GSN - Game Show Network (ended 2000)


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Jep! was notable for several different reasons. First, it was the first time the verenable reverse-quiz show allowed children to phrase their responses in the form of a question. Second, the game show introduced the Jep! Squad, a cast of youths employed by the show to give answers that were pre-recorded on location. That's where the good news for this children's version of Jeopardy!, at least in the eyes of critics, since Jep! employed several other features that took away from the genre's best hard quiz. The rules to Jep!, in which three contestants ages 10-13 played, are essentially similiar to Jeopardy!, with some key exceptions. First, there were five categories (e.g., Children's TV, Sports, People You Know, States and What's This?)with four questions each (100-500 points). The player chose a category and then used a plunger to stop a randomizer which determined the point value. As with the adult show, Bergen read the answer (e.g., in Children's TV for 100: "It's where best friends Bert and Ernie share an apartment"), and it was up to the contestants to supply the correct answer ("What is Sesame Street?"). A correct question earned the point value of the question, while an incorrect reply or failing to answer in time deducted it and allowed one of the opponents to answer; and yes, having enough incorrect questions meant negative scores. Thereafter, the player giving the last correct response selected the category. In addition to the Jep! Squad giving selected answers, there was the Daily Double, played just like adult Jeopardy!, plus a hidden bonus space which awarded that player a prize if they correctly questioned. As with any good children's game show (*wink wink*), there were penalties for incorrect questions. Missing twice subjected the unlucky player to a penalty (such as having whipped cream and chocolate sauce, or rubber frogs dumped on the contestant from above); missing three times required the player to sit out one full answer (a far more appropriate penalty). After an undefined time limit or all answers had been cleared from the board, came Hyper Jep! (the unnecessarily renamed Double Jeopardy! round, done so to appeal to kids, natch). As with the grown-ups' show, there were two Daily Double spaces. Point values ranged from 200-1,000 points. All players, regardless of score, were invited to play Super Jep! (yup, Final Jeopardy!), played just like the over-18 version. Meaning, the players, before seeing the answer, could bet up all the points they had on their ability to provide the right answer. The player with the most points got to choose one of two prize packages (e.g., a Sony electronics package or a week of limosuine rides for the winner and his/her best friends). They say penalties can kill in football, right? Well, "penalties" killed Jep!, grinding the rhythm and fast-paced gameplay - two things the adult Jeopardy! thrive on - to a near halt. New shows were produced from 1998 to 1999 (and aired on Game Show Network (now GSN), as part of that network's Saturday morning children's block), followed by a year of reruns. Most parents waited until September 1999 to allow their pre-teen children to play Jeopardy!, when that show began hosting childrens' weeks which .moreless