Ricky Gervais To Produce New Family-Friendly Game Show ‘Five To Survive’ For ABC

Today, ABC has announced that the network has acquired the rights to Ricky Gervais’ new game show series, Five to Survive. Created with Banijay Studios North America, the one-hour show features one adult contestant who will be given a series of 10 questions to answer to earn the top prize. If they answer one of the questions wrong, the adult will have the chance to be “saved” by five children who have already been asked the same question.

In today’s press release, ABC states that the Five to Survive show “will feature priceless interactions between funnyman Ricky Gervais and kids.”

Though the concept sounds similar to Jeff Foxworthy’s Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, Five to Survive is completely original and ABC jumped at the chance to have it.

Ricky Gervais
Ricky Gervais presents the award for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015. (Image by Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

“When Ricky presented his idea for Five to Survive, we immediately knew this was a project that needed to land here at ABC,” said Robert Mills, senior vice president, Alternative Series, Specials, & Late Night Programming, ABC Entertainment. “It has spirit, it’s fun and it will have the unforgettable comedic moniker that is Ricky Gervais.”

David Goldberg, president and CEO of Banijay Studios North America (who are also producing Big Fan, a new primetime game show series for Jimmy Kimmel), said, “At its core, Five to Survive is a high-stakes Q&A game show with the unpredictable twist of contestants putting their earning potential in the hands of children. You never know what’s going to come out of a kid’s mouth, and with Ricky Gervais, one of the funniest comedians in the world wrangling and asking the questions, it’s certain to be a roller coaster ride. This should be the type of show that appeals to audiences all over the world.”

For many Americans it would appear that you can never tell what will come out of Gervais’ mouth as well. He received mixed reviews when he hosted the Golden Globes in 2011 and then HFPA President Phillip Berk said that the star had “crossed the line,” but he was invited back the next year to host the show again.


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Though Gervais is a winner of seven BAFTA Awards, three Golden Globes, and two Emmys, he does seem like a bit of a wildcard to place him front of a group of kids, but Gervais has appeared in the family-friendly Muppets Most Wanted and all three of the Night at the Museum movies. He is also the author of Flanimals, a popular book series for children. In short, Gervais is looking forward to the gig.

“I’ve never understood the saying ‘never work with animals or children.’ As a producer and director, I prefer either to Hollywood actors. They’re cheaper, they do as they’re told, and the filming hours are better.”

Americans first got their glimpse of Gervais in 2001 with the original British version of The Office. Since then, he has helped create and star in other series including Extras, Life’s Too Short, and The Ricky Gervais Show, while also guest-starring on many other popular television series, including Curb Your Enthusiasm, Louie, Sesame Street, The Simpsons, and Family Guy.

[Featured Image by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP Images]