A possible return of the gameshow “Family Feud” is part of a revamp of All American Television’s syndie gameshow plans, following Tribune Entertainment Co.’s abrupt departure from its partnership with All American on “Card Sharks” and “Match Game” last month.
All American is anxious to exploit its $50 million purchase of Mark Goodson Prods., and the company still plans to take two of those three gameshows to NATPE in January. All American began considering “Family Feud” after stations started asking about the show, which is part of the Goodson library.
“We’re committed to gameshows, and we want to be out in 1997,” said Syd Vinnedge, senior executive VP of All American Communications. “What happened with Tribune happened, but we’re moving on. Our enthusiasm is undeterred.”
If All American does indeed go forward with a combination of “Family Feud,” “Match Game” and “Card Sharks,” the pilots and hosts on some of the shows will be changed. Gone from the picture is former “Dallas” star Charlene Tilton, who had been tapped to host “Match Game” after what sources said was heavy lobbying on TEC’s part.
In her place, sources say, All American has signed Michael Berger, who co-hosted ABC’s “Mike & Maty” and now hosts “The Family Challenge” on the Family Channel. All American is also trying to cut a deal with Doug Davidson, who stars on “The Young and the Restless.”
Davidson is also being considered for a talkshow at MTM, which sources say may not go forward. While no host has been matched to a particular game, Vinnedge said Davidson is on a short list of hosts for “Family Feud.” “Doug Davidson has an amazingly high Q score among women,” Vinnedge said. The company is happy with Tom Green as host of “Card Sharks.”
Green appeared in the original pilot, which has since been scrapped. At one point, All American was interested in hiring Gordon Elliott as host of one if its games, but for the moment, Twentieth TV and Eyemark are committed to his talkshow.
Aside from changing hosts and considering “Family Feud,” All American is moving away from the young-skewing versions of the games to more classic formats, which better reflect the older daytime TV audience. All American is talking to several station groups, including Fox and CBS, but sources say All American will be reluctant to strike another creative partnership unless a station group is fully on board.
Not in sync
“The mistake with Tribune was that the stations were not in sync with the development group,” said one source familiar with Trib’s reversal (Daily Variety, Nov. 7). While Trib’s pullout certainly didn’t help All American’s chances of selling the shows, there are still many open timeslots for daytime, and the stations may be more receptive when they see the new pilots, sources said.
“Stations haven’t given gameshows a chance,” Vinnedge said. ” ‘Dating/Newlywed’ and ‘Bzzz!’ are relationship games. These shows are different.”