Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? is a television game show which first aired in the United States on FOX, in February 2007. The show is created by Mark Burnett and is hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy.
The American version premiered in South Africa on M-Net Series on Friday 26 October 2007, at 21h00. Twenty-one episodes aired on the channel before the show moved to M-Net for Episode 22 onwards.
The series premieres on M-Net on Sunday 16 December 2007, at 18h00, starting with Episode 22.
A South African version of the show will be produced by and aired on M-Net from January 2008.
Each game is played by a single contestant, who earns money incrementally based on a payout ladder by answering trivia questions, with the game themed as a school quiz.
The contestant is presented with 10 school subject categories, with two questions at each grade level from first to fifth; the subjects are changed for each game.
The contestant chooses whichever category they wish and is asked a question taken from a school textbook for the grade level of the particular question. 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, which begins at $1,000 and moves up to to $500,000, with a final bonus fifth grade question moving the contestant up to $1,000,000.
At any point up to the million dollar question, the contestant may quit the game after seeing the question. For the million dollar question, the contestant must decide whether to quit after seeing only the subject; if they choose to see the question, they must answer it.
There are five classmates 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 corrolate 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 three 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.
The contestant may copy the contestant which automatically locks the classmate's answer in as their own.
The final cheat it not exercised by the contestant, but comes into play after the contestant gives their first wrong answer. If the classmate has written the correct answer, they save the contestant.
Otherwise, the game ends and the contestant loses the game and wins nothing, unless they have correctly answered five questions, at which point they are guaranteed $25,000.
The cheats are not available on the million dollar question; additionally, once all three 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.
Upon leaving the game either by quitting, or answering incorrectly, the contestant must profess to the camera the following: "I am not smarter than a 5th grader".