ABC cancels Alec Baldwin’s ‘Match Game’, ‘Card Sharks’ and other games
The Alec Baldwin-hosted “Match Game” is not expected to return to ABC, as the Web Alphabet begins to firm up plans for its annual game-heavy summer lineup.
‘Card Sharks’, ‘Celebrity Dating Game’ and ‘The Hustler’ are also unlikely to return, while ‘Celebrity Family Feud’, ‘Press Your Luck’ and ‘The $100,000 Pyramid’ are expected to return.
The fate of “Match Game” had been the source of speculation following Baldwin’s accidental shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the indie production “Rust” last fall.
But ABC’s decision to cancel “Match Game” is unrelated to this incident; “Match Game” hasn’t been in production since 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic – and only aired two new episodes in 2021, which were left over from the previous year.
The latest revival of “Match Game,” hosted by Baldwin, debuted in 2016 and ran for five seasons. The most recent season was filmed before the onset of the pandemic, with nine episodes split between May 31, 2000 and October 29, 2000, then the final two on July 21 and July 28, 2021.
Produced by Fremantle, “Match Game” centered on four contestants competing for $25,000 as they tried to match the answers of six celebrities in a fill-in-the-blank game. The format, which was first created in 1962, animated by Gene Rayburn, has been revived several times in the decades since. Executive produced by showrunner Scott St. John and others, the ABC series produced approximately 69 episodes.
As for “Card Sharks,” hosted by Joel McHale, the revival ran for two seasons on ABC, the last in July 2021. Also from Fremantle and showrunner St. John, “Card Sharks” features players trying to win a cash prize by betting on the cards that are about to be turned up. The format debuted in 1978; the ABC edition aired 21 episodes as of June 2019.
“Celebrity Dating Game,” hosted by Zooey Deschanel and Michael Bolton, aired for a single season in 2021. The show, which premiered last June, brought celebrities to the “Dating Game” format as they interviewed potential suitors and civilians tried to guess the stars behind the wall. Bolton would also perform parodies and renditions of popular songs as cues for contestants. Sony Pictures TV is behind the show.
Hosted by Craig Ferguson, “The Hustler” called itself “the most evil game on television”. The contestants would collaborate to answer questions and put money in a pot – but one of them turns out to be a mole who knows the answers and is trying to hide his identity and win the prize. Based on a UK format, “The Hustler” came from All3Media’s Studio Lambert and ran for two seasons on ABC – premiering on January 7, 2021. A total of 19 episodes have aired.
As for “Celebrity Family Feud,” hosted by Steve Harvey, the show is set to return for Season 8; “Press Your Luck,” hosted by Elizabeth Banks, will return for a fourth season; and “The $100,000 Pyramid,” hosted by Michael Strahan, returns for Season 6. “Celebrity Family Feud” and “Press Your Luck” are from Fremantle, while “Pyramid” comes from Sony Pictures TV.
The shows join the previously renewed “Holey Moley,” which is back with a fourth season featuring the Muppets; and a new edition of “The Chase”. Both of these shows, plus the new true crime mystery game “Who Do You Believe?” will be a spring night of unscripted fare on ABC starting Tuesday, May 3.
The news also comes as ABC recently confirmed that “The Ultimate Surfer” will not be returning. “Supermarket Sweep,” along with current shows “Judge Steve Harvey” and “To Tell the Truth” and recent entries “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy National College Championship,” are still awaiting their fate.