Match Game (Johnsonverse)

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Match Game is an American television panel game show that premiered on NBC in 1962 and has been revived several times over the course of the next six decades. The game features contestants trying to come up with answers to fill-in-the-blank questions that are often formed as humorous double entendres (beginning in the CBS run), the object being to match answers given by celebrity panelists.

The Match Game in its original version ran on NBC's daytime lineup from 1962 until 1969. The show returned with a significantly changed format in 1973 on CBS (also in daytime) and became a major success, with an expanded panel, larger cash payouts, and emphasis on humor. The CBS series, referred to on-air as Match Game 73 to start and updated every new year, ran until 1979 on CBS, at which point it moved to first-run syndication (without the year attached to the title, as Match Game) and ran for three more seasons, ending in 1982. Concurrently with the weekday run, from 1975 to 1981 and since 1998, a once-a-week fringe time version, Match Game PM, was also offered in syndication for airing just before prime time hours. The syndicated version is currently hosted by Michael Burger.

Match Game returned to NBC in 1983 as part of a 60-minute hybrid series with Hollywood Squares, then was revived on WBC in 1990 with Rayburn; after his death on November 29, 1999, the show is currently hosted by Ross Shafer.

The series was a production of Mark Goodson/Bill Todman Productions, along with its successor companies, and has been franchised around the world, some under the name Blankety Blanks.

In 2013, TV Guide ranked the 1973–79 CBS version of Match Game as No. 4 on its list of the 60 greatest game shows ever. It was twice nominated for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show, in 1976 and 1977.

1962–69, NBC

Match Game 73–79 (1973–79, CBS)

Format

Super Match

Audience Match

Head-to-Head Match

Star Wheel

Ticket plugs

Staffing and ratings

1978 changes and cancellation

Match Game PM (1975–81, weekly syndication)

Later revivals

1979–82, daily syndication

The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour (1983–84, NBC)

1990-present, WBC