Craig Ferguson to Host ABC Game Show

'The Hustler' will feature five contestants, one of whom is given the answers to trivia questions ahead of time and can affect the outcome.
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Craig Ferguson

ABC is adding another series to its game show lineup.

The network has given a series order to a show called The Hustler, with Craig Ferguson set to host. The project tweaks the usual game show format by having one player in each game who already knows the answers to trivia questions — but that doesn't necessarily mean they'll walk away with the prize.

Production on The Hustler is set to begin later this fall. A premiere date hasn't been set.

"It’s rare and exciting to have a mystery-based game show that employs viewers and contestants to tap into their sleuth skills," Rob Mills, senior vp alternative series, specials and late night at ABC, said Monday in a statement. "This fun, new format is the perfect addition to our dynamic game-show lineup, and Craig's unmatched wit and humor make him the ideal host. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome him back to ABC."

Each episode of The Hustler will feature five contestants who collaborate to answer a series of trivia questions, with each right answer building a collective prize pot. One of the five is the Hustler, who already knows the answers but must keep their identity a secret in order to have a shot at the grand prize.

The Hustler will also anonymously eliminate two players during the game, with the three remaining contestants collectively deciding who they think the ringer is. If the other two contestants guess correctly, all three players split the prize. If they're wrong, the Hustler takes the whole jackpot.

The series comes from All3Media-backed Studio Lambert and British TV host and producer Richard Bacon, who created the format. He is executive producing with Studio Lambert founder and CEO Stephen Lambert, Studio Lambert USA executive vp Jack Burgess, creative director Tim Harcourt and Susan House.

"Studio Lambert and format creator Richard Bacon are incredibly excited to partner with ABC on The Hustler," said Lambert. "With Craig in the driver’s seat, the comedic beats of this game are very much to the fore. We think ABC viewers will laugh a lot but also be shocked and surprised by the twists of this game, which invites contestants and viewers to play detective, solving a whodunit or, in this case, a whoisit.”

The Hustler will join a roster of studio game shows on ABC that includes Celebrity Family Feud, The $100,000 Pyramid, To Tell the Truth, Match Game, Press Your Luck and Card Sharks, as well as the forthcoming Don't, hosted by Adam Scott, and Generation Gap, from Jimmy Kimmel and Mark Burnett.