ABC is adding another revival of a classic game show to its summer lineup: a new Match Game, from FremantleMedia North America, hosted and executive produced by Alec Baldwin. The 30 Rock alum, who is said to be commanding one of the highest game-show-hosting salaries ever, will be donating his talent fee to his wife Hilaria’s foundation.
“I am beyond grateful to ABC and FremantleMedia for the chance to host a summer series of the legendary Match Game,” said Baldwin. “Hilaria and I are thrilled to donate this fee to arts-related charities. And we look forward to having a lot of fun.”
The 10-episode series, which will tape in New York where Baldwin lives, will premiere June 26 and air Sundays at 10 PM as part of ABC’s Sunday Fun & Games block, joining Celebrity Family Feud with Steve Harvey and The 100,000 Pyramid with Michael Strahan.
The panel game show features two contestants as they attempt to match the answers of six celebrities in a game of fill in the blank.
Baldwin’s rich deal also is said to include ownership in a potential syndicated Match Game offshoot.
“Match Game is one of the crown jewels in our portfolio, and we’re thrilled to be bringing it to viewers in primetime,” said FremantleMedia North America co-CEO Jennifer Mullin, who will executive produce alongside Baldwin.
Match Game initially premiered on NBC in 1962 and was rebooted several times over the next several decades. A Mark Goodson/Bill Todman production, the original version aired on NBC daytime from 1962-1969. It returned in 1973 on CBS, with an expanded panel, larger cash payouts and more of a comedic emphasis. The CBS series moved to first-run syndication in 1979, ending in 1982. From 1975-1981, it ran with a companion primetime version, Match Game PM, which also went to syndication. The show made a full circle back to NBC in 1983 as part of a 60-minute hybrid series with Hollywood Squares. Its most recent home was at ABC for a run in 1990, moving into syndication in 1998. In 2013, it ranked as No. 4 on TV Guide’s list of 60 greatest game shows ever.
Baldwin, one of the most popular Saturday Night Live hosts, won two Emmy Awards, three Golden Globes and seven consecutive SAG Awards as Best Actor in a Comedy Series for his role on NBC’s 30 Rock. He received an Oscar nomination for The Cooler and a Tony nom for A Streetcar Named Desire.
Last fall, he served as a guest announcer on NBC’s Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris.