ABC took a gamble last summer airing blocks of time devoted to nostalgic game shows, and it appears that the gamble has paid off as the alphabet network has announced that both Match Game and To Tell the Truth will make a return appearance this January with all new shows.
“Our game shows are being embraced by fans and celebrated for bringing people together to participate in the fun,” said Rob Mills, senior vice president, Alternative Series, Specials & Late Night Programming, ABC Entertainment. He added, “We’re looking forward to having new shows available to continue the laughs and extend the celebration beyond the holidays.”
Jennifer Mullin, Co-CEO of FremantleMedia North America, echoed the sentiment saying, “ABC has been such a perfect home for these two series, and Alec and Anthony are comedic powerhouses who take the fun of the game to the next level. We’ve had an incredible time producing these shows and we hope the viewers have as much fun with them as we did.”
What a way to start off the New Year. Black-ish’s Anthony Anderson will be on board to lead the second season of To Tell the Truth premiering on Sunday, January 1 at 9 p.m. No word yet on who the celebrity panel regulars will be this season, but Anderson’s own mother, Doris, will certainly be back to serve as scorekeeper and to utter the occasional snarky comment. Each show will comprise of four celebrities trying to figure out which of the three contestants is actually telling the truth about their occupation, hobby or some other random thing.
To Tell the Truth averaged 5.2 million total viewers during its short run last summer. The show improved ABC’s ratings during the hour by 50 percent and during the show’s premiere, it gave ABC the best summertime numbers in the hour in three years.
Meanwhile, the self-described bawdy game show, Match Game, will return on Wednesdays starting on January 4 at 10 p.m. The hour will feature two 30-minute games with two contestant each tying to match six celebrities’ fill-in-the-blank answers to silly questions.
Last summer, Match Game attracted about 6 million total viewers and ranked No. 1 in the time period (Sundays at 10 p.m.) and made ABC’s biggest summertime program during that hour in the past 10 years.
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To Tell the Truth and Match Game will lead the way for three more very different game shows coming down the pike.
The Gong Show: Will Arnett will host 10 episodes of a new version of The Gong Show, something the network is calling, “bigger, bolder and better than ever – only on ABC.”
“The comedy culture we are living in has finally caught up to The Gong Show, so the timing is perfect,” said Holly Jacobs, executive vice president, Reality and Syndication Programming for Sony Pictures Television. “We’ve found just the right partners to bring back this iconic original.”
Big Fan: Jimmy Kimmel has teamed up with Banijay Studios to produce Big Fan, a new game show based on the “Who Knows…?” game segment featured on Kimmel’s late night show. Andy Richter will host.
“This show is a lot of fun,” said Jimmy Kimmel. He added, “Andy Richter is a great host, and I can’t think of a better way to terrify celebrities.”
The Toy Box: Eric Stonestreet, the big kid on Modern Family will host a new game show competition series based on inventors creating the world’s next greatest toy for Mattel.
“We are thrilled to provide a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the hard work, determination and creativity it takes to run a globally recognized, iconic creations company like Mattel,” said Richard Dickson, president and chief operating officer at Mattel. “I’m positive The Toy Box will inspire kids, families and anyone who’s ever dreamt of creating the next great toy!”
[Featured Image by ABC]