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Trivial Pursuit (U.S. game show)

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Title: Trivial Pursuit (U.S. game show)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of programs broadcast by ABC Family, ABC Family shows, Cable game shows, 1994 American television series endings, 1993 American television series debuts
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Trivial Pursuit (U.S. game show)

Trivial Pursuit
Genre Game Show
Developed by Peter R. Berlin
Rob Fiedler
Bill Hillier
Wink Martindale
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
Wink Martindale
Producer(s) Peter R. Berlin
Rob Fiedler
Original channel The Family Channel
Original release June 7, 1993 (1993-06-07) – December 30, 1994 (1994-12-30)
Related shows Trivial Pursuit (UK version)

Trivial Pursuit is an American game show that ran on The Family Channel from June 7, 1993 to December 30, 1994, 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.


  • Format 1
    • Interactive Game 1.1
      • Round One 1.1.1
      • Round Two 1.1.2
    • Classic Game 1.2
      • Main Game 1.2.1
        • Round One
        • Round Two
        • Round Three
      • Challenge Round 1.2.2
      • Audience game 1.2.3
  • Interactive Components 2
  • Home game 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The show was played in two halves. The first half was an interactive game show, while the other half was a traditional game show.

Interactive Game

Nine players (originally twelve) competed for three spots in the second half of the show.

Round One

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.

Round Two

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.

Classic Game

Main Game

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.

Round One

In the first round, the six traditional Trivial Pursuit categories were used.

Art & Literature
Science & Nature
Sports & Leisure
Round Two

This round used either the categories from the Movie Edition or Television Edition.

Movies Television
Settings Classics
Titles Sitcoms
Off Screen Drama
On Screen Kids & Games
Production Stars
Portrayals Wild Card

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

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.

Challenge 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.

Audience game

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) at $20 apiece, for a maximum payoff of $100.

Interactive Components

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[1] to make way for Boggle and Shuffle, only to return on September 7[2] and be cancelled again on December 30,[3] 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.

Home 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 set of the show's pilot.

See also


  1. ^ The Intelligencer - March 4, 1994
  2. ^ The Intelligencer - September 7, 1994
  3. ^ The Intelligencer - December 30, 1994

External links

  • The Trivial Pursuit Rules Page
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