Celebrity Family Feud is the latest incarnation of the classic game show. While the syndicated version hosted by John O'Hurley is still going strong, the celebrity series will run in prime time with well-known weatherman Al Roker at the helm. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Roker, as well as the executive producers of the show, Gaby Johnston and Toby Gorman.
The game itself will be almost exactly the same as you remember it. Groups of families, be it real-life families or "families" of cast members from a television show, compete to answer questions based on surveys of the American public. The subject matter might be a little more modern, however. Says Johnston, "we ask things about all sorts of areas in life that are a little more topical than they used to be."
Roker added, " it’s such a high tech world but it’s still pretty much the same way they did the show in the 1970s."
Gorman explained the slight differences in the format. "In this celebrity edition, we’ve done a little bit of filming with them backstage so you meet the team captains very briefly before they come out." And, since it's a one-hour show rather than the usual 30 minutes, "we have four teams playing each other before we go through the fast money. That’s the main difference in the format."
Of course the real pull of any show like this one is the lineup of celebrities ready to do battle for their chosen charities. Host Al Roker gave us this example: "Kathie Lee Gifford is one of the families and so many people in America heard her and saw (her children) Cassidy and Cody. Well, you’re going to see Cassidy and Cody all grown up."
No one would reveal how any of the celebs did on the show, even when asked outright. Said Roker, "I think everybody did pretty well. I don’t think there was anybody - any team that embarrassed themselves. I think there are some surprises. I’m not going to give them away, but there were some teams that we thought might not do as well, and did pretty well."
See the complete Celebrity Family Feud contestant lineup, including all of the matches, all of the people playing, and the charities they are playing for.
Al Roker as Host
NBC's decision to give hosting duties to Al Roker has caused a bit of a buzz with fans. It might help to know that Roker is a long-time game show fan, and a big fan of Family Feud in particular. "I saw the very first Family Feud. I know exactly where I was," he said. "I was in Washington, D.C. I was watching it on WJLA, Channel 7 at 12:30 in the afternoon."
Roker is also thrilled to be hosting the show. "I can honestly tell you, hand to the Bible, it is the only game show that I have ever wanted to do. I am so excited about this and no matter what happens with it, I will be able to say I did - I was a host of Family Feud."
So, if Roker and the executive producers could hand-pick one celebrity family to play Family Feud, who would it be? "I would love to have the Trumps," says Roker.
Celebrity Family Feud premieres Tuesday June 24th at 8pm on NBC.