Network: Global Television Network
Broadcast Run: 2007
Broadcast Medium: Television
This was a five-episode Canadian version of the U.S. hit TV game show series. More than 5,000 adult contestants applied to be part of the show, willing to test their grade school smarts for a chance to win $1 million dollars. Each show typically featured just one or two contestants who played the game, one at a time. They selected a question from a variety of categories, like Grade 5 Math or Grade 5 Science, and then decided if they needed help to answer the question from one of the seven Grade 5 kids who were also part of the show (1,000 kids turned out for that casting call and the selected kids came from across Canada). One Grade 5 kid was selected to act as a helper for a certain number of questions.
Host of the show was Colin Mochrie, a well-known Canadian actor and comedian. With a variety of hit series to his credit, Toronto-based Mochrie was no stranger to
TV and comedy fans of all stripes. With uproarious stints on both the British and stateside version of the improv smash, ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ in addition to his starring roles on Canadian productions including ‘This Hour Has 22 Minutes,’ ‘Blackfly’ and ‘Getting Along Famously’, the Second City veteran was also acclaimed for his tours with the Improv All-Stars, and his two-man shows with ‘Whose Line’ co-star, Brad Sherwood.
Before the show had gone to air, Mochrie announced that he would donate a portion of his earnings from Are You Smarter Than a Canadian Fifth Grader to CanWest Raise-a-Reader, an initiative which raised funds, resources and awareness for family literacy programs across Canada. (www.raiseareader.com).
The kid cast included: Katherine, 10 from Halifax, NS; Michael, 9, from
Colin Mochrie & Kids: Back row: Isiah, Rachel, Michael; 2nd row: Nathan, Katherine; front row: Taylor, Jacob
Vancouver, BC; Isiah, 10, from Mississauga, ON; Taylor, 10, from Toronto, ON; Nathan, 10, from Calgary, AB; Rachel, 9, from Winnipeg, MB; and Jacob, 9, from Bedford, NS.
The schoolhouse set was designed by Peter Faragher, and included a bird’s eye view of a map of Canada with custom floor icons designed by artist Patrick O’Keefe, a science lab and a mid-scale dinosaur skeleton.
Broadcast: premiered Oct 25, 2007 on Global
Time slot: Thursdays, 9:00 pm for 5 consecutive weeks
Running time: 60 minutes
Production company: Produced for Global Television by Insight Production Company Ltd. by agreement with Mark Burnett Productions (the U.S. show producer).
Written by Joanne Ingrassia – October, 2007