“America Says” Review

Set Design- 6
Gameplay- 6
Show Flow- 6
Potential Viewer Ratings- 5
Play-Along Factor- 10
Host- 7
Overall Rating- 6.6

Premise: Two teams comprised of four contestants compete against each other to answer survey questions. In each round, both teams have 30 seconds to guess the top seven fill-in-the-blank answers. If there are any unrevealed answers remaining on the board, the opposing team has two chances to confer and attempt to guess the remaining answer(s) on the board. Each correct answer earns the team 100 points and guessing all seven answers correctly on a single turn earns the team a 1,000-point bonus. Points are doubled for the second round and tripled for the third round. The highest scoring team advances to the end game.

In the bonus round, the winning team has one minute to answer four questions and provide all of the top responses for each question. The top answer must be correctly guessed for the first question, the top two answers for the second, the top three answers for the third and the top four answers for the fourth. A team may pass on one question for a new one during the round. Guessing ten top answers correctly wins the team $15,000. Otherwise, the team walks away with a $1,000 consolation prize.

Review: Upon reading about the general description about the new show hours after the network’s annual upfront presentation unveiled its slate of new and returning programming for 2018 a couple of months ago, America Says appeared to be a knock-off Americanized version of Family Feud. After previewing the first episode last month, that is exactly what it is. There are several elements within GSN’s newest series that mimic the long-running survey game show, including a centralized survey board, pairs of teams comprised of four contestants (albeit this was only seen in the 1994 US version), the arched backdrops, the ability for opponents to steal potential points, teams going down the line to give answers and the three-round, single/double/triple front game format.

It is very difficult to create a game show nowadays – or any television show for that matter – without borrowing similar ideas and concepts from other shows. Today’s television age of reboots and revivals is essentially a temporary concession from Hollywood on how increasingly difficult it is to create completely original content. However in this case, it is possible to create a survey-based game show without completely ripping off Feud, as we have seen with Hot Potato, Pointless and Let’s Ask America.

Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 5.10.07 PM.png

Although America Says is merely hastened, fill-in-the-blank version of Feud, there are few redeeming aspects that make this show worth tuning in. The fast-paced nature of the first halves of each round is a nice twist and, even without Steve Harvey providing candid and comedic commentaries to contestants’ crazy answers, the show is still engaging enough to make viewers want to play along by quickly guessing the answers.

The bonus round, which resembles the Bullseye round featured on Feud during the Combs, ’94 Dawson and O’Hurley eras, has its pros and cons. The great part about the end game is how the difficultly increasingly ramps up for questions since the scope has narrowed for winning teams to now exactly guess up to the top four answers. What irks me about this portion of the show is how upsettingly basic and random the payout structure for wins and losses. I can understand awarding $1,000 for a team winning the front game. I can’t comprehend how the producers arrived to deciding the grand prize would be $15,000. I thought it would be contingent upon how many correct answers a team would guess in the first half of the bonus and the cash at stake would be multiplied by ten in the latter half. I was wrong. It would at least make more sense to me if the top prize were set at $10,000 or $20,000 so it would look more aesthetically pleasing mathematically and the money would be better distributed than stiffing the team a penny. I don’t see a logical rhyme or reason why the top prize was set at a relatively random figure like $15,000 given the show’s structure. I’m also surprised at the lack of consolation money ($100/answer) awarded to the winning team who fell short in the end game.

Overall, America Says is simply a watered-down version of Family Feud. John Michael Higgins is a decent host for the show and does an okay job of playing off some of the bad answers given from time to time. Considering the current nature of GSN’s primetime schedule, I can see the network redundantly airing a slew of Harvey’s Family Feud following a doubleheader of the new show. America Says is not terrible, but it’s also not good enough for me to have faith in the show sticking around for more than one season. However, if you love Family Feud, you will like America Says.

Stay tuned for new episodes of America Says weekdays at 5:00pm on GSN! Screenshots taken from episodes of America Says.

20 Comments Add yours

  1. john says:

    america says sucks its really abad show icant stand it

    Like

    1. Kellie Holder says:

      I agree it would be nice to see people win once in a while

      Like

  2. richard needham says:

    U need to award the winners with more money. No one ever wins the big $15000 and $1000 isn’t enough. Losers could get something

    Like

  3. Dolly Crawford says:

    this is the worst game show ever in the history of tv. The host is a complete a – – hole. I can’t stand the complete show.

    Like

  4. patsy t francese says:

    u idiots think family fued is good.i like america says

    Like

  5. looker says:

    They need to start focusing close in on the board instead of the people so that those watching on tv can read the board!!!!!

    Like

  6. John Doe says:

    I like the America Says show, and I like the host. But if you can’t pay for contestants to win the big prize, then you should probably rework the business model. Don’t make people try to used words like “jackalope”. Are you fu**ing kidding me?

    Like

  7. Ron Buck says:

    Boring!

    Like

  8. RICHARD MERRYMAN says:

    I like the show, but they really need to make the words much bigger. It’s way too hard to read because the font is so small.

    Like

  9. David says:

    Sorry but the Host had to be the worst dress game show host I’ve ever seen. They need to call Steve Harvey for some needed help.

    Like

  10. mary ellis says:

    I watch the show, I’m not satisfied with some of the choice of questions.it seems as though some of them are designed for certain americans.the questions should be something that all Americans go through or deal with or just familiar with.thats why I don’t really like the show.i’m a black female and it’s questions about certain actresses or musicians that I’ve never heard of.which a team that’s Caucasian may know every answer.i think that’s very Bias

    Like

  11. Lynn m Watters says:

    america says sucks!! Split 4 ways it’s less than $4,000 each. but no one ever wins the piddly $15,000.

    Like

  12. DAVIS CONNELLY says:

    A recent discovery, and a new favorite of mine. Host Higgins has loosened up, and is quite amusing when contestants say/do something wacky! (Do you remember his as Elaine’s boyfriend who shaved his head for the swim team on “Seinfeld?”) Season three has just been announced. Also, “Family Feud” was a rip-off of Match Game’s bonus round, created specifically for Richard Dawson, so to treat that show as some touchstone for game show originality seems misguided.

    Like

  13. Kathy Woolsey says:

    I wish the the cameraman would not zoom out on the last word that contestants didn’t fill in. You can’t read it while watching on TV.

    Like

  14. Maureen baker says:

    Use to love this show, but HATE the play by play!!!!! Why did they start that??

    Like

  15. Nance Peet says:

    Like the show BUT when audience gives answer to last blank it often os not audible on TV and host turns away when he says what it is. Also cannot see it on the board (do not have a giant TV screen). Can this be corrected

    Like

  16. S.thomad says:

    I watch this show as often as I can… l like the host because he does not shout like all the other hosts. I am not familiar with him prior to this show but I enjoy him and the questions…most of the hosts do not speak but shout all the time and it is annoying…..

    Like

  17. Jim Trootta says:

    I like the show, but, winner rounds should get $1,000 for each of the 10 correct answers. If you get all 10 correct, you get a $5,000 bonus for a total of $15,000 max. This way, winning finalists win more. Also, fans are more interested,

    Like

  18. Lana says:

    How do they determine “best answers”? I seriously doubt, sometimes, if an answer in the final round, is really a top answer. For instance, in an episode I just watched, the question “____ melts quickly”. Neither ice nor snow was one of the top 4 answers, but plastic was? it just seems that there is often some kind of obscure answer that someone may have said, but it seems unlikely very many people did.

    Like

  19. Susanna Hancock says:

    I have a suggestion. It is so hard to see the final answer after both teams have guessed . Michael turns around and asks for it – It would help if the camera would zoom-in on it, too. Its frustrating not to know ALL the answers. Watch the shows every night. Thanking you in advance for your prompt attention.

    Like

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