Are you game? ABC adds two contests to several returning ones


‘Press Your Luck’ and ‘Card Sharks’ join four other contests


Joel McHale hosts the game show “Card Sharks,” premiering Wednesday on ABC.

Let the games begin – again – with two more new, yet not-so-new, ones added in.

ABC returns to its “Summer Fun & Games” premise as several revivals start new seasons, while fresh takes on other classic television games debut. “Press Your Luck” and “Card Sharks” premiere Wednesday, June 12, joining the return of the Alec Baldwin-hosted version of “Match Game” on that night. On Sunday, June 9, “Celebrity Family Feud,” “The $100,000 Pyramid” and “To Tell the Truth” all are back for new rounds.

“Press Your Luck” is taking a mighty swing with its host, someone unexpected in the same way Baldwin was when “Match Game’s” reboot began. Elizabeth Banks, who’s been enjoying a busy career on both sides of the camera – particularly with the “Pitch Perfect” movie franchise – becomes one of TV history’s few female game-show hosts as she oversees contestants who indeed press their luck while trying to steer clear of the game board’s so-called “Whammy” that will relieve them of winnings.

“Card Sharks” also gets a familiar face with Joel McHale (“Community,” “The Soup”), who continues the tradition of comedy stars becoming game-show hosts. His well-known brand of sly snark is certain to prove useful as two players use guesswork and card skills in a literal bid to build upon, or lose, the $10,000 “bank” that one of them starts out with.


Elizabeth Banks hosts the game show “Press Your Luck,” premiering Wednesday on ABC.

As with ABC’s returning game shows, each of the new additions has a basis in TV’s past. “Press Your Luck,” redeveloped from the earlier “Second Chance,” was a weekday CBS entry (with host Peter Tomarken) in the mid-1980s. “Card Sharks” has had a longer history via various versions and hosts (NBC, 1978-81, Jim Perry; CBS, 1986-89, Bob Eubanks; syndication, 1986-87, Bill Rafferty; syndication, 2001-02, Pat Bullard).

In terms of the series that are back, “Celebrity Family Feud’s” fifth season will continue to showcase host Steve Harvey comedically quizzing stars – and, in many cases, their relatives – on the results that a survey says. ABC weekday staple Michael Strahan guides two personalities and their playing partners through guessing categories on “The $100,000 Pyramid” for Season 4, which it also is for Anthony Anderson (“blackish”) in challenging famous panelists to guess which of three people is bound “To Tell the Truth” as the actual person whose story is told.

And if it was surprising initially that TV and movie star Baldwin wanted to revive “Match Game” as both host and executive producer, consider that he’s now in his fourth season of encouraging humor-oriented guests to match players’ guesses in filling in the blanks of phrases.

What’s old is new again, then, as ABC’s games are on once more for the warm-weather months.


Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

jbobbin has 1997 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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