Trivia Trap is an American game show produced by Mark Goodson Productions. It was created by producer Goodson and originally ran from October 8, 1984 to April 5, 1985 on ABC. The game featured two teams of three contestants each who competed against each other to answer trivia questions in various formats. Bob Eubanks was the host, and Gene Wood announced during the first two weeks. Charlie O'Donnell announced during the third week and was replaced by Bob Hilton for the remainder of the series.
|Created by||Mark Goodson|
|Directed by||Marc Breslow|
|Presented by||Bob Eubanks|
|Narrated by||Gene Wood|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||128|
|Executive producer(s)||Chester Feldman|
|Running time||approx. 22-26 Minutes|
|Production company(s)||Mark Goodson Productions|
|Original release||October 8, 1984 –|
April 5, 1985
Trivia Trap was the final Mark Goodson-produced game show to have an original format. From then until the acquisition of Goodson's company by the predecessors of FremantleMedia (and thus ceasing to exist), all of the shows produced by Mark Goodson Productions were revivals of previous series.
Two teams of three contestants – the Juniors, who wore blue sweaters and were under 30 years of age; and the Seniors, who wore red sweaters and who were over the age of 30 – answered trivia questions to reach a goal of $1,000. The members of the championship team then competed individually to win or share a top prize of $10,000.
Two sets of four answers each were displayed. The team in control chose one set and was asked a question, and each member in turn attempted to eliminate one wrong answer. Their turn ended when either all three wrong answers or the correct answer had been chosen. The team received $50 for eliminating one wrong answer, $100 for two, or $300 for all three. A new set of answers was then displayed to replace the ones that had been used, and the other team then played.
Two rounds were played in this manner; each team had one turn per round, with the seniors always choosing first. At the end of the second round, the host asked a question concerning the last unused set of answers for viewers to play along; the correct answer was revealed at the start of the Trivia Race.
This format remained in place until December 14, 1984. Mark Goodson decided to rework the format after a focus group from the American Film Institute indicated that eliminating wrong answers was a format flaw.
Beginning on December 17, 1984, the first two rounds of the game were overhauled.
Fact or Fiction?Edit
The first round consisted entirely of true/false questions.
The previous day's champions selected one of two question packets, and each team member was asked one question worth $25. After all three members had answered, the challengers played the other packet.
Two sets of questions were played, with the challengers given first choice for the second set.
The Trivia Trap RoundEdit
The team in the lead (or the champions, in case of a tie) played first and had a choice of two categories. After the category was chosen, the host asked a question and four answers were shown. One contestant answered, and each of the other two had to agree or disagree. The correct answer awarded $200 if all three agreed, $100 if one contestant disagreed, or $50 if two disagreed. If the original answer was incorrect and if any contestants had disagreed with it, they had a chance to choose the correct one in the same manner described above and win the appropriate amount. Two pairs of categories were played, one category per team in each pair.
$1,000 Trivia RaceEdit
Control of this round began with the team in the lead. In case of a tie, the champions, or the winners of a coin toss if both teams were new, started. The team in control chose one of three categories, and each member had one chance to answer a question asked by the host. The correct answer awarded $100 and allowed them to keep control, but if all three members missed it, control passed to the opposing team. The chosen category was then discarded and replaced in either case. When a team either answered a question correctly or gained control due to a miss by their opponents, the member after the one who had last given an answer chose the next category and had first chance to respond. There were 10 categories in each of the three slots on the display board, for a total of 30 questions.
The first team to accumulate $1,000 or more won the game and advanced to the $10,000 Trivia Ladder bonus round. Except for a brief period in February 1985, the question value doubled to $200 if neither team had reached this goal after the tenth question. Both teams kept their accumulated money, divided evenly among all three members.
$10,000 Trivia LadderEdit
The contestants stood at podiums numbered 1 through 3, based on their performance in the Trivia Race, and each of them had to answer one of three questions individually. Contestant #1 (the best performer) was shown a set of four answers and could either play or pass. If #1 passed, #2 had the same option; however, if #2 passed, #3 had to play. The host then asked the question, and the player in control won $1,000 and the right to play the final $10,000 question by giving the correct answer. A miss eliminated the contestant from the round. Three questions were played, with the answers for the second question being shown first to the higher-ranking contestant who had not yet answered. The third question went to the last remaining contestant by default.
The host then read the final question and four answers, and the contestants who were still active in the round each chose one. If only one contestant remained, he/she simply gave the answer aloud; if two or more, each secretly indicated a choice by pressing a button on their podiums. All contestants who answered correctly won an equal share of the $10,000 cash prize. If all three contestants missed their individual questions, the $10,000 question was not played.
Any team that played the Trivia Ladder five times retired undefeated.
Trivia Trap premiered on October 8, 1984 in ABC's 11:00 AM timeslot. That time was home to popular game shows The Price Is Right on CBS and Wheel of Fortune on NBC and struggled as a result. ABC canceled Trivia Trap after six months and 128 episodes; the show's final episode aired on April 5, 1985. The following Monday, All-Star Blitz took over the show's timeslot. GSN has aired the show several times on the network. BUZZR aired the first two episodes as part of the "Lost and Found" marathon in September 2017. It began airing Sunday nights at 8pm Eastern/7pm Central on BUZZR starting September 24, 2017.
- Schwartz, David; Ryan, Steve; Wostbrock, Fred (1999). The Encyclopedia of TV Game Shows (3 ed.). Facts on File, Inc. pp. 71–73. ISBN 0-8160-3846-5.
- Baber, David (2008). Television Game Show Hosts: Biographies of 32 Stars. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-7864-2926-4.