud in the United States has led it to become a worldwide franchise, with over 50 adaptations outside the United States. Countries that have aired their own versions of the show include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam, among others.
The original version of Family Feud won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show in 1977, and Dawson won the 1978 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Game Show Host. Much later, in 2014, Harvey won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Game Show Host for hosting Feud. Feud ranked number 3 on Game Show Network (GSN)'s 2006 list of the 50 Greatest Game Shows of All Time, and also on TV Guide's 2013 list of the 60 greatest game shows ever.
Tara Ariano and Sarah D. Bunting, founders of the website televisionwithoutpity.com, wrote that they hated the 1999 syndicated series, saying "Give us classic Feud every time", citing both the Dawson and Combs eras; additionally, they called Anderson an "alleged sexual harasser and full-time sphere".
Since the show's premiere in 1976, many home versions of Family Feud have been released in various formats. Milton Bradley, Pressman Games, and Endless Games have all released traditional board games based on the show, which have occasionally been given to contestants of the show. Tiger Electronics released two electronic handheld games in 1998 and 1999, which also included expansion cartridges. In 2004, Imagination Entertainment released a DVD game of Family Feud, a second edition in 2006, and a third edition in 2007, with a movie edition of the DVD game also being released that same year.
The game has been released in other formats by multiple companies, with each company generally releasing a number of games over a period of years for different mediums (video game consoles, PC CD-ROMs, PC downloads, and mobile phones). Coleco Adam released the first computer version of the show in 1983, and Sharedata followed in 1987 with versions for MS-DOS, Commodore 64, and Apple II computers. GameTek released versions for NES, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis, Panasonic 3DO, and PC (on CD-ROM) between 1990 and 1995. Hasbro Interactive released a version in 2000 for the PC and PlayStation. In 2006, versions were released for PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, and PC.
Online versions appeared on Uproar.com and IWin.com. Seattle-based Mobliss Inc. also released a mobile version of Family Feud that was available on Sprint, Verizon, and Cingular. Glu Mobile released a newer mobile version of Family Feud for other carriers.
In conjunction with Ludia, Ubisoft has released multiple versions of the series. The first of these was entitled Family Feud: 2010 Edition and was released for the Wii, Nintendo DS, and PC in September 2009. Ubisoft then released Family Feud Decades the next year, which features sets and survey questions from television versions from all four decades the show has been on air. A third game, entitled Family Feud: 2012 Edition was released for the Wii and Xbox 360 in 2011.
In addition to the home games, a DVD set titled All-Star Family Feud was released on January 8, 2008 and featured a total of 21 celebrity episodes from the original ABC/syndicated versions on its four discs. It was re-issued as The Best of All-Star Family Feud on February 2, 2010.
- Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (2009). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946–Present. Random House. pp. 450–451. ISBN 0307483207.
- Marc, David (1995). Prime Time, Prime Movers: From I Love Lucy to L.A. Law - America's Greatest TV Shows and the People who Created Them. Syracuse University Press. ISBN 0815603118.
- "Gene Wood, 78, Game Show Announcer". The New York Times. 14 June 2004. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
- Schwartz, David; Ryan, Steve; Wostbrock, Fred (1999). The Encyclopedia of TV Game Shows (3 ed.). Facts on File, Inc. pp. 71–73. ISBN 0-8160-3846-5.
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- "Steve Harvey to Host 'Family Feud'". January 20, 2010. Archived from the original on December 16, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
- Breia Brissey (23 July 2010). "Joey Fatone will not Dance his Ass Off. He'll just judge those who do!". Entertainment Weekly. www.ew.com. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
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- Schwartz, Ryan and Wostbrock, p. 62.
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- Family Feud at the Internet Movie Database
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- Albiniak, Paige (October 8, 2012). "Steve Harvey, Syndication King? No Feud With That". Broadcasting & Cable 142 (39): 22.
- Bibel, Sara. "Syndicated TV Ratings: 'Judge Judy' Again Number One in Households, 'Wheel of Fortune' Wins Total Viewers & 'Dr. Phil' Top Talker for Week Ending February 9, 2014". TV By the Numbers. Zap2it. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
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- "Classic Family Feud 4th Edition".
- "Amazon.com: Family Feud DVD Game". Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Family Feud Movies DVD Game
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- "Family Feud by Mobliss inc.". Retrieved February 14, 2003.
- "Family Feud (2004) by Mobliss". Retrieved November 12, 2004.
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- "Family Feud Deluxe". Retrieved July 22, 2007.
- "Family Feud for Mobiles Is Now Available". Softpedia. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- "Family Feud by Glu Mobile". Retrieved November 18, 2009.
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- "Family Feud: 2012 Edition". IGN. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
- Official website
- Production website
- Family Feud (1976) at the Internet Movie Database
- All-Star Family Feud Special (1977) at the Internet Movie Database
- Family Feud (1988) at the Internet Movie Database
- Family Feud (1999) at the Internet Movie Database
- Celebrity Family Feud (2008) at the Internet Movie Database
The $20,000 Pyramid
|Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show