Friday, March 5, 2010

G-T Shows I Miss on GSN: Trivia Trap

Another show I miss on GSN from the people of Mark Goodson Productions, Trivia Trap, a short-lived half-hour of trivia, of course, which most recently aired in a late night block on the network. It ran from October 8, 1984-April 5, 1985; was hosted by Bob Eubanks, and aired on ABC. Not only was it one of the few Goodson trivia shows, but Trap was also the final show of Mark Goodson's to have an original format. Every series of theirs which aired thereafter was a revival of a previous game show.

The show went through two different formats in its life span. The first front game went like this: two teams of three; the juniors and the seniors played. The Juniors being 30 years of age and younger. The seniors being 30 years and older. There’d be two rows of answers displayed on monitors; with a question going with each row. The aim was to eliminate the wrong answers leaving the correct one, getting $50 for every correct elimination and $300 for removing all three wrong answers.

A couple months into the run, this format was changed. Still two teams of Juniors and Seniors, but instead, there were true/false questions came from red or black envelopes. Correct answers were $25 each. There was also a category played with four answers after that. If all of them agreed and got it right, it was worth $200. If one team member correctly agreed, it was worth $100. If they all disagreed, it was worth $50. Disagreeing with the answer correctly earned them a chance to correctly agree with an answer for $200 in the same way.

After the front game was the fast paced Trivia Race in which the two teams played in order to get to $1,000 the fastest to win the game. In this round there would be three categories to start things off. The team in control picked the category and everytime one was chosen a new one would take its place. Questions were worth $100 each and the control of the round would remain with them as long as they answer correctly. It'd switch to the other side if otherwise.

After the race, there is the $10,000 bonus ladder round where the winning team members played individually for cash (and also played that particular round in search of the correct answers). Both this and the trivia race rounds stayed the same during the entire run. Winning teams could stay on the show for up to 5 days before being retired undefeated.

This is hands down, one of Bob Eubanks’ best shows. The Newlywed Game is truly a classic and he’s great at that too, but I prefer him a bit more on this show. He’s much better with the contestants here than he would be on Card Sharks a couple years later. I can think of two things that easily killed it though. There's the format change and the show originally airing at 11 AM - the same time as Wheel of Fortune on NBC and The Price is Right on CBS. In most cases a newbie series has practically no shot against two established hits. See also The Power of 10.

I prefer the first front game format the best out of the two. Both have their play along factors, but the original one I find to be so much more engaging and better conceived.

One of the things I also love about this show is how very extremely 1980’s it is. It’s one of those classic shows you watch and you immediately can guess what time period it’s from, and it’s hard to imagine the show taking place in any other decade.

Not a bad way to spend a half hour, and I'd love to see it return to late nights on GSN someday, or even daytime.


anonymous said...

It's two teams of THREE, not four.

Brandon B. said...

Fixed. :)

Michael F said...

I enjoyed Trivia Trap. I think it should have had a longer run, but I liked the first format better than the second one.