Family Feud (1976)

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Family Feud
Premiere July 12, 1976
Finale June 14, 1985
Creator Howard Felscher
Host Richard Dawson
Network/Provider ABC
Style 30-minute game show
Company Goodson-Todman Productions
Mark Goodson Productions
(Feudin' Productions, The Family Feud Company)
Episodes 2311 + 17 specials
Origin USA

Family Feud is a game show that aired on ABC. The show was spun off from a segment on Match Game, where Family Feud host Richard Dawson had been a regular panelist. Between 1978 and 1984, ABC sporadically ran hour-long All-Star Family Feud primetime specials.

The show pits two families who are asked questions that have a number of answers provided through a national survey of 100 people, such as "Name a famous person named George," or "Name a reason that people can't sleep at night." The head of each family stands at the podium and after the question is read, the first to ring gives an answer. The member giving the most popular answer takes control of the question for his/her family. Each family member tries to uncover the remaining answers on the survey, with the number of people giving each answer providing the money in the bank. An answer not on the board constitutes a "strike." Three strikes forfeits control to the other family who must uncover one answer to steal the bank. If the other family misses, the money goes to the family that had initial control of the board. Final questions were double the money, and later in the run triple.

In the first years, $200 won the game. As time went on, the winning mark would go to $300 and then $400. The losing family got to keep any money they scored. (Later in the run, Richard Dawson would raise the consolation to a standard $250 if there was little or no score.)

The winning family plays Fast Money. One family member is off stage out of eye and earshot while the other is on stage. In 15 seconds, he/she must give what he/she thinks are the top five answers to a survey of 100 people. The answers are revealed along with the number of people giving the answer. They are covered up and the other family member comes out. He/she has 20 seconds to answer the same five questions, without duplicating previous responses. If the two family members collect at least 200 points, the family wins $5000. Failing to reach 200 points, the family still is awarded $5 for every point tallied.

Late in the run, each family had a tree of Tootsie Pops at the end of their lecterns. A family member would pull out a Tootsie Pop during family introductions and win $100 if the stem of the Tootsie Pop was black.

Originally, Family Feud was meant to be on CBS as a companion show to Match Game, and hosts bantered about for it were Jack Narz, Geoff Edwards and William Shatner. When CBS's head programmer Fred Silverman jumped ship to ABC, he optioned Feud and through a chain of events acquired Richard Dawson as host (involving a clause in his Match Game contract allowing him first crack at a show of his own to host). Narz was already hosting Concentration in syndication, Edwards was contractually bound to Bob Stewart and was hosting Treasure Hunt for Chuck Barris, while Shatner's ties involved being married to the daughter of a CBS program executive.

This version was especially notable (or notorious) for Dawson's ego, which was want to go out of control at times. Some of the more catty remarks were directed to producer Howard Felscher, which alienated him to the point where he left the show. Prior to Feud, Felscher revived Concentration for syndication in 1973 and was the producer of the original scandal-tainted version of Tic Tac Dough.

Family Feud would launch a syndicated edition a year later for nighttime. The show turned up again in 1988 with Ray Combs as host for CBS and syndication (Dawson would return in 1994 for the syndicated show), then another edition surfaced for syndication in 1999 with Louie Anderson, Richard Karn, John O'Hurley, and (currently) Steve Harvey as host.


DVD Releases

Title Release Date #
'Best Of' Collections
All-Star Family Feud January 8, 2008 4