Friday, November 7, 2014

FOX Revives "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?" With Jeff Foxworthy

After cancelling the primetime version in 2009 after three seasons, FOX is looking to revive Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?. Jeff Foxworthy will be returning as the show’s host and the premise of testing how much information the contestants have retained since their days in elementary school for big bucks will remain the same. During its network run, the series became one of the most popular new shows in 2007 by the first season ranking 28th in the U.S. Nielsen ratings with a 12.7 million viewer-per episode average and several other countries adopting versions of their own including Canada, Norway and South Africa. After its original end on FOX in 2009, 5th Grader ran briefly in syndication from 2009-2011 and ended due to subpar ratings. No word on whether the revived series will retain the $1 million grand prize yet, but I will make sure to keep you updated. UPDATE: The producers are currently casting for contestants to compete in the FOX revival of the show. Go to Craigslist for more information.

When you think about FOX’s recent struggles in the unscripted series department of the network with American Idol slowly spiraling to its inevitable cancellation with every passing season, the American version of The X Factor given the shaft last year and the social experiment reality show Utopia being pulled midway in its premiere season, it’s not a total shocker to hear that FOX is mulling over bringing its most successful game show back considering that it became an overnight international phenomenon. The only major problem I had with the original series is that the format closely resembled Millionaire’s original "money ladder” format, right down to the three “helps” and milestone safe money zone. I hope Mark Burnett, the show’s executive producer, will consider reviving the show using the syndicated series’ format, but I highly doubt it.

In 5th Grader’s five-season existence on U.S. television, the show managed to capture highlights including two contestants winning the million-dollar prize (Kathy Cox and Nobel Prize winner George Smoot), two $250,000 winners in the syndicated version (Elizabeth Miller and Geoff Wolinetz) and several celebrities playing the game for charity including Gene Simmons, Tony Hawk, Regis Philbin and Ken Jennings.

Sources: TV Series Finale, The Hollywood Reporter

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