Celebrity Name Game (American game show)

Celebrity Name Game is an American syndicated game show which premiered on September 22, 2014. Based on the board game Identity Crisis (created by Laura Robinson and Richard Gerrits), the series was developed by Courteney Cox and David Arquette's Coquette Productions, and was originally pitched as a primetime series for CBS with Craig Ferguson as host. The series was later picked up by FremantleMedia and Debmar-Mercury as a syndicated series for 2014 with Ferguson, who left The Late Late Show on December 19, 2014,[1] remaining as host as well as an executive producer. The series marks Coquette's first foray into game shows.[2] The show was subsequently renewed for a second season, which premiered on September 21, 2015.[3]

Celebrity Name Game
Celebrity Name Game logo.jpeg
GenreGame show
Based onIdentity Crisis
Presented byCraig Ferguson
Theme music composerTim Mosher & Stoker
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes257
Executive producer(s)
Production location(s)
Running time22 minutes
Production company(s)
CBS Television Distribution
Original networkSyndicated
Original releaseSeptember 22, 2014 (2014-09-22) –
February 28, 2017 (2017-02-28)
External links

Ferguson has won two daytime Emmys twice for Outstanding Game Show Host in 2015 and 2016. He was nominated once again in 2017.

On December 2, 2016, it was announced that the series would end its run after three seasons. The series ended its run on February 28, 2017.[4]


Main gameEdit

The game involves two teams, each consisting of two contestants who are related or know each other. They are joined by two guest celebrities who assist the teams for all but the third segment of the show, attempting to identify the names of popular culture subjects like celebrities, fictional characters, place names, or film and television titles.

In the first two rounds, each team is assigned one of the celebrities, who then will switch teams for the second round. Each of the three-member teams are presented with a category containing ten names. One person will give clues, trying to get the other two to guess the names. Successful guesses earn money. An illegal clue (saying the name or part of the name, spelling the name, or rhyming the name) voids that name. Each turn lasts for 45 seconds. In the first round, one team is chosen to play first, and chooses one of two categories presented, leaving the second team to play the remaining category. In the second round, the second team plays first and chooses the first category.

In round one, the celebrity gives the clues while turning back and forth to alternately face each contestant, and each correct answer is worth $100, up to $1,000 total. In round two, one of the two contestants gives clues while alternately facing either the remaining partner or the assigned celebrity, and each answer is worth $200, up to $2,000 total.

In the third round, the contestants go head to head while Ferguson gives the clues to names under a specific category. The contestants buzz in to make a guess. If neither contestant buzzes in after a while, Ferguson can start giving out clues that are normally illegal, all the way up to simply saying the name. A right answer earns money for the team that answered, but a wrong answer grants the money to the opponent. The first answer is worth $100 and each successive answer increases in value by $100. Winnings in this round are added to the money accumulated in the first two rounds, and whichever team reaches $3,000 or more first is the winner, keeps the cash, and goes on to the bonus round to play for the prize of $20,000. If no team reaches $3,000 before time is called, the team in the lead at the end of the round wins the game. If the game ends in a tie, one final name is given; a team who buzzes in with a correct answer wins the game, but a wrong answer results in an automatic loss.

Bonus RoundEdit

In the bonus round, there is no particular category. The names are hidden behind ten numbered squares. Some of them hide pictures of the person, character, or thing. The contestants take turns giving the clues to both celebrities. One contestant is placed in a soundproof booth while the other gives clues. The current giver starts describing when a name or picture is exposed. If the celebrity receivers get it right, the name stays revealed. Passing on a name re-conceals it. This round lasts for a total of 75 seconds, the first contestant has 45 seconds, and the second has 30 seconds. If the first clue giver provides an illegal clue to a name, that name is replaced by a different one for the second clue giver. Any illegal clue by the second clue giver, however, ends the round immediately. Getting all ten increases the team's total winnings to $20,000. If the first contestant correctly guesses all ten names within 45 seconds or less, the second portion of the round is not played because they already won. Otherwise, the team takes home only the amount they had earned by the end of Round 3.[5][6][7][8]


In June 2011, it was reported that Courteney Cox and David Arquette's Coquette Productions were preparing to pilot a new, hour-long game show for CBS's primetime lineup known as Identity Crisis, based on a board game of the same name produced by Out and About Productions. Scott St. John, known for his work on Deal or No Deal and 1 vs. 100, was brought on as a showrunner.[2][5] CBS selected Craig Ferguson, host of the network's late night talk show The Late Late Show, to be host and producer for the pilot.[5][9]

The series resurfaced in October 2013 under the title Celebrity Name Game, with the announcement that FremantleMedia and Debmar-Mercury would syndicate the new series for the 2014–15 television season. Fremantle's CEO Thom Beers described Celebrity Name Game as a "hilarious and innovative rapid-fire game show that combines the best of pop culture with the best of comedy." Ferguson remained with the project through its transition to syndication, considering it to be "a wonderful concept with such great potential, from two of my favorite people".[2] Ferguson later announced in April 2014 that he would step down as host of The Late Late Show in December 2014.[1] Debmar-Mercury and Fremantle planned to market the new series to station owners as a complement to Family Feud—whose current incarnation, hosted by fellow comedian Steve Harvey, has been a ratings success for the two companies.[2][6]

In November 2013, Tribune Broadcasting picked up Celebrity Name Game for its stations, giving it clearance across 40% of U.S. households and seven of the top ten media markets.[10] In December 2013, it reached 80% of households through additional deals with CBS Television Stations and Sinclair Broadcast Group; episodes were also added to the primetime national clearance slate of MyNetworkTV.[7] In Canada, Celebrity Name Game airs on City and GameTV.[11] The series was renewed for a second season on January 8, 2015.[12] On December 2, 2016, it was announced that the series would not return for a fourth season. The series' final new episode aired on February 28, 2017.[13]


A board game based on the show featuring Craig Ferguson on the cover was released by PlayMonster[14][15] (formerly Patch) in 2016.

This was the third home game that was based on a board game itself, the first was TV Scrabble by Selchow & Righter in 1987 followed by Trivial Pursuit Game Show by Parker Brothers in 1993.

International versionsEdit

A Portuguese version of the show called Duelo das Estrelas[16] (Duel of the Stars) hosted by Silvio Nascimento aired on MundoFox in 2016.

An Australian version was commissioned by Network Ten in 2018 and premiered on 13 May 2019 at 8:40pm.[17][18] It was hosted by Grant Denyer, who previously presented the most recent Australian version of Family Feud[19] and, as of 29 November 2019, is currently on a hiatus.

Legend:      Currently airing        No longer airing        Upcoming  

Country Local title Channel Presenter Premiere date End date
  Portugal Duelo das Estrelas MundoFox Silvio Nascimento 2016 2016
  Australia Celebrity Name Game Network Ten Grant Denyer May 13, 2019 TBC


Reruns of the show have aired on Pop and Buzzr.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Keveney, Bill (April 28, 2014). "Ferguson to leave CBS' 'Late Late Show'". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d "Craig Ferguson to Host Syndicated Game Show 'Celebrity Name Game'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  3. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (August 27, 2015). "'Celebrity Name Game' Second Season Premieres Monday, September 21". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  4. ^ Bunch, Rebecca (December 2, 2016). "Celebrity Name Game Cancelled". The TV Ratings Guide. Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c "Courteney Cox, David Arquette Sell Game Show Pilot to CBS (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Craig Ferguson to Host Game Show from Courteney Cox, David Arquette". Variety. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  7. ^ a b "'Celebrity Name Game' Clears in 80 Percent of U.S." The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Celebrity Name Game show comes to FOX 2 this Fall". Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Craig Ferguson Talks Latenight Moves, New Game Show at NATPE". Variety. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  10. ^ "Tribune Stations Grab 'Celebrity Name Game' from Debmar-Mercury". Variety. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  11. ^ "Toronto Fall 2014 - Master Planner Report" (PDF). Rogers Media. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-08-15. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  12. ^ Bibel, Sara (January 8, 2015). "'Celebrity Name Game' Renewed for Season 2 by Fremantle & Debmar-Mercury". TV By the Numbers (Press release). Zap2it. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  13. ^ "'Celebrity Name Game Season 3 Broadcast Air Schedule' Season 3 Broadcast Air Schedule", Debmar-Mercury Syndication, March 3, 2017, retrieved March 18, 2017
  14. ^ "Play the Award-Winning Game Show at Home with Celebrity Name Game From Playmonster!". 1 September 2016.
  15. ^ "Celebrity Name Game (PlayMonster)".
  16. ^ "Duelo das Estrelas (FremantleMedia Portugal)".
  17. ^ Knox, David. "Auditions: Celebrity Name Game". TV Tonight.
  18. ^ Knox, David (26 April 2019). "Airdate: Celebrity Name Game". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  19. ^ Ianni, Laura (26 April 2019). "Put Your Game Face On!" (PDF). Network 10 (Press release). Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  20. ^ "The 42nd Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Award Winners" (PDF). emmyonline.org and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. April 26, 2015. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
  21. ^ "The 43rd Annual Daytime Emmy Award Winners" (PDF). emmyonline.org and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. May 1, 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 4, 2016. Retrieved May 4, 2016.

External linksEdit