December 13th, 2010
06:35 PM ET
Fox is looking at a popular British quiz show to garner a midseason ratings boost.
"Million Dollar Money Drop" premieres on December 20 and will air for four consecutive nights. The quiz will then air on Tuesdays for five weeks starting January 4.
Hosted by actor/comedian Kevin Pollak, teams of two begin each game with $1 million in cash. The teams then risk that money by placing the cash on trap doors that correspond to up to four possible answers for each question. If they put any money on a wrong answer, that cash is lost. Teams can put money on multiple answers, but one trap door must be left with no cash on it.
"We're not picking one contestant for this show," "Money Drop" executive producer Jeff Apploff said. "We're looking for two people who have a built-in relationship. They need to be energetic, be good at trivia and be willing to openly dispute. We also want people who need the money, as it adds to the drama of the game."
"Money Drop" is based on the British series "The Million Pound Drop," which airs live to an audience of nearly three million viewers a week. Apploff says "Money Drop" won't be live - "It doesn't make sense, given the numerous time zones" - and the style of the questions will be different from the British series, which is somewhat heavy on current events.
"We have come up with a template for the perfect type of question," Apploff notes. "We wanted to do stuff that is very relatable and deceptively simple, and you will see that in our questions."
Pollak, who hosted "Celebrity Poker Showdown" for Bravo, admits that he wasn't sure if he was the right fit for "Money Drop."
"Everyone kept insisting I was good at it," he said. " After some time, I realized that I can juggle hosting, improvising and handling the human drama."
Would Pollak, who also hosts "Kevin Pollak's Chat Show" online, be a good "Money Drop" contestant? "I play the game in my mind," Pollack notes, "And it's hard. I'm often amazed that contestants can pick the correct answer when I'm sure they are wrong."
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