Series: Lets Ask America

Syndicated Game Show, where four players answer questions about current events (often involving the prediction of survey results). Yes, that does sound a bit like The Challengers, but that's just the tip of the iceberg the real selling point of this show is that all of its contestants play from their home via a Skype video conference.

That being said, it doesn't aim to be glitzy or rich by any means: the players simply answer four rounds of questions by writing down their answers on paper, and scoring if they get a correct answer. The value of the questions (and the number of possible answers) increases throughout each round, and the lowest-scoring contestant is given the /kick at the conclusion of each round. If there's a tie at the end of any round, it's broken by a "Dash for the Ca$h" (which is essentially Finders Keepers IN YOUR ROOM!) The Bonus Round is simply a wager on one more question, and that's just about it.

But of course, here, the game itself is only just there so they can adequately call it a game show. It's not trying to be like that one show (although the top prize is a respectable $50,000 [$35,000 in Season 3]). In a way, its a sort of throwback to the way game shows were before they became obsessed with giving away large amounts of money, where they were more about the antics of the contestants and host than anything.

Let's Ask America premiered in September 2012, but only airing on stations owned by the E.W. Scripps Company. It was one of two shows that Scripps specifically commissioned to serve as cheap replacements for Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! (which previously aired across most of their stations); they felt Merv Griffin's dynamic duo were too underperforming and expensive to keep on their stations, a move that was thought by many to be suicide note . Scripps' logic was that because of the arrangement, they could sell local advertising time on their stations and not have to give up ad time to the syndicator, especially during the key hour preceding primetime.

Unexpectedly, even with the limited number of markets it airs in, it quickly became a Sleeper Hit, and even reached #1 on Buzzerblog's "Top 10 Shows of 2012" list. Scripps did reach a deal with Warner Bros. to help syndicate it nationally in 2013, though the only non-Scripps stations it picked up for Season 2 are KNIN, the FOX station in Boise, Idaho & WTMJ, the NBC station in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, both owned by Journal Communications (oddly enough, Scripps is planning to buy Journal's TV stations, and jointly spin out their newspapers). For the 2014-15 season, MGM will handle distribution, and Bill Bellamy replaces Kevin as host. While the series reverted to the core Scripps stations, Game Show Network has also picked up reruns.

This series provides examples of:

  • Bonus Round: Wager a portion or all of your winnings on one question with four answers. Get the question right to earn double your wager, or go all-in and win five times as much (with a $1,000 Consolation Prize if you lose).
    • In Season 2, there is no consolation prize anymore for going all-in.
  • Home Participation Sweepstakes: Plays with this idea, as everyone plays from home via webcams.
  • Personnel:
    • Game Show Host: Kevin Pereira in the first two seasons. Bill Bellamy will take over in season 3.
    • Studio Audience: While there's no audience in the traditional sense (in the first season, that is), the show's staff do cheer players on and are heard doing so frequently (especially on the final question). Gotta commend that.
      • Season 2 adds a proper audience.