Joining NBC’s “All-American Summer” line-up, another classic game show is being pulled into primetime — with a celebrity twist. Hosted by The Today Show’s chipper weatherman, Al Roker, Celebrity Family Feud hits the airwaves tonight. Each week, four celebrity families will go head to head in an attempt to win $50,000 for their favorite charities.
The original Family Feud was hosted by smooth-talking Richard Dawson (Hogan’s Heroes). It ran for 10 years before ending in 1985. The game show pits families against one another a they try to guess the most popular answers to survey questions. Later incarnations have been hosted by Ray Combs, Dawson, and funny men Louie Anderson and Richard Karn (Home Improvement). The older versions air on GSN and ION in reruns while the present version, hosted by suave John O’Hurley (Seinfeld), is currently being produced for first-run syndication.
The idea of using celebrities for the game isn’t a new one. Various “theme weeks” have aired in daytime, usually during sweeps periods. From 1978 to 1984, ABC aired All-Star Family Feud in primetime, generally during sweeps periods. Hosted by Dawson, this version pitted casts of then-current shows against one another as they tried to raise money for favorite charities.
FreemantleMedia is producing this new Celebrity Family Feud. While some teams will consist of a celebrity and their relatives, others will be made up of television families, past and present.
Tonight’s episode will feature Ice-T and family battling against Joan Rivers (The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers) and kin. Then, Raven-Symone (The Cosby Show) and her family will duke it out with the Wayne Newton (Dancing with the Stars) clan. The winners of those rounds will then face off and the big winner will compete for $50,000 for their favorite charity.
Future episodes will include friends and families of Christopher Knight (The Brady Bunch), the Teutul family (American Chopper), comedienne Margaret Cho (All American Girl), Corbin Bernsen (L.A. Law), Bill Engvall (The Jeff Foxworthy Show), Larry the Cable Guy, Mo’Nique (The Parkers), Vivica A. Fox (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Ed McMahon (The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson), Tiki Barber (Today), Kathie Lee Gifford (Today), Vincent Pastore (The Sopranos), and Duane “Dog” Chapman (Dog the Bounty Hunter). In addition, you can expect to see the castmembers of The Girls Next Door, The Office, and My Name Is Earl. Warriors from American Gladiators will also appear, following in the footsteps of their predecessors back in 1994.
Unfortunately, Celebrity Family Feud hasn’t been garnering good reviews from the critics. Will this new version of an old classic become a hit, or will it receive three strikes and be cancelled? Stay tuned!