Hole in the Wall (U.S. game show)

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Hole in the Wall
Hole in the Wall US.jpg
Genre Game show
Directed by Ron de Moraes (Fox)
Rob George (Cartoon Network)
Presented by Brooke Burns;
Mark Thompson (2008-2009 Fox version)
Teck Holmes (2010-2012 Cartoon Network version)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1 (Fox)
4 (Cartoon Network)
No. of episodes 18 (8 unaired) (Fox)
40 (Cartoon Network)
Executive producer(s) Cecile Frot-Coutaz (Fox)
Scott St. John (Cartoon Network)
Producer(s) Jon Peper
David Ruskey (game producer; Fox)
Editor(s) Narumi Inatsugu
Camera setup John Perry
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) FremantleMedia North America
Distributor FremantleMedia Enterprises
Original network Fox (2008–2009)
Cartoon Network (2010–2012)
Original release Original series:
September 7, 2008 (2008-09-07) – March 15, 2009 (2009-03-15)
Revived series:
October 6, 2010 (2010-10-06) – January 19, 2012
External links

Hole in the Wall is an American game show that has aired in two versions on American television.

The first version aired on the Fox television network from 2008 to 2009. The show was an adaptation of the Japanese game Nōkabe (脳カベ?) (meaning Brain Wall, nicknamed by YouTube fans as "Human Tetris")[1] in which players must contort themselves to fit through cutouts in a large 13 feet (4.0 m) by 7.5 feet (2.3 m) Styrofoam wall moving towards them on a 50 feet (15 m) track. FremantleMedia North America produced the series. Brooke Burns and Fox announcer Mark Thompson were the hosts of this version. On May 20, 2008, Fox announced that it would commission 13 hours of Hole in the Wall from FremantleMedia North America. According to a Hollywood Reporter report, these hours could be split and aired as 26 episodes. Production began July 13, 2008 at CBS Studios-Radford. On March 17, 2009, Fox pulled the series again, replacing it with reruns of King of the Hill and American Dad!.[2] The program's cancellation was announced in May 2009.[3]

On July 20, 2010, Cartoon Network announced that it picked up the series, now updated for its younger audience.[4][5] The series premiered October 6, 2010, with Real World Hawaii cast member Teck Holmes as host who was joined by model/lifeguard Emily Hedicke. A second cycle debuted in April 2011, and features a new co-host, lifeguard Aaron Gingrich. On January 19, 2012, the CN version of Hole in the Wall aired its last episode.[6]

Fox version (2008–2009)[edit]

Game play[edit]

Two teams of three people play, with a hobby, occupation or location as the team name. Two lifeguards, one male and one female, sit poolside. The contestants are dressed in the silver spandex zentai unitards and wear red or blue helmets, elbow pads, and knee pads depending on the team color.

A replay is shown after each wall has passed whether cleared or not. If a wall is not cleared, a diagram is shown of the best method.

One rule that is almost automatically assumed is that contestants must jump through the hole without breaking it all off or falling in the water. The rule that most players inadvertently break is that at least one foot must be in the play area.

Solo Wall[edit]

After each team is announced, the team captain is then instructed to enter the play area. After a three-second countdown, the wall is shown. If the captain fails to "clear" the wall, either by falling into the pool or damaging the wall as it passes, the team earns zero points; "clearing" the wall earns 1 point. The opposing team captain then tries a different wall.

Double Wall[edit]

The two non-captains on each team then complete on a Double Wall. The team earns 2 points if both players clear the wall; if either player fails to clear, they earn zero points.

Triple Wall[edit]

All three players try to complete the Triple Wall. The team scores 3 points if all three clear the wall. If any player fails to clear, the team earns zero points.

Speed Wall[edit]

Like Round 3, all three players complete. The wall moves twice as fast as before. Each player who clears the wall earns two points, for a maximum of six. In addition, if all three players clear the wall, they win a $5,000 bonus whether they win or lose the game. Both teams get a chance to play for the $5,000, even if the second team has been mathematically eliminated.

The team with more points wins a guaranteed $25,000 and plays the final "Blind Wall". If a tie game should occur, neither team wins the $25,000 but both advance to a sudden-death version of the Blind Wall.

Blind Wall[edit]

One team member, blindfolded, is guided by Brooke to the center of the play area. The two remaining team members must then direct the blindfolded member through a standard solo wall by giving verbal commands, while the audience is asked to remain quiet. If the contestant clears the wall, the team wins $100,000. If both teams advance to the Blind Wall, the prize is split in half and each team tries a different blind wall for $50,000. During the shows opening run, there was only one team that completed the blind wall. Raphael Xavier from The Freedom Rappers Philly team went through the blind wall, winning $50,000 due to a tie with the other team.

Broadcast history[edit]

On October 24, 2008 Fox pulled the series from its schedule, replacing it with reruns of Kitchen Nightmares.[7] On January 21, 2009, Fox pulled the series again and replaced it with reruns of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?[8] After an airing on February 8, the show was quickly put on hiatus. After another month, the series returned on March 8. Reruns of the series began airing on Fox Reality (now Nat Geo Wild) on May 25. The program's cancellation was announced in May 2009.[3]

Special episodes[edit]

The show's producers announced that they planned on shooting celebrity and themed episodes of the game, starting with contestants from VH1's Flavor of Love (Pumpkin (Brooke Thompson), Buckwild (Becky Johnston), Saaphyri Windsor) competing against Rock of Love 2 (Destiney Sue Moore, Ambre Lake, Jessica Kinni).

Phu and Leroy from Solitary 2 and Trizz from Solitary 3.0 teamed up as Backyard Wrestlers.[9]

A special for Cartoon Network, the main cast from two of CN's shows Level Up and Dude, What Would Happen in teams named "Level Up" and "The Dudes," respectively. Level Up also premiered a special clip from the movie that would later be widely used in the show's very common commercials on CN.

Cartoon Network version (2010–2012)[edit]

Game play[edit]

As was the case in all versions, two teams of three people play. This version features two families, with one of the three members of each family must be a child and one of the three members must be an adult. The third member may be a child or adult. The contestants are dressed in the same attire as seen all versions (silver unitard, color coordinated helmets and pads.)

The rules on the Triple and Double Walls are the same except for the scoring system.

Triple Wall[edit]

All three players try to complete the Triple Wall. Rules are the same as in the 2008 version, with a total of 30 points at stake (ten points per player clearing the wall).

Solo Wall[edit]

One version of this round uses the same rules as the end game in the 2008 version, but a black cloth covered hockey goaltender mask is used instead of blacked out goggles. In a second version, one player stands with his/her back to the wall, facing a teammate on the other side of the pool who will give instructions on how to fit through the hole. There's also a "Black Out" version of this round. This version of the Solo Wall is the player has to remember what the shape looks like, because the lights in the studio turn on and off. Success in this round scores 10 points. After the game is over the team that wins gets a big trophy and tries to get through the Imposso Wall.

Double Wall[edit]

Two on each team then compete on a Double Wall. The only difference between the 2008 and 2010 versions is scoring; each player clearing the wall is worth ten points for a maximum of 20 points.

Speed Wall[edit]

Similar to the Double Wall and the Speed Wall in the 2008 version. One version is that two people on each team compete while being spun by two opponents. When the wall is revealed they stop spinning and try to clear the wall, which moves twice as fast as before. Another version of this wall is that the two players have to make it with a prop. Each player who clears the wall earns 20 points.

The team with the most points wins the Hole in the Wall trophy and plays the Imposso Wall. If both teams are tied, a tie breaking wall is played.

Tie Breaker Wall[edit]

A player from both teams has 10 balls. When the wall starts going you try to grab as many balls as you can and the player with the most balls wins.

Imposso Wall[edit]

All three players of the victorious team compete. Each player holds a jigsaw puzzle and must match the shape to get the puzzle and themselves through. Another variation requires two of the three members to get through the wall while holding slippery balloons. Another version is that one player is blind folded, one of them is wearing ear muffs, and a third player is wearing a mouth piece. If completed they earn a spot on the Wall of Fame. Only 4 teams have made it to the Wall of Fame.[citation needed]

In addition, the Cartoon Network website includes unaired footage, including a wall called "The Killer Question," based on the British version of the show. Two players compete, facing a wall that displays a question and shapes that stand for two possible answers. If the players agree on the correct answer and move to that side, they can get through since that answer covers a hole; choosing the wrong answer leads them to hit a solid section and be swept into the pool. 20 points are scored for each player who clears the wall.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Cool Japan: Why Japanese remakes are so popular on American TV, and where we're getting it wrong".AsianWeek. Retrieved on 2008-09-15.
  2. ^ "Breaking News - Fox Plugs "Hole in the Wall," Trims "Osbournes"". TheFutonCritic.com. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  3. ^ a b Owen, Rob (2009-05-19). "Tuned In: Fox builds fall schedule around 'Glee'". Post-gazette.com. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  4. ^ "Hole in the Wall Going to Kids Network, Now Casting". Gameshows.about.com. 2010-07-14. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  5. ^ Schneider, Michael (2010-07-20). "Cartoon digs a 'Hole' - Entertainment News, Top News, Media". Variety. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  6. ^ "Cartoon Network January 2012 Premiere Info". Toonzone.net. 2011-12-28. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  7. ^ http://tvseriesfinale.com/articles/hole-in-the-wall-fox-pulls-ailing-game-show/
  8. ^ "Fox Suspends Hole in the Wall - Today's News: Our Take". TVGuide.com. 2009-01-21. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  9. ^ Adalian, Josef. "It's a 'Love' Match on 'Hole in the Wall', TelevisionWeek". Tvweek.com. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 

External links[edit]