Alec Baldwin is adding yet another category to his lengthy resume: game show host. The actor/producer/comedian has signed on as the host of a revival of Match Game, the popular daytime game show that first ran on NBC from 1962-69.
This new revival will be produced by Freemantle Media North America for ABC. Baldwin will executive produce along with Freemantle’s Jennifer Mullin. It will air at 10 PM as part of a new Sunday Fun & Games segment ABC is adding, alongside Celebrity Family Feud, hosted by Steve Harvey, and $100,000 Pyramid, hosted by Michael Strahan. The first episode is slated for June 26.
As part of the deal Deadline reports that Baldwin will receive one of the highest game-show hosting salaries ever, which will be donated to his wife’s charity. “I am beyond grateful to ABC and FremantleMedia for the chance to host a summer series of the legendary Match Game,” Baldwin said in a statement. “Hilaria and I are thrilled to donate this fee to arts-related charities. And we look forward to having a lot of fun.”
Originally created by Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions and hosted by Gene Rayburn, the show paired contestants with a panel of celebrities in a fill-in-the-blank guessing contest. CBS picked the series up in 1973, revising the format and emphasizing humor, which led to the show’s reputation for innuendo and double entendre. It moved to syndication in 1979 and from 1975-1981 was joined by a primetime version called Match Game PM.
NBC brought the series back in 1983 and ABC ran it for a period in the 1990s, both times with various changes to update the concept. It’s been copied in at least 10 countries until the title Blankety Blanks and was listed as #4 on TV Guide’s 2013 list of the greatest game shows.
Baldwin hasn’t taken any time off since his award-winning run on 30 Rock ended in 2013. He’s appeared in features including Still Alice, Aloha, and Concussion, as well as filming several movies which are now in post-production. He’s also continued to pop up on TV, including appearances in The Jim Gaffigan Show and Law & Order: SVU.