Match Game Wikia
Bert Convy (pilot)
Ross Shafer (series)
Gene Wood
Bob Hilton (Sub in 1991)
Pilots: October 10, 1989
ABC Daytime: 7/16/1990–7/12/1991
Studio 59, ABC Television Center, Los Angeles, California
Mark Goodson Productions

This is chronicling the 1990 version of Match Game.

Game format[]

Gameplay was the same as the 70s version except that contestants now matched the stars for money in the main game as well. Also as before, the champion played red & the challenger played green.

Main Game[]

The game was played in two rounds just like the 70s version except that the six celebrities played both rounds regardless if they matched in the first round. As before the contestant going first had a choice of two fill-in-the-blank statements (either "A" or "B"). Ross read the statement, and the stars wrote answers on their cards. When they were finished, the contestant gave his/her answer and the panel showed their answers one at a time. Each match was worth $50 to the contestant for a maximum of $300. After one contestant played his/her question, the other contestant played with the question unchosen.


After each round of classic Match Game, the contestants played a new element to the show called "Match-Up". In the Match-Up round, each contestant chose which star to play with throughout the round. On a contestant's turn, he/she was shown a fill-in-the-blank phrase (ala The Super Match) with two choices on his/her secret screen, the contestant chose the answer he/she thought the star he/she chose will say. The idea for the contestants was to build up their score by matching the selected star as many times as they can within the limit. The first Match-Up lasted for 30 seconds for each contestant with each match being worth $50, and the second Match-Up lasted for 45 seconds with each match being worth $100.

The player with the most money at the end of the game, was the winner. If the game ended in a tie, one last fill-in-the-blank phrase was shown to both contestants but with three choices. The champion (the red player) chose an answer first while the challenger (the green player) chose one of the remaining answers. After the choices were made, the last celebrity who played the second Match-Up round made a choice of his/her own. The player with the answer said by that celebrity won the game. On the first show, the red player chose which contestant should play the final Match-Up question (either himself/herself or his/her opponent). The player chosen selected the answer, then chose which celebrity to match. A successful match won the game for the contestant, but an incorrect answer won the game for the opponent.

The winning player kept his/her money, and went on to play the Super Match for up to $10,000.

Super Match[]

The Super Match was the same as the 70s version.

Audience Match[]

A prior studio audience was asked to give its best response to a fill-in-the-blank phrase, and its three best answers were placed and hidden away on a game board. Once the question was revealed, the winning contestant selected three stars who gave their answers to help out the contestant. When the answers were given, the contestant then chose which answer to use or reject them all and give an answer of his/her own. When all was said and done, the answers were revealed one at a time starting with the least popular answer and ending with the most popular. If the contestant can match any of the answers, he/she won the money attached to the answer. When the show started, the payoffs were the same as the 70s version ($500-$250-$100), later the bottom two amounts were changed ($500-$300-$200).

Head to Head Match[]

The star wheel was reinstated too, except it had a green pointer which spun instead of the entire wheel, and it had two red dots above/below each celebrity's name for double spots. If the contestant bombed out in the Audience Match, the contestant can still win $500 (or $1,000 in case of a double) by playing the Head-to-Head Match (later changed to $1,000 ($2,000 if a double occurred)). Unlike the 70s version, the Head-to-Head prize was not an additional cash prize, but an augmentation to whatever top prize was at stake. Host Shafer then read another fill-in-the-blank phrase after which the star whose space was landed on wrote his/her answer. The winning contestant then gave his/her answer after which the chosen star revealed his/hers and if they match, the winning contestant won the grand cash prize.

NOTES: The cue for when the "Star Wheel" came down on set was also used for the unsold 1992 pilot of The Family Feud Challenge (hosted by Ray Combs) when the "Bullseye" prop came down on set with three built-in monitors.

This version of Match Game died due to the fact that it aired at noon; that time slot was usually standard for newscasts.

After ABC cancelled this version in 1991, CBS initially offered to pick it up for a second season as it would've replaced Combs' Family Feud with it. Though this was indicated by Shafer on the series' final episode, it never came to pass.

Pilot Rules[]

The rules are basically the same except the game is played in three rounds with no Match Up Rounds (similar to Match Game PM); plus, the contestants play for points: one point per match in rounds 1 and 2, and 2 points per match in round 3. Also, like the 70's version, the Super Match prize was cumulative (a maximum of $10,500 possible).

The panelists that were used in the 1989 Convy pilot were: Brad Garrett, Marsha Warfield, Charles Nelson Reilly, Khrystyne Haje, Jerry Van Dyke and Teri Copley.
Future model of The Price is Right and Cash Tornado and hostess of Flamingo Fortune Lisa Stahl was one of the contestants in the pilot.
The Head-To-Head Match "Think Music" was a condensed version of the "choosing music" used for the pricing games called "Check Game" (originally "Blank Check"), "Make Your Move" and "Cover Up" on The Price is Right.


1990-1991 - Ken Bichel for Score Productions, based on "The Midnight Four"


Studio 59, ABC Television Center, Los Angeles, California