Summer can be a tough time for TV fans. Most of the big shows are on hiatus, and the replacement options aren’t always particularly appealing. Luckily, one network is bringing a classic game show into the 21st century to add some fun to Sunday nights. Match Game is returning to the airwaves as part of the Sunday Fun & Games Block on ABC, and 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin will host.
Match Game will be a panel game show featuring two contestants that attempt to fill in the blanks and match the answers given by six celebrities. The 2016 run on ABC will be ten episodes that air on Sundays from 10–11 p.m. ET, and it will premiere on June 26. Given the format of the show and the talent of host Alec Baldwin, we can count on an entertaining evening full of hilarious double entendres. Baldwin may have the nasty habit of inserting foot into mouth in the media, but he has the screen presence that makes him great host material.
Match Game will be Alec Baldwin’s first return as a regular to television since 30 Rock came to an end back in 2013, and most of his work since has been on the big screen. (Well, there was MSNBC's super-short-lived Up Late with Alec Baldwin, but let's pretend that didn't happen.) He’s not necessarily known as a comic actor, either, but his contributions to Saturday Night Live as well as his long-running role on 30 Rock prove that he has the comedic chops as well as the charisma to make Match Game a summer hit. To get you on the actor's side even more, Baldwin will be donating his appearance fee to the Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation. Considering he's a big name to be attached to a summer game show, his appearance fee likely isn’t a small one.
The original Match Game premiered in 1962 and ran for seven seasons on NBC with Gene Rayburn as host, and it was a success despite a rather convoluted scoring system early on. The show was brought back from cancellation on CBS in 1973 with rules that are much the same as those that will be used for the 2016 edition. The CBS version went off the air in 1979, and ABC finally jumped on the Match Game wagon in 1990 for a short-lived revival that only lasted into 1991. TBS toyed with bringing back the show in 2008, and a pilot featuring Sarah Silverman and Norm MacDonald as panelists was filmed, but the network ultimately passed. ABC picking up Match Game could be the first time in a long time that the game show reaches a substantial audience.
Alec Baldwin’s Match Game will be the final show of the Sunday Fun & Games Block on ABC. Steve Harvey will be bringing Celebrity Family Feud back for more primetime family fun at 8 p.m. ET, and Michael Strahan will host $100,000 Pyramid at 9 p.m. ET. Be sure to tune in to ABC on Sundays starting on June 26 to catch all three of these returning classic game shows for one block of television.
To see what other shows will be hitting the airwaves, check out our summer TV premiere schedule.