Match Game (partially found revival of Goodson-Todman game show; 1998-1999)

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Status: Partially Found

Match Game is an American game show created by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman and premiered on NBC on the final day of 1962. The show has gone through many different formats across the versions it has produced but has mostly been the same "fill-in-the-blank" format. While the show did run for 7 years ending in 1969, its first revival in 1973 is the version of the show that's most well-remembered. The show has been revived several times in the decades since its 1982 conclusion, with the most recent revival airing on ABC from 2016 to 2021. One version of the show was made in 1998 and is more obscure than other versions of the show.


In 1996, an attempt to resurrect the show in syndication was made entitled "MG2", which differed greatly from the format and look that most audiences would recognize from the show. Although a pilot was taped with actress Charlene Tilton as the host[1], the show was rejected by its syndicator Tribune Entertainment and All American Television (which would be bought by Pearson Television in 1997) decided to bring back the format that was present in prior versions of the show (although the 5 celebrities element and pun labelled categories were left intact) and they signed on comedian Michael Burger to host the show[2]. A pitch film was made with Burger to get stations interested[3] and while the show was finally green-lit, it had trouble finding stations to air the show.


The format largely remained the same from the 1970s version of the show. Two players face off in trying to match celebrities' answers to various fill-in-the-blank questions. In round one, a correct match is worth a point and in round two a correct match is worth two points. The player with the most points wins the match and goes on to the Super Match. In the Super Match, a fill-in-the-blank phrase is shown and three answers to the phrase have been covered. The winning contestant has the choice of three answers given by three celebrities (of their choice) or they have the option to use one of their own answers. If the player's chosen answer is one of the hidden top three answers on the Super Match, they win the amount of money that answer represents (third most popular is $100, second most popular is $250 and the most popular answer is $500). If their answer isn't one of the top three answers, they win $100. After the Super Match, the winning contestant picks a celebrity to play in the head-to-head match for a chance to win 10 times the amount they won in the Super Match.


The show premiered on September 21st, 1998, and right away the show pulled in low ratings[4] with most stations airing the show in overnight time slots and the reception from longtime fans didn't help either. A pairing with the Casey Kasem hosted 100% also didn't help pull in higher ratings[5]. The show aired its final episode on May 21st, 1999[6] and reruns would air until September 17th, 1999[7]. There was an attempt to renew the show for the 1999-2000 season[8], but it unfortunately never happened. It was regarded by many fans as one of the worst game show revivals of all time[9][10], though reception to the show has changed[11] in the years since it's cancellation.


Likely because of the overnight time slots the show aired in most markets, the lack of reruns on Game Show Network (with one exception in 2012[12]) or Buzzr and the negative reception from fans, the show hasn't resurfaced in full. Various episodes from the show are in tape circulation (most of them are on YouTube) but the episodes only account for 40% of the whole show. Clips from episodes not in circulation have appeared in various places like on Paul Boland's YouTube channel and VH1's Game Show Moments Gone Bananas. The exact number of episodes that were made is unknown.


Compilation of clips from the show from Paul Boland's YouTube channel.

Game Show Moments Gone Bananas (clips from missing episodes at 1:25:39, 2:03:25, 2:04:02 & 2:12:48).

External Link

See Also