Inside the Box
|Inside the Box|
|Directed by||Sidney M. Cohen|
|Presented by||Sam Kalilieh|
|Theme music composer||Peter Warnica|
|Country of origin||Canada|
|Executive producer(s)||Michael Geddes|
|Running time||30 min.|
|Production company(s)||Lone Eagle Entertainment|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Original release||September 18, 2006 – December 7, 2007|
Inside the Box is a Canadian television game show which debuted on September 18, 2006 on the cable network TVtropolis, and was syndicated in the United States by Program Partners in the 2008 television season. In the show, three contestants compete for a chance to win up to $10,000 by trying to guess television shows, characters, or actors by asking the other contestants either yes or no questions related to the subject. The show ran for two seasons, ending on December 7, 2007, but continues in reruns on GameTV after its cancellation.
The series was created by Michael Geddes and Christopher Geddes of Lone Eagle Entertainment in Toronto, Ontario and is hosted by actor/comedian Sam Kalilieh. The two were also producers of two other game shows, Game On and You Bet Your Ass.
The game has a similar format to 20 Questions, with a few minor twists. Three rounds in total are played. Three contestants compete for a chance at $10,000. In the first two rounds, each contestant gets a turn inside a television-shaped booth called "The Box" which contains 2 monitors, while the other two players are seated at separate desks with single monitors facing and to the left and right of "The Box". The contestant "Inside the Box" is given a basic category to indicate what kind of an answer is being sought (for example, "Series", "Reality Series", "Male Actor", "Female Character", etc.), a list of questions on a touch-sensitive screen and reads questions selected from the list to one of his/her two opponents. The opponents outside The Box are shown only a photograph and the name of the character/actor/show which is the correct answer on their monitor screens.
The contestant in the booth has two minutes to determine the correct answer by alternately asking his/her opponents the "Yes or No" questions he is shown. If an opponent answers the question incorrectly, he is given a time penalty of 5 seconds. Each Yes-response question is displayed on screen for the viewers to see and on the second screen in The Box, regardless of whether the player outside the Box answered correctly or not. After each group of 5 "Yes" responses, the clock is stopped and a more detailed clue is given. The player in the Box is given a free guess, but if they can't correctly answer, the clock resumes and they must continue asking questions. Each time a new clue is given, new questions are made available to the player in The Box. The contestant continues to ask questions until either time runs out, or he/she is able to give a correct answer. The player in The Box may ask at any time for the clock to be stopped so they can attempt a guess, but an incorrect guess under these conditions results in a 5-second penalty. After each player's turn in The Box, the scores are totaled and time penalties assessed; then the remaining contestants are given their turn in The Box.
The scoring is based on time. If a player correctly identifies the player with 35 seconds to spare, those 35 seconds are added to his/her score. Any time penalties are deducted and negative scores are possible. Each player gets two turns in The Box and the player with the best cumulative time after the first two rounds gets a chance to play the final round.
In the final round, the champion is given two minutes. Instead of asking his/her opponents the "Yes or No" questions, he/she asks them to host Sam Kalilieh. The champion is given a starting clue and every 5 "Yes" responses earn another clue, however the clock does not stop in the final round. He is given three chances to give the answer. The amount of money in the pot is reduced by $500 approximately every six seconds until time runs out. If the player gives the correct answer before time expires he/she wins whatever money is remaining. If he/she gives 3 incorrect answers or time runs out, he/she takes home the minimum consolation prize of $500. Answers are usually derived from American pop culture.
In the United States, Program Partners, a division of Sony Pictures Television, syndicated Inside the Box to local stations for the first half of the 2008–09 season, as an optional replacement or companion program for Merv Griffin's Crosswords, which was then on hiatus (although very few American stations actually took the series). However, it was eventually decided not to go forth with additional first-run episodes of Crosswords, and both shows were officially cancelled in February 2009. () Reruns started airing on Comedy Gold and Canada's E! September 3, 2013 and GameTV April 3, 2017. The show was dropped from E!'s schedule on September 1, 2017 and Comedy Gold dropped it, along with many other of its shows, on December 29, 2017. As of 2018, only season 2 episodes are being rerun on GameTV.