How Does "Family Feud" Pick Their Contestants?
By Alex Davis
Updated September 22, 2017
"Family Feud" has given contestants a chance at big money for more than 30 years. Steve Harvey currently hosts the show and asks families various survey questions for $20,000 and a new car. The show searches for families on a regular basis every spring and tape shows in the summer. If your family wants a shot at being on "Family Feud," you need to audition during the show's open casting calls.
Sign Up for an Audition
"Family Feud" typically auditions families starting in April or May. Locations of the auditions vary. The show's home base and offices are located in Los Angeles, California, and that's where many teams are found. However, since moving to Orlando, Fla., in 2010, families in the east can play now. Others auditions around the country are announced throughout the year. The show's website typically announces them. Call the contestant hotline at 323-762-8467 to book an audition.
The Audition Process
Contestant casting producer Sara Dansby says the casting process is a short procedure, commenting, “They come in, we book them, they call on the hot line. They come in with their family, they fill out an application, we take their picture, and we play a mock version of the game.” Families should arrive at the audition with five or six family members. Casting producers will choose the best five if you're selected to go on the air. Families then play a mock version of the game, competing in at least two questions so every member can answer. After that families are free to go home and cross their fingers they are selected for the show. The entire process typically takes 15 to 20 minutes.
What Casting Producers Look For
"Family Feud" looks for contestants who play the game well, so trying to win the mock game is very important. However, the show also looks for large personalities who make great television guests. Casting producer Sara Dansby added, "The only thing they need to do, the most important, is to not be shy. Jump up and down, smile, clap, support your family. But also play the game well. Some people have it and some don’t. It’s one of those confidence things. If you’re shy, it’s not going to work for Feud.” Around ten percent of the families who audition make it on the show.
Waiting to be Cast
After the audition, families typically wait a few weeks before finding out if they are selected. Families are notified by receiving a postcard or a phone call informing them when to show up, where to go, and other information. Families who don't hear back within a few months usually are not selected for that season but can audition at a later time and try again.
- Sara Dansby: Contestant Casting Producer: Los Angeles, CA
- Family Feud: Homepage
Alex Davis has been an entertainment writer and reporter since 2004. He has been published in "The New York Times," "USA Today," "Entertainment Weekly" and other publications. Davis holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism and communications from West Virginia University.