'Trivial' game show ready to roll


Syndicator Debmar-Mercury has cleared its upcoming game show "Trivial Pursuit: America Plays" in more than 55% of the country, including eight of the top 10 markets.

The half-hour strip, launching in September, has been cleared on Fox-owned stations in the top three markets of New York (WNYW/WWOR), Los Angeles (KTTV/KCOP) and Chicago (WFLD/WPWR).

"Trivial" also has been cleared on Fox-owned stations in Washington and Baltimore as well as stations owned by Cox, CBS, Belo, Gannett, Scripps, Raycom Media and Weigel Broadcasting.

"Due to strong demand for the show, Hasbro and Debmar-Mercury are giving 'Trivial Pursuit' a firm 'go,' " Debmar-Mercury co-president Mort Marcus said.

Added co-president Ira Bernstein: "We absolutely believe this will make for stimulating, family-style viewing and engage audiences week after week."

Debmar-Mercury and Hasbro are co-financing the game show, based on the popular board game introduced in 1982. The format is unique in that it will feature questions, submitted via video uploads to participating stations' Web sites, from viewers nationwide. The TV format was created by series producer Wheeler-Sussman Prods.

"Transforming this iconic classic into an interactive television experience is one of the exciting ways that we're establishing the brand for success over the next 25 years," Hasbro Games group executive Phil Jackson said.

Debmar-Mercury will be showcasing "Trivial Pursuit" at NATPE's 2008 Conference & Exhibition, set for Jan. 29-31 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. Format rights also are available to international territories.

WMA's Mark Itkin brokered the original deal between Debmar-Mercury and Hasbro.