Michael Burger
Gene Wood
Unsold Pilot for NBC: 1985
Reg Grundy Productions

"These are the champs: Lori and Al Weaver. These are the challengers: Sandy and Kirk Moore. The couple that knows each other best will win a chance at our jackpot that today stands at $10,000, here on "Matchmates"! And now, here's our host: Michael Burger!"

Matchmates was an unsold game show pilot that combined elements of Haggis Baggis, The Newlywed Game, and Blackout.


This game is played by two married couples, where they not only show how much they know each other, but also how good puzzle solvers they are.

Main GameEdit

Hidden on the game board is a puzzle which is a 16-word sentence that describes a person, place or thing. Four categories appear above the columns, and letters appear next to three of the rows. The second row is a wild card, which can be any letter except the three displayed.

When a couple has control of the board, they choose a category and a letter. That box on the board is marked with an asterisk, and one spouse secretly writes an answer that starts with the chosen letter, fits the category and usually is the controlling couple's likes, dislikes, hobbies, etc. If the other spouse correctly guesses the secret answer, the word in that box is revealed and the couple are allowed to guess what the sentence is describing. Otherwise, the opposing couple take control of the board. The controlling couple will also lose their turn if they solve the puzzle incorrectly.

To win the game, the couple in control must correctly solve the puzzle from the words displayed thus far. The first couple to solve two puzzles/win two games advance to the bonus round.

Bonus RoundEdit

In the bonus round, the winning couple can win a cash jackpot if they solve five puzzles of eight words each within 25 seconds. Each eight-word puzzle is scrambled and revealed one at a time. The first puzzle is worth $200, each of the next three puzzles doubles the money and the fifth puzzle awards the jackpot (which started at $10,000 and grew by $1,000 for every day it was not won) if solved correctly within the time limit.


  • This puzzle concept of revealing a statement one word at a time was later simplified and used as the Winner's Big-Money Game on Sale of the Century.
  • The theme was later used for the pilot of another Reg Grundy game show, Scattergories.
  • Matchmates was pitched as a replacement for the short-lived Your Number's Up: according to host Michael Burger, following the taping Brian Fronz (NBC's president of daytime television) congratulated him and producer Bob Noah for, by all indication, getting another show on the air. On December 23, 1985, NBC opted to go with Family Ties repeats instead.