Family Feud

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Template:Infobox television

Family Feud is a popular television game show in the USA that pits two families against each other in a contest to name the most popular responses to a survey-type question posed of 100 people.


Broadcast/Show history

The Richard Dawson/ABC era

The longest running and most popular version of Family Feud, a Mark Goodson-Bill Todman production, was hosted by Richard Dawson. The daytime version debuted on ABC on July 12, 1976. A nighttime syndicated version debuted in September 1977; it originally aired as a weekly series before expanding to two nights a week in January 1979 and to five nights a week in September 1980. Goodson originated the idea for Feud from one of his other hit game shows, CBS's Match Game. The final "Super Match" round of Match Game included a studio audience survey where audience members gave their answers to a fill-in-the-blank phrase. The top three responses to that phrase were concealed on the board, and the contestant won more money by choosing a more popular answer. Family Feud was spun off from this survey concept. Dawson, the first host of Feud, was a regular panelist on Match Game.

The first pilot in 1975 was exactly the same in gameplay format as the version that came to air. The set was done in the same colors and style than the final version, but it was much smaller and more closer together.

Family Feud was the highest-rated daytime game show for two seasons (1977-78 and 1978-79) until CBS's The Price is Right surpassed it. It was also the highest-rated syndicated game show from 1978 until 1984, when Wheel of Fortune took over the top spot. During the height of the show's popularity, ABC ran several prime time specials where teams of celebrities -- often the cast members of a television show -- played the game to raise money for various charities. The show won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Game Show in 1977, while Dawson won the Daytime Emmy for Best Host or Hostess in a Game Show in 1978. Richard Dawson's hosting style was very unique; for example, he almost always kissed the female competitors, and gave some of the women and their children lollipops from a special "lollipop tree" at the end of each family podium. This personable style made him very popular as a game show host.

The last ABC daytime episode aired on June 14, 1985, with Dawson delivering an emotional farewell speech at the end of the show. The syndicated nighttime edition of Feud continued for three months afterwards, before wrapping up in September after eight years. (Viacom, the show's syndicator, offered reruns to stations for one year after that, packaged as The Best of Family Feud.) In its nine-year existence, 2,311 network daytime shows, 976 syndicated evening half-hour shows, and 17 ABC primetime hour-long specials (1978-1984) had been produced, with $1,557,150 given away to charity on 170 celebrity specials on the daytime and nighttime shows, and $14,833,000 won by contestants.

The CBS era

On July 4, 1988, CBS brought the show back with a new host, Ray Combs. A new syndicated primetime edition premiered two months later. CBS expanded the show from 30 minutes to one hour with the addition of a "Bullseye" round to the show and renamed it The New Family Feud Challenge on June 29, 1992. (The "Bullseye" round was added to the syndicated version that fall, when it was renamed The New Family Feud.) On Family Feud Challenge, two new families competed in the first half of the show, with the winner playing the returning champions in the second half. The CBS version went into reruns on March 29, 1993, and was canceled on September 10 of that year, when CBS decided to give back the hour to their local affiliates.

At the end of the 1993-1994 season, Combs was replaced by Richard Dawson in an effort to boost the syndicated version's declining ratings. The show also expanded to one hour and used a format similar to that of the Family Feud Challenge, with families from the original ABC version playing in the second half of the show. (Some stations, however, opted to carry only the second half-hour.) The show only lasted one more season with Dawson as host, ending on September 8, 1995, after six seasons. After many unhappy experiences, Combs committed suicide in 1996 at age 40.

The current version

In 1999 a third version premiered in syndication with host Louie Anderson. In 2002 Anderson was replaced as host by Richard Karn. This version is still airing and is produced by FremantleMedia (formerly Pearson Television), who currently owns the rights to the Goodson-Todman library of game shows.

Gene Wood was the original announcer of Family Feud, with Johnny Gilbert (Dawson run), Charlie O'Donnell (Combs run), Bob Hilton (Combs), Art James (Combs), and Rod Roddy (Combs) filling in on occasion. Burton Richardson has been the show's announcer since 1999.

Reruns of the Dawson and Combs versions currently air on GSN, while the PAX Network reruns the previous season of the current version.

Rules of the game

Representatives of the family are posed questions that have already been answered by 100 persons. An answer is considered correct if at least two people in the survey had answered the question in the same way, with more points given for answers that had been given by more persons (one point per person).

Sample questions are "Name a famous George" or "Tell me a popular family vacation spot."

The participants are not asked questions about what is true or how things really are. 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 yet his name did not appear on the survey).

However, the questions often result in funny distortions by contestants, who give off-the-wall answers. A classic example is, "What month does a pregnant woman begin to show?" to which one contestant replied "September" (resulting in such uproarious laughter taping had to be stopped). In another episode, a question asked contestants to name characters on The Andy Griffith Show; it was clear that one family through their answers had never seen the show. Someone once commented that Family Feud measures the social fitness of contestants.

Main game

Two family members face off to see which family would gain control of that particular question. Whoever guesses the more popular answer in the survey has the option to play the question or pass it to the other family. (If both answers are worth the same amount of points, control goes to the player that buzzed in first.) If a family guessed an answer that was not on the board (or sometimes failed to respond), they would get a "strike"; three "strikes" would cause the family to relinquish control of the board.

The other family then gets the chance to steal the points in the bank if they guessed one of the remaining answers. Any remaining answers are then revealed.

Questions are played for double and triple points toward the end of the game.

Fast Money round

The winner of the game goes on to play the Fast Money round, where the host asks two different family members the same five survey questions. One family member leaves the stage, and the other is given 20 seconds (15 seconds before 1994) to answer those questions. The number of people giving each answer is revealed once all five answers are given or time has expired (whichever comes first). The player earns one point for each person that the "survey says" gave that answer, and at least two people must have given that answer to be valid.

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 before 1994) to answer the same five questions. (Duplicate answers are not allowed; the host asks for another answer if the contestant gives one.)

If one or both family members accumulate a total of at least 200 points, the family wins the top prize; if they score less than 200, they earn $5 for every point. (Example: 198 x $5 = $990) From the show's beginning until 1992, the top prize a family could win in Fast Money was $5,000 on the daytime version and $10,000 on the syndicated version. The top prize has been $20,000 since 2001.

Rule changes

Originally, the first family to score 200 or more points advanced to Fast Money. The winning score increased to 300 sometime in 1978 (though the 300-point rule had been in effect for all but the earliest syndicated episodes). During the 1984-1985 season (Richard Dawson's last), the target score was 400.

The "play or pass" option was eliminated when the show was revived in 1988, and the target score to win the game reverted to 300 points.

In 1992, a "Bullseye" round was added, in which contestants tried to build up the amount of money they could win in Fast Money from an initial $5,000 bank. One at a time and starting with the team captain, the players were asked a series of five Family Feud-type questions; only the number one answer was accepted. The first question was worth $1,000, the second $2,000 and so on up to $5,000 for the fifth question; thus, the maximum jackpot for any one team was $20,000. This round was played prior to the first question. During Dawson's return in 1994, the "Bullseye" round was renamed the "Bankroll" round, and only three questions worth $1,000, $3,000 and $5,000 were asked for a top jackpot of $14,000.

When the show was revived in 1999 with Louie Anderson hosting, the "bullseye" round was eliminated and the "play or pass" option was reinstated. Three regular rounds were played, and a fourth round was played for triple points -- but the family in control would only get one strike before they lost control in the triple round. Some felt that this rule was unfair, as a family who won the first three rounds could still lose the game in the fourth round after giving only one incorrect answer. Also, in this version, a family didn't necessarily have to win 300 points to win the game. After four rounds were played, the family who had the most points won the game.

The one-strike rule was eliminated at the beginning of Richard Karn's second season as host in the fall of 2003, and the format of the game reverted to that of the previous versions, where the first family to score 300 points wins. If neither family scores 300 points after four rounds (including one round in which points are doubled, and one round in which points are tripled), "sudden death" is played. Point values are still tripled, and the first person to ring in and guess the number one answer takes the points for their family. In the rare case that this does not give them 300, another sudden death question is played.

Versions outside the USA

The Australian version aired on the Nine Network from 1977-1984 and was hosted by Tony Barber, Daryl Somers, and Sandy Scott. It was revived on the Seven Network in 1989 and aired until 1996. It was hosted by Rob Brough. A celebrity version aired in primetime in 1990-1991.

The British version of the show, which ran from 1980 to 2002 on ITV, was called Family Fortunes. The producers reportedly claimed that they considered the word "feud" too confrontational. It was hosted by Bob Monkhouse (until 1983), Max Bygraves (until 1985) and Les Dennis when it returned two years later, before the show was moved to daytime (in 2002) with Andy Collins as host. Peter Dickson replaced Stephen Rhodes as the show's announcer shortly before its move to the "daytime" schedule. It was cancelled after this series.

The French-Canadian version is called La Guerre des clans ("War of the clans").

A version in Colombia is called 100 Colombianos Dicen, which means "100 Colombians Say".

The title of the French version, Une famille en or, means (literally) "a golden family" and (figuratively) "a family to treasure".

The German version is called Familienduell ("Family Duel"). The host was Werner Schulze-Erdel. The show was cancelled in 2003 because of low ratings.

In Greece the show has had two incarnations; the first, broadcast in the beginning of the '90s decade was known as Kondres (Clashings) and was presented by Vlassis Bonatsos. The second, which aired at the end of the same decade, went by the name of Kondra Plake (a pun on "Kondres" and a cheap type of wood) and its host was Spyros Papadopoulos.

A Mexican version of this show is called 100 Mexicanos Dijeron, which means "100 Mexicans Said", and is shown on the Telefutura channel in the USA.

The Polish version is called Familiada (a merging of the words familia and olimpiada, i.e. "Family Olympics"). The host is Karol Strasburger, a popular actor.

External links



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