Trivial Pursuit: America Plays is a half-hour syndicated game show based on the popular board game.
Executive Producers: Burt Wheeler, Sharon Sussman
Series Premiere: September 22nd 2008
Distributed by: Debmar-Mercury
Top Prize: Varies
The main appeal of Trivial Pursuit: America Plays is the interactive format, where people all over the country can send in their questions and potentially win money as part of "America's Team." All of the questions asked on the show are recorded by ordinary people who have attended a casting call or sent their questions in through the official website.
The game itself is a quizzer with three in-studio contestants, based somewhat loosely on the Trivial Pursuit board game. Contestants must fill their tokens (the round game pieces with six slots each) with wedges (the pie-pieces from the board game) to move on to the next round and avoid elimination.
Studio Bank Vs. America's Bank:
In the first round of the game, three in-studio contestants compete to earn three different-colored wedges for their tokens. Each colored wedge is assigned a different category. The categories themselves are widely varied, and don't match up to those used in the board game. All six categories are revealed at the beginning of the round, and then the "Randomizer" assigns the categories to the colors.
The first question in this round is an "All Play" question, which means that any of the three contestants can buzz in and give an answer. Categories and questions are selected randomly, and seem to have random monetary value as well, from $250 to $500. When a contestant answers a question correctly, he or she gets control of the game and has the opportunity to answer the next question. If he or she gets the answer wrong, the question is offered to the other two contestants.
The first two contestants to get three wedges in their tokens move on, eliminating one contestant.
Round Two - Hot Pursuit:
There are six categories in the final round, all of which are completely random. The monetary values for the questions are:
- Question 1 - $500
- Question 2 - $1,000
- Question 3 - $2,000
- Question 4 - $3,000
- Question 5 - $4,000
- Question 6 - $5,000
The total value for all six questions is $15,500, which could tip the scales in favor of either bank since the money is placed into the banks in the same way as the first two rounds.
To assign the value to each category, the Randomizer is set in motion, and America's Captain shouts "stop!" at any time. The in-studio contestant can see the categories and their values, and must play through the entire round. At the end of this round, if the Studio Bank has the most money, the contestant wins the value of the bank. If America's Bank is worth more, the money in that bank is split up between all of the people who submitted questions during the episode, including America's Captain.
If the contestant clinches the game by adding enough money to the Studio Bank to make it impossible for America's Bank to catch up, he or she is offered the chance to finish the round for double or nothing.