ABC took a gamble with airing revised editions of Family Feud and other favorite game shows this summer and it has paid off big time. According to a recent press release, ABC has ordered renewals for Celebrity Family Feud, The $100,000 Pyramid, Match Game, and To Tell the Truth.
"We're thrilled by the performance of each of our game shows and the reception they received from the fans," said Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment. "The success of these shows is due in large part to the strength of our hosts, Steve Harvey, Michael Strahan, Alec Baldwin, and Anthony Anderson."
ABC Renews 'Celebrity Family Feud,' '$100,000 Pyramid,' 'Match Game' https://t.co/mMwhokRp2FCelebrity Family Feud leads the pack with the distinction of being the most watched broadcast series on Sundays this summer with more than 8 million viewers tuning in. In addition it has become the fifth most watched TV show this summer beating out CBS' Big Brother by 14 percent. Despite some of its racy content, Family Feud is still a hit with families.
— Variety (@Variety) August 4, 2016
The $100,000 Pyramid has the honor of being this summer's No. 1 new show of the season and is ABC's most-watched summer show during the 9-10 p.m. hour timeslot on Sundays since Who Wants to be a Millionaire aired on the network 15 years ago. It has about 7.7 million viewer tuning in each week.
While not as impressive as the others, Match Game has managed to attract 6.5 million total viewers this summer and still has the distinction of being ABC's highest-rated summer series during the 10-11 p.m. hour.
In fourth place comes To Tell the Truth with 5.2 million viewers during its run this summer, but also a 86 percent increase in total viewers from last summer's broadcasts of Extreme Weight Loss.
There's still a few more weeks left for the game shows and they will be competing with another game show of a different kind in the form of the Summer Olympic Games on NBC which is sure to make a dent in Family Feud's ratings. However, with that said, don't be surprised if you see more game shows popping up next summer on the other networks. CBS even dabbled a bit with special editions of The Price is Right in May.
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"The audience's options are endless, and these game shows are known commodities," said Rob Mills, head of alternative programming at ABC to the L.A. Times in June. "They are known and loved. They are comfort food."
"The fact that there is a lot of demand for original programming in the summer definitely helps," said Jennifer Mullin, co-chief executive of FremantleMedia North America. Freemantle is responsible for producing many of today's most popular game shows that were actually created many years earlier. Currently, Freemantle has 25 shows in production including NBC's mega summer hit, America's Got Talent and former ratings winner, American Idol.
Game shows based on older titles have a wide range of appeal across generations.
"The audience might not remember exactly how to play the game, but they certainly remember the title," Mullin said. "And generally speaking, these titles evoke warm memories. 'I watched it with my grandmother' or 'I watched it when I was home sick.' That's what we hear all the time."
The days where networks could get by with just airing reruns of their hit shows during the summer just doesn't work anymore. Also, some viewers get burned out with "binge-watching" and sometimes just want to turn on the TV and watch something simple that doesn't take a lot of mental energy to watch. Watching Celebrity Family Feud fits in with people's summer schedules nicely.
However, not every game show on ABC has had much rating success. The second season of 500 Questions, a pre-summer game show shown in May lost about 11.5 percent of its viewers from last year, according to TV Series Finale.
[Photo courtesy of ABC]