The Alec Baldwin-hosted “Match Game” isn’t expected to return to ABC, as the Alphabet web begins to firm up its plans for its annual game show-heavy summer lineup.
Also unlikely to return are “Card Sharks,” “Celebrity Dating Game” and “The Hustler,” while “Celebrity Family Feud,” “Press Your Luck” and “The $100,000 Pyramid” are expected to be back.
The fate of “Match Game” had been the source of speculation in the wake of Baldwin’s accidental shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the independent production “Rust” last fall.
But ABC’s decision to cancel “Match Game” is not related to that incident; “Match Game” hasn’t been in production since 2020, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic — and only aired two new episodes in 2021, which had been left over from the previous year.
The latest revival of “Match Game,” hosted by Baldwin, debuted in 2016, and ran for five seasons. The most recent season was shot before the pandemic began, with nine episodes spread out between May 31, 2000, and Oct. 29, 2000, and then the final two on July 21 and July 28, 2021.
Produced by Fremantle, “Match Game” centered on four contestants competing for $25,000 as they try to match the answers of six celebrities in a game of fill-in-the-blank. The format, which first premiered in 1962, hosted by Gene Rayburn, has been revived several times in the decades since then. Executive produced by showrunner Scott St. John and others, the ABC run produced approximately 69 episodes.
As for “Card Sharks,” hosted by Joel McHale, the revival ran for two seasons on ABC, most recently in July 2021. Also from Fremantle and showrunner St. John, “Card Sharks” features players trying to win a cash prize by wagering on the cards that are about to be flipped over. The format first debuted in 1978; the ABC edition aired 21 episodes starting in June 2019.
“Celebrity Dating Game,” hosted by Zooey Deschanel and Michael Bolton, aired for just one season in 2021. The show, which premiered last June, brought celebrities to the “Dating Game” format as they quiz potential suitors and the civilians try to guess the stars behind the wall. Bolton would also perform parodies and renditions of popular songs as clues for the contestants. Sony Pictures TV is behind the show.
Hosted by Craig Ferguson, “The Hustler” called itself “the most diabolical game on television.” Contestants would collaborate to answer questions and put money in a pot — but it turns out one of them is a mole who knows the answers and is trying to hide their identity and win the prize. Based on a British format, “The Hustler” came from All3Media’s Studio Lambert and ran for two seasons on ABC — first debuting on Jan. 7, 2021. A total of 19 episodes aired.
As for “Celebrity Family Feud,” hosted by Steve Harvey, the show is expected to be back for Season 8; “Press Your Luck,” hosted by Elizabeth Banks, will return for a fourth season; and “The $100,000 Pyramid,” hosted by Michael Strahan, comes back for Season 6. “Celebrity Family Feud” and “Press Your Luck” are from Fremantle, while “Pyramid” comes from Sony Pictures TV.
The shows join previously renewed “Holey Moley,” which is back with a fourth season featuring the Muppets; and a new edition of “The Chase.” Both of those shows, as well as new true crime mystery gamer “Who Do You Believe?” will make up a springtime night of unscripted fare on ABC starting Tuesday, May 3.
The news also comes as ABC recently confirmed that “The Ultimate Surfer” will not be returning. Still awaiting word of their fate are “Supermarket Sweep,” as well as current shows “Judge Steve Harvey” and “To Tell the Truth” and recent entries “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy National College Championship.”
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