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Match Game 1989 Pilot Logo.jpg
Match game'89.jpg
Match Game 1990 Halloween.jpg
Match Game 1991 Finale Logo.jpg
Pilot, October 10, 1989
ABC Daytime, July 16, 1990 – July 12, 1991
Number of episodes
Run time
30 Minutes
Bert Convy (pilot)
Ross Shafer (series)
Gene Wood
Studio 59, ABC Television Center, Los Angeles, California

This is chronicling the 1990 version of Match Game.

Game format[]

Gameplay was the same as the 70s version except that contestants now matched the stars for money in the main game as well. Also as before, the champion on the left played red & the challenger on the right played green.


The rules are basically the same as the series except it was hosted by the late Bert Convy instead of Ross Shafer and the game is played in three rounds with no Match-Up rounds (similar to Match Game PM) plus, the contestants play for points: one point per match in rounds 1 and 2 points per match in round 3. Also, like the 70's version, the Super Match prize was cumulative (a maximum of $10,500 possible).

NOTE: The Head-to-Head Match "Think Music" was a condensed version of the "choosing music" used for the pricing games Check Game, Make Your Move and Cover Up on The Price is Right.

Main Game[]

The game was played in two rounds just like the 70s version except that the six celebrities played both rounds regardless if they matched in the first round. As before the contestant going first had a choice of two fill-in-the-blank statements (either "A" or "B"). Ross read the statement, and the stars wrote answers on their cards. When they were finished, the contestant gave his/her answer and the panel showed their answers one at a time. Each match was worth $50 to the contestant for a maximum of $300. After one contestant played his/her question, the other contestant played with the question unchosen.


After each round of classic Match Game, the contestants played a new element to the show called "Match-Up". In the Match-Up round, each contestant chose which star to play with throughout the round. On a contestant's turn, he/she was shown a fill-in-the-blank phrase (ala The Super Match) with two choices on his/her secret screen, the contestant chose the answer he/she thought the star he/she chose will say. The idea for the contestants was to build up their score by matching the selected star as many times as they can within the limit. Once that celebrity is chosen for Match-Up, they are out of play for the rest of the game. The first Match-Up lasted for 30 seconds for each contestant with each match being worth $50, and the second Match-Up (known as Final Match-Up) lasted for 45 seconds with each match being worth $100.

The player with the most money at the end of Final Match-Up, was the winner. If the game ended in a tie, one last fill-in-the-blank phrase was shown to both contestants but with three choices. The champion (the red player) chose an answer first while the challenger (the green player) chose one of the remaining answers. After the choices were made, the last celebrity who played Final Match-Up made a choice of his/her own. The player with the answer said by that celebrity won an additional $100 and the game. On the first show, the red player chose which contestant should play the final Match-Up question (either himself/herself or his/her opponent). The player chosen selected the answer, then chose which celebrity to match. A successful match won the game for the contestant, but an incorrect answer won the game for the opponent.

The winning player kept his/her money and went on to play the Super Match for up to $10,000. The runners-up walks away with parting gifts backstage.

Super Match[]

The Super Match has the same format as the 70s version.

Audience Match[]

A prior studio audience was asked to give its best response to a fill-in-the-blank phrase, and its three best answers were placed and hidden away on a game board. Once the question was revealed, the winning contestant selected three stars who gave their answers to help out the contestant. When the answers were given, the contestant then chose which answer to use or reject them all and give an answer of his/her own. When all was said and done, the answers were revealed one at a time starting with the least popular answer and ending with the most popular. If the contestant can match any of the answers, he/she won the money attached to the answer. When the show started, the payoffs were the same as the 70s version ($500-$250-$100), later the bottom two amounts were changed ($500-$300-$200).

Head to Head Match[]

The star wheel was reinstated too, except it had a green pointer which spun instead of the entire wheel, and it had two red dots above/below each celebrity's name for double spots. If the contestant bombed out in the Audience Match, the contestant can still win $500 (or $1,000 in case of a double) by playing the Head-to-Head Match (later changed to $1,000 ($2,000 if a double occurred)). Unlike the 70s version, the Head-to-Head prize was not an additional cash prize, but an augmentation to whatever top prize was at stake. Host Shafer then read another fill-in-the-blank phrase after which the star whose space was landed on wrote his/her answer. The winning contestant then gave his/her answer after which the chosen star revealed his/hers and if they match, the winning contestant won the grand cash prize. If not, the contestant just wins the money won in the Audience Match. If the contestant bombs out of the Audience Match and misses on the Head to Head Match, the contestant wins nothing.

Contestants can stay on until defeated or played five days.

This version of Match Game died due to the fact that it aired at noon; that time slot was usually standard for newscasts.



Bert Convy fell ill while doing the pilot and wasn't able to do the series. So he was replaced by Shafer. Prior to this on July 15, 1991 Convy passed away due to his brain cancer.
Before becoming a model for the unsold pilot of Cash Tornado and the short-lived nighttime syndicated revival of The Price is Right with Doug Davidson in 1994 respectively, and a co-host of the syndicated lottery game show Flamingo Fortune in 1996, a unknowned Lisa Stahl became a contestant on the 1989 Convy pilot of Match Game.
The cue for when the "Star Wheel" came down on stage was later recycled and reused for the unsold 1992 pilot of The Family Feud Challenge for when the "Bullseye" set came down on stage where it had three built-in monitors worth $1,000; $500 and $250 in the first half of the show and only $3,000 in the second-half.
This version was going to be moved to CBS in its second season and quite possibly replace Combs' Feud with it. Although this was indicated by Shafer on the series final episode, it ultimately never came to pass.
This revival is to date, the last network daytime game show to ever air on the network.
Despite its short-lived run, this was the first revival to be aired on the network, the second was in 2016 with Alec Baldwin as host.


Main Article: Match Game (1990)/Photos

Episode Status[]

See Also: Match Game (1990)/Episode Guide

This series exists in its entirety, and has aired on GSN at various times in the past. Including the 1989 pilot which was shown on GSN during the Match Game's Merry Blank-a Thon in December 2012.

An episode featuring the late Betty White was aired on Buzzr as part of a tribute to her on January 16, 2022.


Match Game ('89) Pilot @

See Also[]

The Match Game
The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour
Match Game (1985 Proposed Revival)
Match Game (1987 Proposed Revival)
Match Game (1998)
What the Blank!
The Life of Reilly
The Real Match Game Story: Behind the Blank
Gameshow Marathon
Match Game (2008 pilot)
Match Game (2016)



Match Game 90 pilot open


Match Game (1990) Game Show - Promo


Match Game - Bert Convy Pilot 5


Match Game 1990 Pilot


Match Game 1990


Match Game 1990 premiere


Match Game (1991)


Match Game '91 - Final (1 of 4)


Match Game '91 - Final (2 of 4)


Match Game '91 - Final (3 of 4)


Match Game '91 - Final (4 of 4)


Wink's Game Show Bloopers - Episode 3