America Says


“America Says” burst onto the American television scene in 2018, offering viewers an exhilarating game show experience courtesy of Game Show Network. At the helm of the action is the charismatic John Michael Higgins. Each episode sees two teams, comprised of four eager contestants, locking horns in a battle of wits. Their mission? To anticipate the responses of the American populace to a series of survey questions. Prefaced by the signature phrase “America Says,” each question delves into a specific topic or category, prompting teams to brainstorm as many matching answers as they can muster. With points on the line, the objective is clear: amass as many points as possible for their respective teams. “America Says” stands as a vibrant and cerebral game, offering participants and viewers alike the chance to put their knowledge and intuition to the test.

Gameplay

Main rounds

In a vibrant clash of wits, two teams of four, bonded by tight-knit bonds of friendship and family ties, enter the arena for an exhilarating showdown. The gauntlet is thrown down for one team as they confront a daunting challenge: deciphering incomplete phrases paired with a selection of seven potential answers. Each answer is accompanied by the first letters as cryptic clues, teasing out the correct response. For instance, if tasked with unraveling the essence of Italy, the hint might read “L______ T____,” beckoning the iconic “Leaning Tower” to the forefront of the mind. Moreover, the length of the blank space serves as an additional breadcrumb trail, subtly hinting at the length of the answer, injecting an extra dose of mystery into the proceedings.

Each round unveils a singular inquiry to the competing teams, setting the stage for a whirlwind 30-second scramble to conquer all seven answers. The tension mounts as the first player takes the helm, firing off responses with lightning speed until stumbling upon an errant one, triggering the passing of the torch to the next teammate awaiting their turn. This rhythmic exchange persists until either all seven answers are triumphantly claimed or the sands of time expire. Any premature interjection from a teammate carries the weight of a five-second penalty, adding to the pressure cooker atmosphere. Correct responses fetch a hearty 100 points apiece, with an alluring 1,000-point bounty beckoning those who can conquer all seven within the designated timeframe. Should the team falter, their adversaries lie in wait, ready to pounce on the leftovers at a hundred points per correct response, with no ticking clock but a swift conclusion upon an erroneous guess. In the early stages, opposing teams luxuriated in the privilege of conferring during these steal attempts. However, amidst the era of COVID-19, where social distancing takes precedence, each player must stand solo, relying solely on their individual wit and insight to navigate the challenge sans consultation.

Divergence in verbiage and synonymous interpretations find welcome acceptance as long as they seamlessly align within the given blank space(s). Take, for instance, the interchangeability of “chefs” and “cooking” as fitting alternatives for “cooks,” demonstrating the show’s flexibility. However, the norm dictates restraint in presenting various synonyms as separate entities unless the question expressly delves into synonym usage. In such cases, the distinction between terms like “actor” and “thespian” would blur, typically merging into a singular response, unless the query explicitly seeks alternative designations for a performer.

As the game progresses into the next stage, the stakes elevate, offering a more substantial reward of 200 points for each correct response, with a tempting 2,000-point prize awaiting those who conquer all seven. Similarly, as the competition reaches fever pitch in the third round, each accurate answer earns a generous 300 points, with an enticing 3,000-point jackpot beckoning those who manage to sweep the board. The team positioned on the viewer’s left takes the helm for the initial two rounds, while the leading team at the outset of the third round assumes command, barring any deadlock that might require the left team to kick off the final leg. Should the trailing team find themselves unable to bridge the gap, the round may conclude prematurely. The ultimate champion, determined by the cumulative points amassed over all three rounds, not only secures a handsome $1,000 prize but also earns the chance to compete for a grand $15,000 windfall in the electrifying bonus round.

If a stalemate arises after the third round, an intense tiebreaker kicks into gear, thrusting the team captains into a gripping duel of intellect. The suspense mounts as a single letter from the top answer is revealed, followed swiftly by the full question. Anticipation crackles in the air as the captains poised on the edge, ready to buzz in at a moment’s notice. The first to signal earns the chance to deliver their response, with the correct answer spelling triumph for their team. However, an incorrect response swiftly shifts the tide, handing automatic victory to the opposing side, infusing every moment of this high-stakes showdown with electrifying suspense.

On the unforgettable date of October 29, 2019, “The Canadians” made history in the world of trivia, leaving an indelible mark with their impeccable performance. Comprised of Ayumi Iizuka, Doug Morency, David Ivkovic, and Paul ‘PK’ Kingston, this formidable team embarked on a journey that culminated in an awe-inspiring achievement. Their path to glory saw them amass an astonishing total of 10,400 points, navigating flawlessly through three rounds with scores of 1,700 points, 3,400 points, and 5,100 points, respectively. Despite missing out on three potential steals, they showcased their resilience by securing an additional 200 points through a successful steal. Their dominance extended beyond the main rounds, as they swiftly conquered the bonus round, wrapping up the challenge in a mere 39 seconds, further cementing their status as trivia virtuosos.

Bonus round

In the adrenaline-pumping Bonus Round, the victorious team faces a nail-biting 60-second challenge to unravel the most popular responses to four survey questions. Positioned around a central console, the players stand at the ready in their original formation, their gaze fixed on the prominent red skip button. The action unfolds afresh, spearheaded by the team captain, as they delve into the familiar format reminiscent of the main game: a correct guess fuels momentum, allowing the player to continue offering responses, while an incorrect one swiftly passes the baton to the next eager teammate awaiting their moment in the spotlight.

In the riveting pursuit of survey dominance, each query in the Bonus Round presents an escalating challenge. The first question seeks the singular top response, setting the bar high from the outset. The second question delves deeper, requiring knowledge of the top two answers to succeed. As the intensity builds, the third question demands a triumvirate of top picks, testing the contestants’ breadth of insight. Finally, the ultimate challenge arrives with the fourth and final question, where mastery over the top four responses is the key to victory.

If a team member encounters a roadblock during a question, they wield the authority to pause the ticking clock by activating the skip button, seamlessly advancing to the next inquiry. However, to seize the coveted $15,000 prize in the Bonus Round, they must return to the skipped question and triumph over it after addressing the remaining trio. It’s important to highlight that the skip button is a one-time opportunity, and once three out of the four questions are addressed, its utility diminishes, as there are no additional queries to sidestep.

Once all the crucial answers for a question are successfully exposed, time comes to a standstill, paving the way for the unveiling of the next enigma. The guessing game for each subsequent inquiry kicks off with the next player in line, eagerly awaiting their turn. For example, if Player Two clinched the last accurate response for a question, the mantle of guessing seamlessly shifts to Player Three as the next puzzle emerges.

If the team can successfully reveal all ten correct answers before the last moments tick away, their prize rockets to an impressive $15,000. Yet, falling short of this achievement means departing with a more modest sum of just $1,000 earned from the Main Game.

Producing

Making its debut on June 18, 2018, the series burst onto the television landscape. The momentum surged when, on August 14, 2018, the Game Show Network thrilled fans by confirming the renewal of America Says for a robust second season encompassing 96 episodes. This highly anticipated season premiered on November 26, 2018, ushering in another captivating chapter in the show’s storied history.

April 5, 2019, marked a pivotal moment: the announcement of America Says’ renewal for an expansive third season, promising a staggering 160 episodes. Fans eagerly anticipated the arrival of this highly awaited season, which debuted triumphantly on July 22, 2019, once again captivating audiences with its thrilling gameplay. Additionally, on June 12, 2019, an intriguing development unfolded as GSN and Sony Pictures Entertainment revealed plans to broaden the show’s reach by syndicating it for the 2019-20 television season. However, Sony ultimately decided against syndicating the series for the subsequent 2020-21 television season, indicating a shift in its broadcasting direction.

March 9, 2020, marked a crucial milestone as Game Show Network approved America Says for its highly anticipated fourth season. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into production, resulting in unexpected delays. Despite this setback, the season eventually premiered on May 31, 2021, sparking renewed enthusiasm among fans eagerly awaiting its return.

March 14, 2022, marked a significant moment as Game Show Network officially approved America Says for its eagerly awaited fifth season. Fans held their breath in anticipation for the premiere, which finally graced screens on April 25, 2022, signaling the beginning of another enthralling chapter in the show’s remarkable journey.

Receptionist

Angela Henderson-Bentley from The Herald-Dispatch showered praise upon Higgins for his exceptional hosting skills, likening his talent to the crafting of timeless sitcom masterpieces. The accolades continued as Higgins earned a nomination for Outstanding Game Show Host at the esteemed 46th Daytime Emmy Awards. Moreover, America Says demonstrated its prowess in the ratings arena for Game Show Network, boasting a remarkable 26% increase in ratings compared to its predecessor in the time slot, while also captivating female viewers aged 25–54 with an impressive surge of over 40%.

America Says Talent


John Michael Higgins, Host

Renowned for his memorable performances in hit movies such as “Pitch Perfect,” “The Break-Up,” and “Best In Show,” Higgins has left an indelible mark on the entertainment landscape. Beyond the silver screen, he’s lent his voice to beloved characters in animated series like “Bob’s Burgers” and Nickelodeon’s “The Legend of Korra.” Now, prepare to welcome back your beloved game show maestro, John Michael Higgins, renowned host of America Says! Join him as he takes the reins of the exhilarating new game show Split Second, airing weeknights at 7:30p ET, exclusively on Game Show Network.


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