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Family Feud

Family Feud is a popular television game show in the USA that pits two families against each other in a quiz format.

Broadcast history

The longest running and most popular version of the show was hosted by Richard Dawson. It debuted on ABC in 1976 and a nighttime syndicated version debuted a year later. Both versions lasted until 1985.

In 1988 the show was brought back by CBS, and a syndicated version premiered with host Ray Combs shortly afterward. The CBS version was expanded to one hour in 1992 and renamed "The New Family Feud Challenge." It was cancelled in 1993. Dawson became host of the syndicated version in 1994 but the show only lasted one more season with him as host. Sadly, Combs committed suicide in 1996.

In 1999 a third version premiered in syndication with host Louie Anderson. In 2002 Anderson was replaced as host by Richard Karn.

Rules of the game

Representatives of the family are posed questions that had already been answered by 100 persons. An answer is considered correct if someone in the survey had answered the question in the same way, with more points given for answers that had been given by more persons.

Main game

Two family members face off to see who would gain control of that particular question. Whoever guesses the more popular answer on the survey has the option to play the question or pass it to the other family. If a family guessed an answer that was not on the board, they would get a "strike"; three "strikes" would cause the family to relinquish control of the board. The other family then gets the chance to steal the points in the bank if they guessed one of the remaining answers. Questions are played for double and triple points toward the end of the game.

Fast Money round

The winner of the game goes on to play the Fast Money round, where the host asks two different family members the same five survey questions (duplicate answers are not allowed; the host asks for another answer if a duplicate is given). If one or both family members accumulate a total of at least 200 points, the family wins the top prize; if they score less than 200, they earn $5 for every point. From the show's beginning until 1992, the top prize a family could win in Fast Money was $5,000 on the daytime version and $10,000 on the syndicated version.

Rule changes

In the original version of the show, the first team to score a total of 200 points was the winner of the game. After a few years the target score was increased to 300, and during the last season that Richard Dawson hosted, the target score was 400.

The "play or pass" option was eliminated when the show was revived in 1988, and the target score to win the game was reduced to 300 points.

In 1992, a "bullseye" round -- where contestants tried to build up the amount of money they could win in Fast Money -- was added to the show. The jackpots for both families started at $5,000 and could go up to $20,000 by guessing the most popular answers to all five questions in a face-off round that preceded the regular first round.

When the show was revived in 1999, the "bullseye" round was eliminated and the "play or pass" option was reinstated. Three regular rounds were played, and a fourth round was played for triple points -- but the family in control would only get one strike before they lost control. Some felt that this rule was unfair, as a family who won the first three rounds could still lose the game in the fourth round. The one-strike rule was eliminated in the fall of 2003, and the format of the game reverted to that of the previous versions, where the first family to score 300 points wins.

In 2001 the top prize in Fast Money was doubled from $10,000 to $20,000.

Versions outside the USA

A Mexican version of this show is airing as off autumn of 2002, called 100 Mexicanos Dijeron, which translates to 100 Mexicans Said.

The UK version of the show is called Family Fortunes. The producers reportedly claimed that they considered the word "feud" too confrontational. It was originally hosted by Max Bygraves and subsequently by Bob Monkhouse and then Les Dennis. It is currently hosted by Andy Collins.

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