The troubled Ten Network is to revive 37-year-old quiz format Family Feud as the centrepiece of its early evening schedule.
The show, which first aired in Australia in 1977, will air nightly at 6pm and be hosted by former Sunrise weatherman Grant Denyer. It will be produced by Fremantle Media.
The move comes as Ten attempts to recover for a ratings slide which has seen it fall far behind its rivals Seven and Nine, as well as ABC1.
The announcement sees Denyer move across from Seven, where he most recently hosted quiz show Million Dollar Minute although he left the show within two months. Denyer is reportedly currently involved in legal action with Woman’s Day over allegations relating to his personal life. He today told The Sunday Telegraph that he received treatment for “exhaustion” after his sudden exit.
Ten is the third network Family Feud will have appeared on. It ran on Nine from 1977 to 1984 and on Seven from 1989 to 1996. Previous hosts includes Tony Barber, Daryl Somers, Sandy Scott, Rob Brough and John Deeks. There was also a shortlived spinoff version in 2006 and 2007 featuring Bert Newton – Bert’s Family Feud.
Ten said in a statement that the show would be “funny, engaging and impossible not to play along with at home.” The audience will be invited to play along online via Tenplay and second screen app Beamly.
Ten’s chief programming officer Beverley McGarvey, said in the same announcement: “Our research shows Australians want Family Feud back on their screens.”
Last week, Ten CEO Hamish McLennan failed in a legal bid to force Seven programmer John Stephens to work for the network, saying he was the only person who could sort out the network’s scheduling.
Ten is currently airing repeats of Modern Family in the 6pm timeslot.
An air date for Family Feud is yet to be announced although Ten said it would be “later this year”.
Less than a fortnight ago, Ten axed its struggling breakfast show Wake Up and began a process of making around 150 redundancies from its news division. Ten’s long-standing Melbourne director of news Dermot O’Brien will leave the network on Wednesday, Ten announced late last week.
Today’s announcement of the return of Family Feud has raised eyebrows within the industry.
Commentator David Knox, publisher of TV Tonight, wrote: “This news reeks of a lack of imagination. If this is the best Ten’s brains trust can come up with for 6:00 then it’s probably time to hoist the white flag.”
Social media commentary was also sceptical about the show’s chances of success: