Tribune's veteran game show Family Feud is being rewarded for good ratings with upgrades and new stations. Last year, the show's household rating increased 10%, from 2.1 from 2.3, according to Nielsen. In the daytime demos, its ratings rose 11% among women 18-34, 11% among women 18-49 and 10% among women 25-54.
"We told everybody we were going to make this show better," says Steve Mulderrig, Tribune Entertainment senior vice president of domestic and cable sales, "and the proof is in the ratings."
In New York, Family Feud is moving from Viacom's WWOR-TV, where it was double-run from 3 to 4 p.m., to Fox's WNYW(TV) in the same time slots. In Los Angeles, Young's independent KCAL(TV) will double-run it at 6:30 and 7 p.m., instead of just at 6:30 p.m.
Additional upgrades are in Atlanta; Charleston, S.C.; Detroit; Indianapolis; New Orleans; Norfolk, Va.; Seattle; Tucson, Ariz.; Washington; and West Palm Beach, Fla. The show will premiere this fall in Columbus, Ohio; El Paso, Texas; Lexington, Ky.; Little Rock, Ark.; Memphis, Tenn.; St. Louis; and Wilmington, Del. The new stations will boost clearances from 166 markets covering 93% of the country last season to 185 markets covering 97%.
Tribune attributes the show's recent success to host Richard Karn, once of ABC's Home Improvement, who replaced Louis Anderson last fall.
Tribune and FremantleMedia North America, which produces Family Feud, also have worked to give the show a younger, more contemporary feel. Karn asks competing families such questions as "name a reason it's good to be Jennifer Lopez," or "name a food women crave when they're pregnant."
"There a contemporary feel to it, a female relatability to it, and it's very family-friendly," says Donna Harrison, Tribune senior vice president of unscripted and reality programming.
Family Feud has had several lives on TV, starting on ABC in 1976 and moving into simultaneous syndication from 1977 to 1985. It returned from 1988 through 1995 and came back a third time in 1999.
Stations pay a cash license fee and retain 51/2 minutes of ad time, while Tribune keeps 90 seconds to sell nationally.