Family Game Night (TV series)
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|Family Game Night|
|Presented by||Todd Newton|
|Narrated by||Burton Richardson (2010-2012)
Stacey J. Aswad (2012-present)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||26 (52)|
|Location(s)||Sunset Bronson Studios
|Running time||44 Minutes, Approx.
(60 Minutes with commercials)
|Production company(s)||Zoo Productions
|Original channel||The Hub|
|Original run||October 10, 2010 – present|
Family Game Night is a television series based on Hasbro's family of board games and EA's video game franchise of the same name. The show is hosted by Todd Newton. Burton Richardson announced for the first two seasons, until he was replaced by Stacey J. Aswad beginning in the third season. The 60-minute program debuted on October 10, 2010 on the new channel, The Hub, formerly Discovery Kids; it was previewed on October 9, 2010 on its sister channel, TLC. Each season will contain 30 episodes. Season two premiered on Friday, September 2, 2011, and new games were added. The games added to the second season included Cranium Brain Breaks (which replaced Guess Who? as the opening toss-up game), Green Scream, Ratuki Go-Round, Simon Flash, Operation Sam Dunk, Trouble Pop Quiz, and Spelling Bee.
On June 19, 2012 Family Game Night was renewed for a third season by The Hub, which premiered on September 23, 2012.
For the first two seasons, the TV show featured two families of four competing for cash and prizes. Each family consisted of the mother, the father, and two children aged 8 to 18. Teams are usually named for the younger of the two kids (i.e. Willie's Family or Suzie's Family).
Teams earned "Monopoly Crazy Cash Cards" by playing the various games, normally five of them in each episode. Whenever a family won a game, the youngest child was allowed to select a Monopoly Crazy Cash Card from a rack located at the "Crazy Cash Corner" on the far left of the stage. The rack initially held 21 different cards, each depicting one of the tokens used in either the original "Monopoly" board game or the "Monopoly: Here And Now Edition" board game. Each card held a different randomized amount of money, which was revealed at the end of the show. Most of the cards were valued between $200–$995 in $5 increments, although at least one card held a four-figure amount (usually between $1,000–$7,000) and one card was the "Top Cash Card" worth between $7,500–$25,000 (announced at the beginning of the game and referred to throughout the episode).
In addition to the Cash Card, a family that won a game also received a special bonus prize which they kept regardless of the final outcome of the show. In the first season of the show, this prize was simply revealed by host Newton, but in the second season, each bonus prize was a "Monopoly Party Prize" revealed by announcer Burton. At the end of the show, both families took their accumulated cards to the "Crazy Cash Machine". Each card was placed into the Machine, revealing its value, at which point the machine would spit out the amount in oversized Monopoly Money bills. Both families kept all the cash and prizes they won during the game, and the family with the most cash at the end also won a family vacation. If the "Top Cash Card" was not found by the players, the host would usually tell the audience near the end of the show what card held it.
If both teams were tied with the same amount of money after all cards were revealed, a sudden death challenge was played between both teams. The team who won the sudden death challenge won the game.
In season 3, the format of the show was changed slightly. Instead of two families competing for the whole show, families of varying sizes (two to four members) were chosen from the studio audience to play the games, winning cash or prizes. Instead of earning Monopoly Cash Cards, teams compete for the right to take combination codes from the Mr. Monopoly statue's hand. After four games are played, the families attempt to use these cards to open the Community Chest. If they pick the winning combination, they win money and get a chance to play for more money and a new car.
The final game is the "Crazy Cash Machine" where the child selects from a board of 16 Monopoly Cash Cards starting from the bottom row. Each row above it has one more "Go to Jail" card than the previous one (meaning there are none on the bottom row, one in the second row, two in the third row and three on the top row). The one winning card on the top row has the word "WIN" instead of a cash amount. If a "Go to Jail" card is selected, the game is over; however, the family may keep the money they earned up to that point. If they make it to the top row and select the WIN card, they win a new car in addition to the money accumulated.
Games (Season 1)
Family Game Night features an interchangeable selection of mini-games, similar to The Price Is Right. Many games involve family members playing in turn, starting in order with the youngest child, then the oldest child, the moms, and finally, the dads.
Guess Who? is the opening toss-up game that decides which family is given the option to play first or second in the first game. The host gives up to four clues to the identity of a celebrity or a fictional person. The families can buzz in whenever they want. If they get it right, they get to pick to go first or second in the next game. If they get it wrong, the other family wins the round and they get to decide if they want to go first or second. In addition, after this game, each family selects a "Crazy Cash" card, starting with the family that will be playing first.
Scrabble Flash is a game where the families have to make words using 5 oversized electronic Scrabble Flash letter tiles. Alternating between teams, each family member in family order takes a turn picking what word they can make. The player then arranges the Flash tiles used to make that word. The team gets 3 points for making a word with 3 letters, 4 points by making a word with 4 letters, or 5 points by making a word with 5 letters. The first family to reach a score of 25 points or more is the winner.
Cranium is actually a set of four minigames, each represented by one of the Cranium characters. The host reveals one of the characters and the character's related game. The game is then played in two parts, with the children in each team competing first, followed by the parents. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
In an early episode, all 4 minigames were featured; the team with the highest combined score won the game.
Data Head: Players are shown a series of images and are either asked questions about the image or are asked to identify an aspect of the image or something related to it. Five such images/questions are asked to the kids for 10 points each. Then another five more difficult images/questions are asked of the parents for 20 points each.
Creative Cat: This minigame divided into 2 halves. In the first half, the 2 children in each family are given clay, as well as a card with a thing that each pair of children has to make from their clay. After a commercial break, the clay "masterpieces" are brought out, and the parents have 15 seconds to guess what their children made. Each correct answer is worth 10 points per second remaining. Then, in the second half, the parents get to draw things for their children to guess. Each parent uses an electronic sketch pad and is blindfolded while drawing. The children then have 15 seconds to guess what each parent is drawing. Correct answers are worth 10 points per second remaining. The family with the most total points from the two halves wins the round.
Star Performer: In one version of this minigame, Dads have 30 seconds to guess activities performed by their kids and their wife; The first round had players form letters and are worth 10 points, the second round sees players forming numbers which are worth 20, the third round is symbols which are worth 30, and finally the charaders form general things with each correct answer worth 40 points. The family with the most points wins the round. If there's a tie, then the Dad that guess correctly in a least amount of time wins.
In another version of this minigame, the families faced music keypad with five notes numbered and colored. 1-Blue, 2-Red, 3-Green, 4-Yellow and 5-Purple. This is a Simon-like game where the player who made a mistake forfeited the points to his/her opposing family. The kids played first and they must add one note at a time; their round is worth 10 points. The adults played second, but they must add two notes at a time; their round is worth 20 points. The family with the most points wins. This version is now played in the second season as Cranium Piano.
Word Worm: First, the kids are shown words that are revealed either from top to bottom or reverse. The first team to guess a word scores 10 points; five words are played. Then, the parents participate in a "backwards spelling bee", in which they have to spell given words backwards, at 20 points per correct word. The family with the most total points wins.
Bop It! Boptagon
Bop It! Boptagon is a memory game designated to test how fast the players can respond to specific commands. Set inside a ring called the "Boptagon", the players each operate one of 8 stations: Twist It, Pull It, Shout It, Kick It, Whack It, Honk It, Crash It, and Bop It. The players will hear a command, and they must obey it in time. They might also hear "Rotate It" and "Reverse It". When they hear one of these commands, they move one station left for Rotate It, and one station right for Reverse It. If one or more players fail to correctly obey the command, does their command if it is not the one called, or goes in the wrong direction during "Rotate It" or "Reverse It", they are knocked out. The family with one or more of their team left in the Boptagon is the winner.
Guesstures Free Fall
In Guesstures Free Fall, a variation of the charades game Guesstures, one family member has two minutes to guess things or actions mimed by the other three family members, each suspended in mid-air by wires. 10 points are awarded for each correct answer, but if the family member who guesses decides to pass on an item or if the family member who mimes makes a noise while doing so, the miming player is then lowered, freefall-style, behind the Guesstures barrier. The answer is then revealed, and another of the family members suspended in mid-air gets to mime. The family with the most points wins the round. Ties are broken by determining which family made the fewest passes.
A subsequent rules change for this game had the time limit reduced to 45 seconds, with all three family members acting out things or actions for the fourth member to guess. The same scoring rules remained in effect. At the 30-second mark, one of the family members is lowered, followed by another at the 15-second mark. Passing is allowed only 3 times.
A later rule change doubled the time limit to 90 seconds, with each family member being given 30 seconds to act out progressively harder words. In the first 30 seconds, the younger child will act out words for 10 points each. In the middle 30, the older child will act out 20-point words, and in the last 30 seconds, the adult will act out words for 30 points each. Guessers are still only allowed 3 passes.
The 2-minute version of Guesstures Free Fall continued for the second season, with the addition of a short fanfare playing once three members from each family rise up in mid-air. Guessers are allowed infinite passes.
Operation Relay is where the families take turns in family order get the pieces from Cavity Sam using tongs. If they hit the edge, the person is buzzed and has to go to the end of the line. If they get the piece, they have to limbo under bones (called the "limbone"), jump over two hurdles, then go through a giant tissue box. If they do something wrong they do not get the points. If they trip over or miss an obstacle, they have to go to the end of the line. Each family is given 2 or 2½ minutes, with the family scoring the most points winning the game. If a tie occurs the family with the least amount of buzzes from Sam is the winner.
Bounce 'n Boogie Boggle
On a 5-by-5 grid that resembles a Boggle board (in fact, a "'Big Boggle'" board), family members take turns searching for words. A player announces a word, then walking to the first letter in the word, spells it out by jumping from square to square to spell them, scoring 1 point for each letter in a correct word. As in the board game, words must be at least 3 letters long, and the letters used in spelling the word must touch each other in the grid orthogonally or diagonally. If a player spells a word that has two letters, backtracks (uses a letter square they have already used in the given word), spells a word incorrectly, uses unconnected letters, spells a word different from their announced word, or fails to come up with a word in time, that player's turn is lost. The family that scores the most points in the 2-minute time limit wins. Also, if a family member spells a pre-determined 6- or 7-letter Secret Word [shown to the home viewers], that family wins an additional bonus prize.
Connect 4 Basketball
In this variation on the vertical checkers game Connect Four, the checkers are replaced with red and yellow balls. Family members take turns in family order throwing those balls into baskets on a 7x6 board, in order to get 4 in a row in any direction.
In an early episode, players from both teams shot their red and yellow balls at the same time. The first team to make 4 in a row won one round; the first to win two rounds won the game.
Twister Lights Out
In this variation on Twister, family members have to follow commands like "left foot, blue", with the dots shown on a floor-level video board. As play goes on, the dots disappear one by one, clockwise. If a family member's hand or foot is on a dot about to disappear, he/she must move their hand/foot to another dot of the same color. If a family member either  has a body part that's on a disappeared dot,  does not follow the command on time, or  has any body part other than hands or feet on the board, that member is eliminated. In season 3, a warning light flashing has been added appears before the dots disappear making the dots smaller, and also "air" has been added as command. Whenever a command calls out "air", such as "left foot, air", members must move the body part higher.
The first round has the kids participating; the second round has the adults taking part. Whichever family has one player standing wins a round; two rounds win the game. If a third round is needed, Todd tosses a coin, with "heads" indicating that the kids play, and "tails" indicating the adults play; whichever family wins that round then wins the game.
In this big version of Sorry! Sliders, each family has two giant-sized rolling pawns. One player from each family pushes the pawns into one of the 4 rings with point values starting at 5 in the center, then 3, 1 and The Sorry Ring, which is worth no points, in the outer area. Players can push their opponents' pawns to affect the scoring. Each round consists of 2 rolls per family. The family with the most points wins the round, and the first family to win 2 rounds wins the game. If a round is tied, each family gets a half-win. If tied after 2 rounds, a "slide-off" takes place with only one roll per family; the most points wins. Starting in season 2, each team places a special prize dot on the board (except that they cannot place their dots on the 5-point zone). If a team's pawn is at least partially on their own prize dot at the end of the round, their team wins a prize; if their pawn is on their opponent's dot at the end of the round, that pawn does not count for any points.
In this variation of Yahtzee, the dice are represented as 5 six-sided bowling pins with dice pips numbered 1 through 6 on every pin. Each family gets three chances to roll a bowling ball down a lane and knock down the pins to make the best scoring combination possible—in order from least to best: a pair, two pair, three of a kind, a small straight, a full house, a large straight, four of a kind, or Yahtzee (five of a kind).
The family with the best combination wins a frame; two frames win the game. If a third frame is required after the families split the first two, each family gets only one roll, with the best combination winning the game. The family who makes a Yahtzee also receives a bonus prize.
Known as the final game of the show, both teams use the Crazy Cash Cards to earn cash. Both teams start with one card from the Crazy Cash Corner and they can earn up to five more during the show. Each player from a team inserts the card to the machine and a random amount of cash is added to their bank. The team with the most cash earns a vacation.
Games (Season 2)
In addition to the return of Bop It Boptagon, Bounce 'n Boogie Boggle, Connect 4 Basketball, Cranium, Guesstures Freefall, Sorry! Sliders, Monopoly Crazy Cash Machine and Yahtzee Bowling, new games were introduced. Also, Guess Who? is no longer the opening game, and Operation Relay and Scrabble Flash (now used on Scrabble Showdown) were removed. Also, teams earn "Monopoly Party Packages" for winning each game.
Cranium Brain Break
Each episode now starts off with a Cranium Brain Break where teams perform a Double Dare-esque stunt, such as trying to throw two rings onto a Sorry! Slider, or getting more balls in a basket on host Newton's head in 30 seconds. In a timed event, if the game ends in a tie, the first team that scores in the game wins.
Similar to the educated guess questions on Card Sharks, one team is given a question that has a numeric answer. The other team must then predict if the actual answer is higher or lower than the first team's guess. The kids play first for questions worth 10, 20, 30 and 40 points, then the adults play more difficult questions for double points. Highest score wins. If there is a tie, one final question is read, and each team makes a numeric guess, with the closest guess winning.
Cranium Who's Older
Teams take turns being shown a pair of people and/or things and identifying which one is older. Right answers win points, wrong answers forfeit the points the opposing team. The kids play four questions worth 10 points each, then the adults play four questions at double points. Highest score wins. If there is a tie, one final question is played, and the team that buzzes in first gets to answer, with the winner determined by their right or wrong answer.
A variation on Simon, families wear giant cubes around their bodies, colored red, yellow, green, and blue, like the actual game. A sequence appears on screen and families arrange themselves to match the sequence to score a point. Each player's color randomly changes after each score. First to five points wins.
Operation Sam Dunk
Replacing Operation Relay this season, this game involves rolling skee-balls to land in various cavities on Sam's body to score points. In addition, a bell (for Ringing In The Ear) is installed to double the team's total score if hit. (If no one has tried for the bell yet after the first round, Newton will call attention to it.) Each family member gets two rolls in family order. Highest score wins.
A variation on Ratuki, this game involves a relay race to get rid of twenty cards, with values from 1 to 4 on it, and the final 20th final card with a value of 5 on it (displayed by different types of pictures). Players can only place a card that's one number higher or lower than the previous card that is placed. Also, the final 5 cannot be placed down before all the other cards are gone. Breaking the rules causes you to stop for 10 seconds. The first family to place all their cards wins.
Midway through the season, the rules was adjusted. If the family places the wrong card, their opponents will automatically win the game. In addition, regular 5's have been added to the team's decks. If they place a 5 card, their opponents freeze for 10 seconds. The final 5, however, must still be played last in order to win.
Trouble Pop Quiz
The kids are asked number-based questions, using a larger-than-life Pop-o-Matic to answer. A right answer or a false start from the opponent moves mom or dad forward the number of spaces shown on the die. Landing on an opponent's space sends the opponent back a space. First team to get both parents past the finish line wins.
Kids roll around on a green screen floor, revealing pictures (associated with a category) for the parents to guess in 90 seconds. Up to ten are used per family and a right answer scores ten points. Highest score after the game wins. If there is a tie after the 90 second time limit, the team who correctly solved the words in the fastest time wins.
Mom wears a "stinger" (a black marker) on her back to spell out words for other family members. The moms are not allowed to talk, or else the word is disqualified. They are, however, sometimes encouraged to make "buzzing" noises like a bee. If a family can't guess the word after the third letter, host Newton gives a clue to the word. Each right answer is worth 100 points, and each family has 90 seconds to guess as many words as possible. Highest score wins. Ties are broken by who took the least time to score their words.
Games (Season 3)
Though some of the basic games were held over from the previous seasons, they were changed in some ways to accommodate the show's new format as well as the addition of some new games. Simon Flash and Connect 4 Basketball, so far, are the only games to remain unchanged. Also, Stacey J. Aswad took over the announcing duties replacing Burton Richardson. After each game is played, each team picks a combination code for the Community Chest near the end of the show. Each combination has three specified colors, and if the chest is opened, the teams will play for a new car. If the chest is not opened, the teams keep the prizes they won earlier.
The players stand behind podiums with a button. On the 5x5 floor grid, six ships (3 cruisers, 2 submarines and a battleship) are hidden under coordinates that the players call out (for example: B3). Once the coordinate is locked in, Newton and the audience must do a three-second countdown. Once the "Launch!" signal is given, the player presses the button which launches a virtual peg from the video screen in the background. Each hit sinks a ship and three sunken ships wins the game. The winners get to draw a Community Chest combination code from Mr. Monopoly's hand first and wins the game's prize pack.
Instead of Sorry Sliders, the parent now dresses up as Sorry pieces and are moved down a path with different dollar amounts from $100 to $900 in $100 steps by their child choosing a card with either a number of spaces to move ranging from one to four, or "Sorry" on them. The players can stop on any of the spaces and win the cumulative amount of money they landed on or continue on towards the prize at the end. If a "Sorry" card is drawn, the parent is moved back to start and they lose the money in their bank at that point. If "Sorry" is drawn again, the game is over. At the end of the game, the family draws a combination card for the Community Chest.
In this variation, the family can win money for a shopping spree. To begin with, the family gets one roll and they can earn up to three more by removing a piece from the parent's body. After that, they will use these rolls to earn money by rolling into Sam from Operation Sam Dunk. The family can win up to $4,000 to go on a shopping spree and in addition, they will also earn a Community Chest combination card.
Although fundamentally the same from the previous seasons, instead of two families competing with each other, one family is chosen from the audience and three members must bowl (one for each person), trying to build up a different combination of numbers. However, instead of the highest combination winning the game in earlier seasons, each combination is assigned a prize the family can win after they have all played ranging from cameras to a vacation. At the end of the game, they proceed to draw a Community Chest combination card.
Bop It! Boptagon
Though fundamentally the same as the previous seasons, the Boptagon is now smaller and accommodates only one player at a time in teams of two. Each player gets thirty seconds to get as many commands as possible. The new commands include "Chop it!" and "Squeeze It!" (which replace Twist It and Shout It). After two rounds of play with both team members, the team with the most correct commands wins the game. After that, the two teams will receive a Community Chest combination card.
Twister Lights Out
Basically the same as the previous season, there are several changes. First, there is the new command of "air," which means the players must raise the indicated body part up off the ground. Second, the dots no longer disappear one at a time but instead the entire border row flashes before it disappears all at once.
All teams will now have a chance to play for a car by using a combination card from the previous games they've played during the show. Each card has three colors ranging from red to blue. To unlock the chest, the team captain must input the three-color combination code that Newton calls out before pressing the button. If it's locked, a buzzer will sound, signaling a wrong combination. If it does however, then a fanfare will play and cash will come out from the chest, which signals a winning combination. When that happens, that team will move on to the Monopoly Crazy Cash Machine.
Monopoly Crazy Cash Machine
This is the same as in the previous seasons, but only one family can play with 16 Crazy Cash Cards instead of 21. Nine of the cards have cash, six of them have Go To Jail, and the last one has Win. Each time they get a Cash Card from each row, they will earn the corresponding amount on the card and move on to the next one. If a team gets a Go To Jail Card (rows two through four), the round is over and they get to keep the money they've earned along with the prize package. When that happens, Newton will reveal where in the top row the car is and never know what car did the team would've won. However, if they get to the final row and find the Win Card (the screen displays "WIN!" and "GO TO JAIL" on slots), they'll earn a car along with the prizes and the money they've accumulated. For season 4, they'll lose everything if Go To Jail comes up.
Games (Season 4)
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- MCN Staff (June 19, 2012). "The Hub Orders Third Season Of Family Game Night". MultiChannel News. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- "HubWorld.com press release". Retrieved 13 September 2012.