The Match Game (1962)
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:
- Match Game '73, CBS, 1973-79 (renamed at the end of each year accordingly)
- Match Game PM, Syndicated weekly, 1975-81
- Match Game, Syndicated daily, 1979-82, replayed 1985
- The Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour, NBC, 1983-84
- Match Game, ABC, 1990-91
- Match Game, Syndicated, 1998-99
- Match Game, ABC, primetime 2016, 2017
|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|
- At a Glance: Additional information about the series
The 1962 NBC pilot, never aired before, is on disc 4 of The Best Of Match Game DVD set.