Match Game is an American television panel game show that premiered on NBC in 1962 and has been revived several times over the course of the next six decades. The game features contestants trying to match answers given by celebrity panelists to fill in the blank questions. Beginning with the CBS run of the 1970s, the questions are often formed as humorous double entendres.
The Match Game in its original version ran on NBC’s daytime lineup from 1962 until 1969. The show returned with a significantly changed format in 1973 on CBS (also in the daytime) and became a major success, with an expanded panel, larger cash payouts, and emphasis on humor. The CBS series, referred to on-air as Match Game 73 to start and updated every new year, ran until 1979 on CBS, at which point it moved to the first-run syndication (without the year attached to the title, as Match Game) and ran for three more seasons, ending in 1982. Concurrently with the weekday run, from 1975 to 1981, a once-a-week fringe time version, Match Game PM, was also offered in syndication for airing just before primetime hours.
Match Game returned to NBC in 1983 as part of a 60-minute hybrid series with Hollywood Squares, then saw a daytime run on ABC in 1990 and another for syndication in 1998; each of these series lasted one season. It returned to ABC in a weekly prime time edition on June 26, 2016, running as an off-season replacement series. All of these revivals used the 1970s format as their basis, with varying modifications.
On November 20, 2019, the series was renewed for a fifth season which premiered on May 31, 2020.
The series was a production of Mark Goodson/Bill Todman Productions, along with its successor companies, and has been franchised around the world, some under the name Blankety Blanks.
In 2013, TV Guide ranked the 1973–79 CBS version of Match Game as No. 4 on its list of the 60 greatest game shows ever. It was twice nominated for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show, in 1976 and 1977.