"Family Feud" brings back bullseye game.

Dr. Oz debuts strong – and the rest of the week that was in syndication

Family Feud has added a new element – all right, it’s not so new.

The Debmar-Mercury syndicated game show has returned the “Bullseye” round to the start of the game, which started on the series’ eleventh season premiere on September 7. The round features contestants who, one by one from their family, come up to the face-off podium to answer a question from host John O’Hurley. The one who get its right wins money to be jackpoted into their bank, from $1,000 in the first face-off to $5,000 in the last one. Each family starts with $15,000 in their bank. Whomever family wins at the end of the game plays for the amount they banked during the Bullseye round in Fast Money.

The “Bullseye” element was added in June 1992 to the CBS daytime version of Family Feud Challenge and subquesquently added to the syndicated version as well. When Richard Dawson returned to replace Ray Combs as host of the syndicated version in 1994, the name of the round was changed to “Bankroll”. Ratings did not improve, and Feud left the air after a seven-year run in 1995, but did return four years later.

The return of the Bullseye game is the latest in the tinkering of a format to boost ratings for a show that’s had  563 hosts and nearly 800 syndicators since it premiered in 1976 (okay, five hosts and six different syndicators.) The current incarnation alone has had three different hosts and three different syndicators.

So far, the change hasn’t paid off: The second week of its eleventh season, Feud averaged a 1.1 Nielsen rating, down 15% from last year. Survey said: this “Bullseye” round might not work (it didn’t work the first time around, didn’t it?)

But other shows fared better during the week of September 14, where the first week of Sony’s Dr. Oz earned a 2.3 household rating. But his protege -Oprah Winfrey – did better. Her premiere week did a 6.1 rating – far and away, the highest-rated talk show. Another of Ms. Winfrey’s Proteges (Dr. Phil) was nearly caught by Dr. Oz – the bald one averaged a 2.5.

In court, Judge Judy led with a 3.9, while Entertainment Tonight led the magazine pack with a 4.0 rating, with Inside Edition trailing it with a 3.2. All three shows are syndicated by CBS Television Distribution.

The top off-net sitcom was Warner’s Two And A Half Men, but a slight surprise in this category, as Tyler Perry’s House of Payne beat Fraiser.

For more changes regarding your favorite game shows – from Who Wants To Be A Millionaire to Wheel of Fortune – click on the above link in the Family Feud story.


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