Are you smarter than a 5th grader?
The show's set will resemble a classroom with one contestant betting cash on whether or not he or she can answer a series of general knowledge questions. There will be five fifth graders of average intelligence on stage with the contestant to act as lifelines and, this is my favorite part, to "gently mock" the adult.
This show could go one of two ways for me. On the one hand, it could be hilarious. We all know that there is vast chasm between what we learn in school and what constitutes useful knowledge in the adult world. I always trounced my older relatives at Jeopardy not because they were dumb, but because the way we were learning things at school more closely resembled quiz show questions and answers than anything grown-ups were asked to know on a daily basis.
On the other hand, this show could end up being an extended Jay Leno "man on the street" segment - the one where he quizzes random people on geography, history, etc. I always find that bit cringe-inducing because it's shocking to see how unbelievably stupid people are when asked who the third president of the United States was. (Gerald Ford, right?) And, really, what will be sadder? What adults don't know, or how little we expect our fifth graders to know? Could you imagine an episode of Are You Smarter than a French, Japanese or Indian 5th Grader? Just the idea of that potential spin-off makes me weep.