|Ray Combs (Pilot) 1987, 1988-1994|
Richard Dawson 1994-1995
|Mark Goodson Productions|
|LBS Communications (1988-1992)|
All American Television (1992-1995)
This is chronicling the 1988 version of Feud.
At the beginning of each round, two members of each family come up to the main podium and play a mini-round for control of the question called "Face-Off". The host announced how many answers are on the board (which are always in order based on popularity), and then read a survey question and the first player to buzz-in gets to answer. The player to give the number one answer or have his/her answer be higher than the other player's answer won control, but without the "play/pass" option seen on other versions. In case of a tie (both answers with the same number of people who gave it) the player who answered first won control. If neither player gave an answer on the board, the players at the main podiums get a chance to answer for control.
The family that won the face-off earns control of the question. The controlling family's job is to reveal the remaining answers hidden on the board with each correct answer adding points to the bank above the board. The answer's value is determined by how many people who gave it. Each player on the controlling team in turn gave an answer and if the answer he/she gave is correct, it is flipped over and revealed. Revealing all the answers on the board won the round (this is classified as a "Clean Sweep"). Giving a wrong answer at any time earned a strike; getting three strikes caused the team to lose control of the question, giving the opposing family a chance to steal by giving one correct answer. A successful steal won the round, but an unsuccessful steal gave the round to the first family. The winners of the round took all the points in the bank.
The first few questions had its values be worth the number showing. Later on in the game, the values of all the questions would be doubled; and still later, all the point values would be tripled.
NOTE: In Dawson's short-lived return from 1994-95, When the Triple Round was in play or where the "point values are tripled", surveys with only 4 or 3 answers had their graphics become center aligned.
Starting in 1992, Family Feud instituted a new Bullseye round. This was the round that affected the grand prize for either family if and when they make it to Fast Money. In this round, both families started with a bankroll of $5,000 ($2,500 in the first half of the Family Feud Challenge). Five questions were asked to each pair of family members in a Face-Off fashion, and only number one answers counted. The first player to buzz-in with the number one answer added money to their own Fast Money bank; this resulted in a possible $10,000 in the first half or $20,000 in the second half. The syndicated version used this round from 1992-1994, with the doubled values.
Here how they scored for each question:
|Questions||1st Half||2nd Half|
In the first half, each money amount increased in increments of $500. And in the 2nd half, each money amount increased in increments of $1,000.
In 1994 when original host Richard Dawson returned, "Bullseye" was renamed "Bankroll". Plus the number of questions was reduced to three (worth $1,000, $3,000 & $5,000 respectively [$500, $1,500 & $2,500 in the first half]), and only one member of each family played throughout the entire round; the number of family members on each team was reduced from five to four during this time. This resulted in a possible $7,000 in the first half or $14,000 in the second half.
The first family to reach 300 points won the game. For most versions, the goal is 300 points. Until 1992, dollars were used instead of points.
The winning family went on to play Fast Money for a grand cash prize. The winning family chose which two players will play the game. The first family member stood at center stage while the second family member went off stage to a soundproof area. The first player has 15 seconds (later 20) to answer five Family Feud questions. He/she has to give the most popular answer to each question. When he/she was done, the answers were reveled on a different board followed by the number of people who gave them. After all the answers were revealed and scored, the second player came out and took his/her turn. The second player had 20 seconds (later 25) to answer the same five questions but with one exception: he/she cannot repeat any of the answers previously given by the first player or a double buzzer will sound, at which point the host says, "Try again." The contestant must give a different answer (the second player will also be charged for similar answers or an answer which fits into the same category as the first player's answer). When the second player was done, his/her answers were revealed and scored. The family wins $5 for each point made in the round, but if the two playing players reached 200 points or more, the family wins the grand cash prize.
NOTE: Very rarely, the first contestant from the winning family playing Fast Money would get 200 points and win the big money all by himself/herself. During Ray Combs' tenure, whenever that occurred, he would trick the second player into thinking that the first player did terribly and then ask him/her five phony ridiculous questions.
Grand Cash Prizes
The grand cash prizes were different depending on the series:
- Daytime Versions (1988-1992) - $5,000
- Syndicated Versions (1988-1992) - $10,000
Here are the max values in terms of Bullseye/Bankroll money:
- Combs Version (1992-1994): 1st Half - $10,000, 2nd Half/Syndicated (1992-1994) - $20,000
- Dawson Version (1994-1995): 1st Half - $7,000, 2nd Half - $14,000
- Host: Ray Combs (1988-1994); Richard Dawson (1994-1995)
- Announcer: Gene Wood
- Substitute Announcers: Art James
- Senior Executive Producer: Chester Feldman
- Executive Producers: Howard Felsher, Gary Dawson
- Producer: Gabrielle Johnston
- Directors: Paul Alter, Marc Breslow, Andrew Felsher
- Set Designer: Jack Hart
- Music: Score Productions
In the pilot, a different *ding* was used for the main game.
In the pilot, a stealing family can confirm until the triple buzzer sounded.
Before Combs ex-NFL football player for the New York Jets, Joe Namath (Broadway Joe) was almost selected to host the revival.
This version replaced the brief revival of The $25,000 Pyramid hosted by Dick Clark.
The sound effect for the fast money round which has been carried over on other versions since (except Gameshow Marathon) was originally used for the short-lived ABC daytime game show Trivia Trap hosted by Bob Eubanks to reveal the four choices to a question.
A primetime special was going to air on CBS on October 19, 1988 but never happened.
Ray Combs hosted one more game show in his lifetime for The Family Channel (then Fox Family, later ABC Family, now Freeform) called Family Challenge in 1995 before committing suicide in 1996. Combs was later replaced by Michael Burger in 1996 when the title of the show was renamed to The New Family Challenge before going off the air in 1997.
This was the only version to ever nix the "Play or Pass/Pass or Play" option where a team must force themselves to play the whole entire round until they get three strikes. However, in the pilot the option was still available.
This version was quite possibly going to be replaced by a revival of Match Game hosted by Ross Shafer for its second season. Though it was mentioned by Shafer in the series' finale when it aired on ABC at the time, it never came to pass.
The 1994-95 Dawson era set was a modified version of the 1993 Opyrland traveling set from the Combs era.
When Dawson briefly returned to the syndicated version in 1994, the number of family members on each team were reduced from five to four.
In Dawson's first episode from 1994 (originally August 1994) after the "chance to steal" segment, he quickly forgets the other three answers on the board of the top six in slots 2, 4 and 6 to the question "Name a place you're likely to see a naked body" by throwing into a commercial break. These three answers were quickly revealed before the commercials began.
Here are the other answers that were on the board in order.
2.) Nudist Colony 
4.) Morgue 
6.) Hospital 
All episodes exist.
The 1988-1994 Version @ Brian's Game Show Amusement Park (via Internet Archive)
The 1994-1995 Version @ Brian's Game Show Amusement Park (via Internet Archive)
Family Feud (1994) @ spreckenzeedeutch.org