1975 Pilot Set
The set used in the 1975 pilot had an orange background. It also had two box-like shaped backdrops behind the competing families. Each contained oval-shaped door ways with light around them, a yellow door with the family's last name on it in red letters and a secret room inside each. At the beginning of the show, the families stood & sat inside their respective rooms and posed like they were a family portrait. When announcer Johnny Olsen said "ready for action" or "on your marks", they were both signals to release each family from their pose, and then after he said the show's title, the families went down the steps and stood at their respective podiums. The podiums were funky and had boxes sticking out of three positions, with the head of family's position being longer than the others. In the pilot, they displayed the names of the contestants playing.
The centerpiece of the set was another box-like shape containing a trilon game board. Two sides of the board had twelve flip panels (six in each column) used for revealing answers during the main game (though no question ever had 11 or 12 answers, the most was 10), one of those sides was covered up by the show's logo during the opening and was taken down backstage when the opening was finished. The number sides of the flip panels had the numbers sandwiched between 2 triangles. They were similar to that of Match Game the show that gave us Family Feud, and the unplayed panels were tan with a pale blue circle in them. The third side was a digital board which displayed the show's title and was used for Fast Money. In the pilot, the board was displayed in black on yellow. At the end of the pilot the digital board had an animated light pattern, which was to light up/turn off one row at a time. Under the board were three little boxes which were used to display the strikes. Above it were three electronic numerical displays, the bank with arrows on either side pointing to the families' scoreboards.
In front of the board was the face-off podium also shaped in a box-like manner, which housed the show's logo and had two triangle lights (green & blue) on the top square corners. The buzz-in boxes were in the same color. There was also a second boxy shaped podium with a microphone on it, used for Fast Money.
The set used in the pilot was modified when Family Feud became a series in 1976. For one thing, the names on the podium were removed and now only the show's logo was on the head of family's spot. The front face-off podium was now black and inside it were lights which not only flashed when buzzing in during the main game, they would flash when a family won the game, and both would flash during the show's open, close, and if a family won Fast Money.
The trilon board was now housed inside the now familiar blue oval with rectangles sticking out of either side to make room for the family's scoreboards (the bank was still at the top as it had always been; plus, the strikes were now superimposed). The oval board also has chasing lights which lit up from the center to the ends; one of the top sides would light up when a family won the round and the entire side would light up when a family has won the game. The chasing lights did not flash in synchronization, even though the family name panel and show's logo panel's oval lights did. The main game board sides were completely yellow. The number sides of the answer panels were orange and they had a blue boxy shape the same as the opening logo, family backdrops & face-off podium with the numbers in the middle. The neutral panels had red checkerboard-like symbols on them. The opening logo was the red boxy shape with Family Feud in the same color in a yellow oval. Finally, the digital board in neutral title mode was displayed in yellow on black and it turned off one row at a time at the opening of the show. Also, the strikes were now superimposed.
The set was the same as the Dawson set in the original series, except with the following differences:
- The background changed from orange to yellow.
- The borders of the family backdrops and gameboard changed from brown to red, with an additional border added around each family's oval doorway.
- The family doors were now blue with yellow letters.
- The face-off podium now had rainbow lights to indicate who buzzed in first.
- The main game board sides completely blended into the board. The number side of the answer panels were now in traditional yellow with red outlines & numbers. The opening logo was now the red & white boxy shape with Family Feud in gold in a red & blue oval. While the Dawson era had the Fast Money answer reveals remain silent, the Combs era adopted a sound originally used on Trivia Trap (which ironically used the last few notes of the show's signature theme song) for their revealings of the Fast Money answers and it has stuck out ever since. Unlike the chasing lights on Dawson's board, the lights on Combs' board did flash in synchronization, thanks to some additional lights. When the chasing lights reached the scoreboards, the family name panel and show logo panel lights would light up. The chasing lights also occurred when a player buzzed in during the main game. For the first few shows of this era, the digital board in neutral title mode was displayed in black on yellow before quickly switching to yellow on black. Also in the opening, the digital board light up/turn off in a "four square-like" manner. In 1992, the bank was expanded to four digits.
- During the regular series in 1992, and the Family Feud Challenge/New Family Feud era, there were extra digital displays on each family's podium which displays the grand total prize money from the Bullseye game, which of course was how much each family would be playing for once either of them won the feud. Also there were "strike" signs at each family's podium. Whichever member caused the team to get a strike would be given a sign to hold; thus there were three signs to signify the three strikes.
- The biggest addition to the set also came in 1992. It was the giant Bullseye board which was a giant target inside the familiar boxy shape with the name Bullseye curved at the top and the center was a monitor used to display the value of the question and the answer.
When Richard Dawson returned to the show in 1994, the set was completely overhauled.
On the gameboard, they now replaced lights with glass panels, the border was yellow, and the bank & scoring displays had a yellow border, too (and still had four digits). Plus, the trilon was replaced with a steady digital board; because of this and just like the UK version of Family Feud (Family Fortunes), the digital board now did all jobs which were to hide & display answers in the main game & Fast Money, but that's for the people in the studio. For the home viewers during the main game only, the board was covered up by computer graphics; the Bankroll round had the board covered by more glass panels and an oval displaying the dollar values and the answers. The main rounds saw the digital board covered by the familiar flip panels, only now the numbers were white inside red ovals, the slots that were not in play were replaced with white outline boxes, and there was now only room for eight answers (four in each column) instead of 12. While the majority of questions had two columns of answers, on questions consisting of three or four answers there was only one column, and all answers were shown in the center of the board. When a round ended the show's title would return to the board.
The doors of the family backdrops were also replaced with glass panels. Also the family backdrops flash when a family has won the game.
The set's backdrop would be blue during the opening and main game, and would switch to red for Fast Money, then switch back to blue for the closing (just as Jeopardy! did during the first season of the "Sushi Bar" set era).
This particular set was first used when the show was taping in Opryland, Tennessee with Ray Combs still hosting, but the only graphics used were that of the Bullseye round since the show couldn't bring the big prop used for the Bullseye game with them.
When the show returned in 1999 after a four year hiatus and to keep up with the times, the trilon/digital board was replaced with a single TV monitor which like the digital board in the 1994-1995 run did all jobs. The bank display returned to holding three digits until 2010, when all displays became computerized. The main game board still held eight answers and the number sides still had the same look from before. The unplayed slots were the same, but they just don't have numbers on them; from 1999-2010, the bottom two slots were replaced with one large slot with the word "DOUBLE" or "TRIPLE" on it to indicate affection of the values; these days only the sudden death question had the large "TRIPLE" slot below since there was only one answer needed to be given. The Fast Money board is completely computer-animated: it has ten black slots to house the answers & ten black squares on the right to house the point scores (the scores next to the right side answers on the original versions used to be on the left), and one additional slot for the total scores. For individual reveals, a red square was used to reveal the answers and ending up in the point square and it accompanies the now familiar reveal sound; the square disappeared when the value was revealed. While the face-off podium was seen for the entire show in the past, for the current era, it would be removed for the remainder of the show.
Louie's Era: When Louie Anderson was the host, the monitor was a projection TV monitor housed inside a oval-like square with chase lights on it. It was located on a wall which doubled as an opening for host Anderson to go through. Not only that, the bank was now in blue eggcrate mode (the toteboards used to be in a Ferranti-Packer font), while the family's scoring displays in the same font were now shown on their podiums; their names would be seen on small TV monitors above them. For the final season of this run and continuing into Karn's run, the show's logo would be seen on the floor, similar to Combs' run. When Fast Money started the timer reading 20/25 in seconds with a colon on the left would appear by fading in on early episodes. Now it pops in quickly.
Karn's Era: For the first three years of Richard Karn's tenure, the monitor was housed inside a square filled rectangle, with the bank inside the top square but the font was now peach (the same as the family podium scoreboards). The rectangle was in two colors, peach & blue, the peach rectangle was used for the main game, and the blue one was used for Fast Money. For Fast Money itself, the top square would be covered. In Richard Karn's final season, the board now resembled more of Louie Anderson's board except that there was now a trapezoid housing the board on it. Also in the final years of Karn's run, the background of the board was changed from metallic silver to rusty gold. The Fast Money timer design hadn't changed but when the countdown starts, background music plays.
Gameshow Marathon: The set was made to replicate the Dawson version from the 70's, though with more modern features such as a television monitor replacing the trilon. The font with the team name was slightly different too. Other notable features included a sound effect reminiscent of the mechanical board when a correct answer was given. The "blip" sound effect when an answer was shown in Fast Money was absent in this version.
O'Hurley Era: Starting in 2006 and to celebrate the show's 30th anniversary, the show went back to its roots and revived the familiar oval-shaped chase light board and boxed-shape Face-Off buzz-in podiums, but the TV monitor was still used; even the bank & family's scoreboards which were also revived are now TV monitors (the family's podium scoreboards remained though they were absent for the first few months of O'Hurley run). The numbers on the scoreboard monitors were originally displayed in Times New Roman. From 2006-2008, the ovals which house the numbers on the number sides of the slots turned from red to blue. Starting in 2008 via the Celebrity Family Feud shows, the number sides of the answer slots turned from yellow & red/blue to (all) blue; even the Fast Money board turned blue, and also during the main game, the board went blank until the host gives the top number of answers that will appear on the board. From 2006-2008, the timer design for The Fast Money round altered a little and the background music from Karn's era was reused up to that point and since 2008, the fast money timer design changed the blue oval and gold border into an indigo oval and a suspense background cue played when the countdown starts.
Harvey Era: Starting in 2010, the numbers are now in Arial (the podium scoreboards switched to TV monitors by that time). For Harvey's set, the Face-Off buzz-in podiums resembled two vertical rounded-edged rectangles (like playing cards). In Season 14, the set is updated as viewers watched in HD, and starting in Season 15, the show's logo would be seen on the floor, similar to Combs' run, Louie's final season in 2001, and Richard Karn's run until 2006. The Fast Money timer still had the indigo oval and the font style for the colon and numbers changed for 2010-2012. In Season 14, the Fast Money Timer changed the indigo oval to a dark blue oval and the colon and numbers changed too. Starting with the 15th season, the colon gets removed on the Fast Money timer. Example: ":20" and ":25" into "20" and "25". Starting Season 16, the dot lights colors changed magically during the opening, commercial breaks, and closing. In the first 2 rounds, plus the Triple Round during the main game, the dot lights turn yellow, and in Round 3 during the main game, Sudden Death, and the Fast Money Round, the dot lights turn blue.