The Match Game (1962)

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The Match Game
The Match Game (1962)-Logo.jpg
Premiere December 31, 1962
Finale September 26, 1969
Creator Frank Wayne
Host Gene Rayburn
Network/Provider NBC
Style 30-minute game show
Company Goodson-Todman Productions
(Sojourn Productions)
Episodes 1760
Origin USA

The Match Game is a game show that aired on NBC.

Created by Frank Wayne for Goodson-Todman Productions, The Match Game pitted two teams, each fronted by a celebrity captain, in matching answers to questions, such as "Besides the White House, name a landmark in Washington D.C." or fill-in-the-blanks such as "Scared _______." Each player secretly writes down an answer, and then by team, each player reveals his/her answer. If two players on the team match answers, they score 25 points. If all three players match, it's a total of 50.

The first team to reach 100 points wins the game and $100. (If a game is tied at 100, then play continues until a team cannot make sufficient answers to tie the other.) The winning team now predicts how a previous studio audience answered three questions, with each player who matches scoring $50 for the team.

The Match Game aired at 4 PM Eastern weekdays for 25 minutes a day (breaking afterwards for an NBC news capsule). Late in the run, a special home contest was used. A member of the studio audience was selected to write down the answer to a question, and a random call was made to a viewer within the 48 contiguous states. If the viewer matches the audience player, they split a jackpot that starts at $500 and goes up $100 each day it is not won.

Thirteen weeks after its debut, NBC was about to cancel The Match Game, when writer Dick DeBartolo decided to spice up some of the questions ("Mary poured gravy on John's ______"). Viewers picked up on the show as a result and NBC pulled it from the chopping block. It was canceled in 1969 following a virtual revamp of NBC's daytime line-up, only for CBS to bring it back in 1973 as a successful comedy game under the new name Match Game '73.

The various editions of Match Game after this version:


Season Premiere Finale #
Season One December 31, 1962 August 30, 1963 175
Season Two September 2, 1963 September 4, 1964 265
Season Three September 7, 1964 August 27, 1965 255
Season Four August 30, 1965 September 2, 1966 265
Season Five September 5, 1966 September 1, 1967 260
Season Six September 4, 1967 August 30, 1968 260
Season Seven September 2, 1968 September 26, 1969 280


DVD Releases

The 1962 NBC pilot, never aired before, is on disc 4 of The Best Of Match Game DVD set.