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Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader

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Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? is a television game show format based on posing grade-school level questions to adults, hosted by Jeff Foxworthy. This television show began broadcast on the Fox Broadcasting Company network as a special in the United States and Canada on February 27, 2007, and it grew to be popular enough that a half-hour-long syndicated TV series was developed by the owners.

Since then, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? has been replicated in several other countries, some versions under the same title, and some under modified ones. The first season of this TV program ranked 28th in the Nielsen ratings in the U.S., with an average of 12.7 million viewers per episode.[1] The status of the Fox-TV series following the summer of 2008 is unknown, but the syndicated TV show debuted in late-September 2009. Episodes from this series are also broadcast on MyNetworkTV one evening per week, and on the Country Music Television (CMT) channel it is broadcast on five evenings per week.

GSN began airing the show November 6, 2011 in five-hour blocks starting at 7:00 p.m. Eastern/6:00 p.m. They currently air Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? Sunday nights.

In 2013, the show appeared in TV Guide's list of the 60 greatest game shows ever.[2]


Each game is played by a single contestant who earns money incrementally based on a payout ladder by answering simple trivia questions, with the game themed as a school quiz. The game relies on the premise that an adult would not know the information generally taught in elementary grade school, because it is rarely used in adult life by the type of person chosen to be a contestant.[1] Therefore, the show is essentially a test to see how much an adult has retained since graduating elementary school. The show also derives its humor by occasionally displaying the contestant's educational attainment, implying that in spite of that, they struggle to answer some questions.

The contestant is presented and chooses from a set of ten subjects and grade level question topics. The question is then revealed. Some questions are multiple choice or true/false; others require the contestant to answer without any options.

Each correct answer moves the contestant up a payout ladder, with a final bonus fifth grade question moving the contestant up one more step to the top prize of $1,000,000. At any point up to the final question, the contestant may quit the game after seeing the question, and keep all money earned up to that point. For the final question, the contestant is only presented the subject and then must decide whether to continue or quit (and keep earned money). The contestant may not walk away after choosing to see the question. The contestant is not guaranteed any winnings until after the fifth question is answered correctly, at which point $25,000 is guaranteed.

Only two contestants have attempted to answer the final question and done so correctly:

Many celebrities have competed on this TV show on behalf of various charities. The rock 'n' roll star Gene Simmons of the band KISS dropped out with $500,000 for The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, making him one of the highest winning celebrities to appear on the show. The subject of the Million Dollar Question was "Science", and the question was "What element is represented by the letter K in the periodic table?" Simmons said that he would have answered krypton, but the correct answer is actually potassium.

The 20-year old Mayor of Muskogee, Oklahoma, and the youngest mayor in the United States, John Tyler Hammons, appeared on October 24, 2008, winning $25,000 for his charity after missing the question "What's the name of the first American woman to travel to outer space?". Unsure of the correct answer (which is Sally Ride), he "copied" the 5th grader's answer, which was wrong.

Ken Jennings could have become the second person to win the million dollars but he decided not to go for the Social Studies million-dollar question ("U.S. President John Adams was a member of what political party at the time of his election?"). Upon seeing the question after dropping out of school, he answered it correctly (Federalist). However, his winnings of $500,000 were enough to regain the all-time game show winnings record from Brad Rutter, who had defeated him in the Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions to claim it. Seven other contestants have also dropped out at the million-dollar question.

Correct Answer Value (original U.S. version)
1st Grade Questions 2nd Grade Questions 3rd Grade Questions 4th Grade Questions 5th Grade Bonus Question
$500 each $1,000 each $3,500 each $7,500 each 10 times earned value

There were five "classmates" (three since season 5) in the game of approximately fifth-grade age who also answer each question in secret by writing their answers. These answers are sometimes used to create tension when the classmates' answers do not correlate with the contestant's. Additionally, the contestant selects one of the classmates at the beginning of the game to help them during the game. Each classmate can only help for two questions, and then a new classmate must be selected.

The selected classmate provides the contestant with two "cheats," each of which may only be used once. The contestant may choose to "peek" at the classmate's paper, which allows them to see the classmate's answer before they give their own (once the peek is used the contestant must answer the question); the contestant may "copy" the classmate, which automatically locks the classmate's answer in as their own. In addition, the contestant has one "save," which comes into play after the contestant gives their first wrong answer. If the classmate has written the correct answer, he saves the contestant; otherwise, the game ends and the contestant loses the game and wins nothing, unless he correctly answers five questions, at which point he is guaranteed the fifth level of the payout ladder. This "save" no longer apply since season 5. The cheats are not available on the final question;[3] Additionally, once all the cheats are used, the chosen classmate returns to the group and no new classmate is selected. The classmates continue to write answers for the questions, however, to be used for tension.

The classmates are generally the same throughout a season, and are given a "study guide" of possible question topics before the start of the season.[4] Since the classmates are not in an adversarial role with the contestants, this only serves to help the contestants if they use the "cheats." It does, however, give a misleading impression of the knowledge level of actual fifth-graders, since the classmates on the show rarely miss the questions, having been given study material in advance. In fact, the show's title is something of a misnomer, since contestants do not actually compete against the classmates, and the classmates' performance on the show is enhanced by study materials, although they still occasionally miss a question. The title was selected to make the show more interesting, specifically making adults look stupid and then exploiting the supposed "stupidity," which is an irony because adults are supposed to teach children.

Upon leaving the game either by quitting ("DROP OUT"), or answering incorrectly ("FLUNK OUT"), the contestant must profess to the camera, "I am not smarter than a fifth grader." However, if the million dollar question is answered correctly (which has only happened twice), the contestant has the opportunity to claim, "I am smarter than a fifth grader."

International versions

The show has spawned many versions around the world:

     Currently airing      No longer airing

Country Name Host Channel Air Date Language
 Argentina ¿Sabés más que un chico de 5to grado? Andrea Frigerio and Pablo Granados América (Channel 2) July 9, 2007 Spanish
 Australia Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?[5] Rove McManus Network Ten 26 September 2007 – 30 October 2009 English
 Austria Dreizehn Christian Clerici ORF1 September 27, 2007 German
 Belgium Slimmer Dan Een Kind Van 10? Goedele Liekens VT4 September 6, 2007 Dutch
Êtes-vous plus malin qu'un enfant de primaire ? Alain Simons RTL-TVI September 6, 2007 French
 Brazil Você é Mais Esperto Que um Aluno da Quinta Série?[6] Silvio Santos SBT September 23, 2007 Portuguese
 Bulgaria Това го знае всяко хлапе!
Tova go znaye vsyako khlape!
Dimitar & Deo bTV September 15, 2007 (canceled on February 20, 2009) Bulgarian
 Canada Are You Smarter Than a Canadian 5th Grader?[8] Colin Mochrie Global October 25, 2007 – November 22, 2007 English
La classe de 5e[9] Charles Lafortune TVA February 5, 2009[10] French
 Cambodia តើអ្នកឆ្លាតជាងក្មេងថ្នាក់ទី៥ឬទេ? (Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?) ដួង សុខគា (Doung Sokhea) CTN September 14, 2012 Khmer
 Chile ¿Sabes más que un niño de 5º básico? José Miguel Viñuela MEGA April 2, 2008 Spanish
 China 五年级救助队
Wŭ nián jí jiù zhù duì
Wang Han HNETV May 1, 2007 Standard Chinese
幸运52 幸运课堂
Xìng yùn 52 xìng yùn kè táng
Li Yong CCTV-2 June 1, 2007 Standard Chinese
Shéi bĭ shéi cōng ming
Liu Ming-ming SZTV June 1, 2007[13] Standard Chinese
Nĭ néng bì yè ma?
Duan Lei
Jia Ning
TJTV June 2, 2007 Standard Chinese
Bù kǎo bù zhī dào
Xu Rui SXTVS June 30, 2007[16] Standard Chinese
Wǔ nián jí chā bān shēng
He Hao-peng Guangdong TV August 10, 2007[17] Cantonese
 Colombia ¿Sabes más que un niño de primaria? Jose Gabriel Ortiz Caracol TV February 20, 2008 Spanish
 Czech Republic Jsi chytřejší než páťák? Michal Suchánek & Richard Genzer TV Nova 2007 Czech
 Denmark Er Du Klogere End En 10-Årig? Jan Gintberg TV3 September 22, 2007 Danish
 Estonia Targem kui 5B Indrek Tarand TV3 September 13, 2008 Estonian
 Finland Fiksumpi kuin koululainen Nicke Lignell MTV3 November 6, 2008 Finnish
 France Êtes-vous plus fort qu’un élève de 10 ans ? Roland Magdane M6 September 3, 2007 French
 Germany Das weiß doch jedes Kind![18] Cordula Stratmann Sat.1 July 6, 2007 German
 Greece Είσαι πιο έξυπνος από ένα δεκάχρονο
Eísai pio éxypnos apó éna dekáchrono
Sophia Aliberti ANT1 January 19, 2008 Greek
 Hong Kong 係咪小兒科
Hai Mai Siu Yi Fo
Leo Ku TVB October 25, 2008 – November 16, 2009 Cantonese
 Hungary Okosabb vagy mint egy 5-es? Attila Till TV2 August 24, 2007 Hungarian
 Iceland Ertu skarpari en skólakrakki? Gunnar Hansson Skjár 1 October 21, 2007 Icelandic
 India Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?[21] Shahrukh Khan STAR Plus April 25, 2008 – July 27, 2008 Hindi
 Indonesia Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Indonesia
Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Kota Langsa
Indy Barends
Charles Bonar Strait
Global TV
Bang Habib
April 4, 2009 - 2010
2013 - present
 Israel ?'האם אתה חכם יותר מתלמיד כיתה ו
Ha'im ata hakham metalmid kitah vav?
Eyal Kitzis Channel 2 July 2007 Hebrew
 Italy Sei più bravo di un ragazzino di 5ª? Massimiliano Ossini / Riccardo Rossi Sky Uno / cielo October 6, 2008 - 2011 Italian
 Japan クイズ あなたは小学5年生より賢いの?
Kuizu anata wa shogaku 5-nensei yori kashikoi no? [22]
Takashi Suzuki NTV April 24, 2011 Japanese
 Latvia Vai tu esi gudrāks par piektklasnieku? Māris Olte TV3 September 8, 2007 Latvian
 Lithuania Penktokų iššūkis Andrius Rožickas TV3 September 2, 2007 Lithuanian
 Mexico Todo el mundo cree que sabe Marco Antonio Regil Televisa June 13, 2009 Spanish
 Netherlands Ben je slimmer dan een kind? Erik van der Hoff Net 5 September 2, 2007 Dutch
 New Zealand Are You Smarter Than A 10 Year Old?[23] Dominic Bowden TV2 September 9, 2007 English
 Norway Er du smartere enn en 5. klassing? Sturla Berg-Johansen TV2 March 9, 2012 Norwegian
 Philippines Kakasa Ka Ba Sa Grade 5? Janno Gibbs GMA Network October 27, 2007 – May 9, 2009 Filipino and English
 Poland Czy jesteś mądrzejszy od 5-klasisty? Robert Korólczyk / Marzena Rogalska TV Puls October 29, 2007 Polish
 Portugal Sabe Mais Do Que Um Miúdo De 10 Anos? Jorge Gabriel RTP1 September 17, 2007 (1st edition)

June 30, 2008 (2nd edition)

 Romania Te crezi mai deştept decât un copil de clasa a 5-a? Virgil Ianţu Prima TV Unknown Romanian
 Russia Кто умнее 5-классника?
Kto umneye 5-klassnika?
Alexandr Pushnoy CTC December 9, 2007 Russian
 Serbia Da li ste pametniji od đaka petaka? Voja Nedeljković Fox televizija September 2007 Serbian
 Slovakia Ste chytrejší ako piatak? Peter Marcin TV Markiza 2007 Slovak
 Slovenia Ste pametnejši od petošolca? TBA POP TV TBA Slovene
 South Africa Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?[24] Soli Philander M-Net January 27, 2008 English
 Spain ¿Sabes más que un niño de primaria? Ramón García Antena 3 July 2007 Spanish
 Sri Lanka Punchi Pahe Man Vijaya Nandasiri Sirasa TV 2008 Sinhala
 Sweden Smartare än en femteklassare Lasse Kronér SVT1 March 19, 2011 Swedish
 Taiwan 百萬小學堂
Bǎi wàn xiǎo xuétáng
Zhang Xiao-yan (張小燕, 1st edition)
Bowie Tsang (曾寶儀) and Xiaoxia (小蝦) (2nd edition)
TTV October 3, 2008 – May 3, 2013 Standard Chinese
 Thailand ถ้าคุณแน่? อย่าแพ้ เด็ก (ประถม)!
T̄ĥā khuṇ næ̀? Xỳā phæ̂ dĕk (prat̄hm)!
Kanit Sarasin Thai TV 3 October 1, 2007 (1st edition)
October 13, 2008 – April 29, 2010 (2nd edition)
 Turkey 5'e Gidenden Akıllı Mısın? Tolga Gariboğlu STAR TV June 2007 Turkish
 Ukraine Чи розумніший ти за п’ятикласника?
Chy rozumnishiy ty za p'yatyklasnyka?
Serhiy Prytula Novyi Kanal January 6, 2008 Ukrainian
 United Kingdom Are You Smarter than a 10 Year Old?[25] Noel Edmonds
Damian Williams
Sky One 7 October 2007 – 24 April 2010 English
 United States Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? (Fox Primetime) Jeff Foxworthy Fox February 27, 2007 English
Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? (20th Television daily version) Syndicated by 20th Television September 21, 2009
 Vietnam Ai thông minh hơn học sinh lớp 5? Tạ Minh Tâm (2009)
Thanh Bạch (2009 – 2011)
HTV2 June 19, 2009 – late 2009 (axed)
November 2010 – early 2011 (1st revived)
Thanh Bạch (January 19, 2012 – January 10, 2013)
Trấn Thành (January 17, 2013 – present)
VTV3 January 19, 2012 – present (2nd revived) Vietnamese

Video game

On October 20, 2008, developer THQ released the first Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? video game, titled Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?: Make the Grade, for the PC, PS2, Nintendo DS, Wii, and Xbox Live Arcade. The Xbox Live Arcade version as of mid 2010 was delisted from the Xbox Live Game Marketplace.

A sequel Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Game Time was released on October 26, 2009 for Nintendo DS, Wii and Xbox 360.

Capcom Mobile released a game based on the game show for iOS devices called "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader 2010" in 2009.

In 2012 Ludia released a free game based on the game show called "Are You Smarter Than a 5th grader? & Friends" for iOS devices.

DVD game

Parker Bros. released a DVD game based on the show. Unlike the show, the player can only pick one classmate for the whole game, and has a choice of 20 games. A 2-player mode is also available.


External links

  • Official site

Template:Mark Burnettfr:Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

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