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October 24, 2014

NBC plans celebrity Family Feud for primetime

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 26th 2008 1:02PM
Family Feud logoThe summer schedule on NBC won't be filled with just reruns, apparently. The network wants to up their game quotient. That said, American Idol's producer, FremantleMedia North America and NBC are planning a celebrity version of Family Feud. Although there have been multiple variations of the Feud -- daytime, syndication, board game, internet edition, et. al -- this will be the very first time the game show will air as a regularly-scheduled primetime network show. John O'Hurley, who is the current host on the syndicated Family Feud, could be anchoring NBC's primetime celeb affair, but that has not been announced as yet.

Casting is just now commencing, so the celebrity family angle is still to be determined. If they go the real "family" route, you may see the Sheens vs. the Spears -- Martin, Charlie, Emilio Estevez and family going up against Britney, Jamie Lynn, mom and pop and Kevin Federline. All right, maybe not. On the other hand, if they use the model of previous celebrity Feuds, they can pit TV families against each other. That's how the soap opera edition was played, with The Bold & the Beautiful "family" vying with The Young & the Restless "clan."

Since this will be a primetime program, the simple look of Family Feud could be souped up by NBC. When I interviewed Executive Producer Gaby Johnston for TV Week last year, she told me about a possible primetime jump and said, "People do expect some glitz. We know that because we [FremantleMedia North] also do American Idol. We know that they expect some theater, and if you have to make it that way, you do. If the game is simple-and you can't get much simpler than Deal or No Deal - it's important to make it feel like it's bigger. It has a Vegas feel to it, and I think they've done a pretty good job of it with that show, because the format is very simple. The girls with the suitcases are just props, but I think they produce it very well and they've turned it into big theater."

So if they do want to go big, here's a celebrity face-off I'd like to see: The Brolins-Streisands -- James Brolin, wife Barbra Streisand, Josh Brolin, wife Diane Lane, and Roslyn Kind (Barbra's sister) vs. The Coppolas/Cages (Francis Coppola, Sofia Coppola, Nicholas Cage, Talia Shire, and Jason Schwartzman).

Game shows are making a big push in primetime of late. CBS gave the go ahead for more The Price is Right Million Dollar Spectacular, and is working on a Million Dollar Password with Regis Philbin hosting, while TBS is preparing a primetime re-do of Match Game.

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