Trivia: Match Game

  • Development Hell: Counting The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour, three American revivals have been produced since 1982 and neither lasted a full season. All chances seem to have been residing here since 1999.
    • Gene Rayburn was slated to host a revival planned for the 1985-86 season. When Entertainment Tonight wished Gene a happy birthday and revealed his age, all plans were dropped. Another revival was planned for 1987, also with Rayburn as host, but never surfaced.
    • An unsold pilot was taped in 1996 with Charlene Tilton (who appeared as a panelist late in the 1973-82 run) as host.
    • FOX shot a pilot for an "updated" version called What the Blank?! in 2004. Mixing elements of Street Smarts into the game (because it obviously worked so well for another game show just three years earlier), it was canceled abruptly before it aired.
    • TBS tried their hand in 2008, taping two pilots which included Sarah Silverman and Scott Thompson on the panel. Shot on the same set as the Gameshow Marathon version but at Studio 33 (although clearly without an audience), it was scrapped in favor of Lopez Tonight.
    • Thompson later was a panelist on the Comedy Network version
  • Dueling Shows: With The Hollywood Squares, which inevitably led to The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour.
  • Fan Nickname: The latter two revivals are usually referred to as Match Game '90 and Match Game '98 after the 1970s version's habit of adding whatever year it was to the show title. Even Game Show Network did this back when it was still running the former.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: The Price Is Right announcer Johnny Olson was the announcer for the first four versions (1962-82), and Family Feud announcer Gene Wood announced the ABC version.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The 1960s version was destroyed by NBC, and only 11 episodes exist, including the pilot, which is now in the public domain and can be downloaded for free here.
  • Missing Episode: A string of CBS episodes from 1979 didn't air until GSN finally showed them in 2001. The network also skips over a few episodes due to misplaced/broken tapes, although a few are skipped due to no-longer-PC content, and still more are skipped due to celebrities refusing to give clearance to their appearances.
  • The Pete Best: Jack Klugman. Jack agreed to appear during the first week of Match Game 73 on the condition that they bring his then wife on a later week as a celebrity. Her name - Brett Somers (Klugman).
  • Screwed by the Network: More often than you may think.
    • NBC canned the original not because of ratings (which were still very good), but because it wanted to revitalize its lineup. The replacement, Letters to Laugh-In, bombed in three months.
    • CBS moved the show from 3:30 PM to 11:00 AM on November 7, 1977 then to 4:00 PM on December 19. The first change was bad enough, but the second really killed it and Dawson's departure in August 1978 only sped it up. To the show's credit, it managed to last 16 months following the move to 4:00 PM.
    • The ABC version was slotted at Noon, forcing affiliates to choose between it and local news. Most took the news.
    • The 1998-99 version was way too interested in firing off Bill Clinton sex jokes, plus whoever was in charge of censorship was pretty bad at it (censoring things that didn't need to be, at times) and the set redesign shortly into the run tried way too hard to give off a "party" atmosphere.
  • Un-Cancelled: The original series, and how. NBC canned the show due to low ratings, so with six weeks left to be taped Goodson decided to approve a suggestion by one of the question writers (Dick DeBartolo, then and now a MAD writer) to start using more silly questions, under the logic that they could get away with it because The Match Game's fate was sealed and NBC couldn't cancel it twice. It turned out that the sillier questions resulted in the show being more fun, and drew a lot more viewers to the point where the network reversed the cancellation.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Bert Convy, who had been a panelist on the 1970s version and the host of both Tattletales and Super Password, was tapped to host the pilot week for what became the ABC revival. Convy did host said pilots, but had to turn it down once he was diagnosed with a brain tumor (which eventually took his life).