Trivial Pursuit (U.S. game show)
|Developed by||Peter R. Berlin
|Directed by||Rob Fiedler|
|Presented by||Wink Martindale|
|Narrated by||Randy West|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||195|
|Executive producer(s)||Bill Hillier
|Producer(s)||Peter R. Berlin
|Original network||The Family Channel|
|Original release||June 7– September 3, 1993|
|Related shows||Trivial Pursuit (UK version)|
Trivial Pursuit is an American game show that ran on The Family Channel from June 7, 1993 to September 3, 1993, with reruns continuing until July 21, 1995. Loosely based on the board game of the same name, it was hosted by Wink Martindale with Randy West announcing.
The show was played in two halves. The first half was an interactive game show, while the other half was a traditional game show.
Nine players (originally twelve) competed for three spots in the second half of the show.
Five questions with four multiple-choice answers were asked by the host. The players had 10 seconds to answer by pressing a number from 1-4 on a keypad in front of them. They scored points based on how fast they answered the question correctly, with a maximum of 1,000 points available. After five questions, the six players with the highest scores played round two and the other players were eliminated.
This round was played in the same way as Round 1, except the three highest-scoring players won a prize and a chance to play Trivial Pursuit in the next half-hour show.
As in the board game, three contestants raced to complete their game pie first by answering questions from categories that match the colored wedge. Unlike the board game, however, it took two questions to complete a wedge, and no board or die was used. Red replaced the brown-colored wedge.
In the first three rounds, each player received two turns consisting of a category choice followed by a question posed by host Martindale. A correct answer lit up a wedge but an incorrect answer gave the two opponents a chance to buzz-in and steal the wedge.
In the first round, the six traditional Trivial Pursuit categories were used.
|Art & Literature|
|Science & Nature|
|Sports & Leisure|
This round used either the categories from the Movie Edition or Television Edition.
|On Screen||Kids & Games|
In the second half of Round 2, a new set of categories were played. (In early episodes, the questions related to a certain year in history.) The category sets used were different each show, and were borrowed from multiple versions of the board game.
|Personalities||People & Places||Personalities||People & Places||World of Places||Products & Progress|
|Entertainment||Entertainment||Entertainment||Good Times||World of Music||Sports & Leisure|
|In the News||History||Headlines||Science & Technology||World of People||History|
|Around the World||Science & Nature||Music||Art & Culture||World of Fantasy||Personalities|
|Sports & Leisure||Sports & Leisure||Sports & Leisure||Natural World||World of Science||Entertainment|
|Wild Card||Wild Card||Wild Card||Games & Hobbies||World of Leisure||Wild Card|
Round 2 included three special questions known as "Bonus Questions". When chosen, the player who answered an audio or video question correctly had an opportunity to answer a follow-up question which awarded the player $100 and another half-wedge in the color of their choice with a correct answer.
Round three again used the traditional basic categories as in Round 1, but the round was played in a different manner. The round started with a toss-up question, and the first player to buzz-in and answer correctly controlled the round. The player in control kept choosing categories and answering questions until he/she either filled his or her pie (thereby winning the game), or missed a question, at which point the other two players could buzz-in and steal control and the wedge. If nobody answered the question another toss-up was played. The first player to completely light up the entire pie (or the player with the most lit wedges when time ran out) won the game, $500, an additional prize, and played the bonus round.
The winning player had 45 seconds to answer six questions (again from the six basic categories) in order to fill up a pie shown on a monitor. Each correct answer lit a color in the pie. A wrong answer or a pass automatically moved to the next category. After the first six questions the player went back to questions from the categories missed as time permitted (although in some episodes, it was observed that the categories continued in sequence even if a question was already answered in that category). The winning player received $100 for each wedge lit and if they lit up all six wedges before the 45 seconds expired, he/she won $1,000 and a trip.
If there was extra time at the end of the show, an audience member was called on stage and given the opportunity to answer five multiple-choice questions (much like the "Interactive" portion of the show) worth $20 apiece, for a maximum payoff of $100.
The show launched a series of "interactive" games called playbreaks, all produced by Martindale and his associates. Originally, ten "Trivial Pursuit" playbreaks were interspersed throughout FAM's game show block (three of them were during Trivial Pursuit: The Interactive Game.)
A question would be shown on the screen, along with four choices, and the answer would be revealed 10 seconds later. Home viewers were given an opportunity to call a special 1-900 number ($4.98 per call) and play a "TP: Interactive Game" typed, using a slightly modified scoring system, and players answered by using their touch-tone telephone. The winner of each "playbreak" won a prize and competed on Friday in a playoff game against the other winners for a vacation. The ad would last about 100 seconds, as seen by an on-screen clock (even though the clock read ":99" as it faded in).
On New Year's Eve 1993, all of the weekly playoff winners up to that point were given the opportunity to compete in a "Tournament of Champions"-style grand playoff for a new car, which aired in between a Trivial Pursuit marathon FAM was running that day.
Other interactive games aired on the network – a board-game adaptation of Boggle, the list-oriented Shuffle, and an adaptation of the newspaper game Jumble. The Trivial Pursuit Interactive Game was cancelled on March 4, 1994 to make way for Boggle and Shuffle, only to return on September 7 and be cancelled again on December 30, along with the entire interactive game block. However, Trivial Pursuit: The Classic Game continued in reruns.
There were no playbreaks during Trivial Pursuit: The Classic Game, possibly because Martindale did not wish for viewers to be distracted from the game.
A home version of the game was released by Parker Brothers in 1993 as Trivial Pursuit Game Show. Some question material was taken directly from the show, and the box cover featured Martindale on the slightly different set of the show's 1993 pilot (which was intended for syndication; producer Jay Wolpert also produced at least one pilot in 1987 with Worldvision Enterprises that was not picked up; Martindale posted both pilots to his YouTube channel in 2014).
- The Intelligencer - March 4, 1994
- The Intelligencer - September 7, 1994
- The Intelligencer - December 30, 1994