The board game-to-television series has pumped out another concept, this time targeting the game most homes have mouldering in a closet somewhere that also isn’t Monopoly. Entertainment One will develop Trivial Pursuit into a game show series with Reading Rainbow and Star Trek actor LeVar Burton as host.
First reported by Variety, the adaptation comes from a partnership between Burton’s own eponymously named company, LeVar Burton Entertainment, and Hasbro, which owns the rights to the Trivial Pursuit board game and owns eOne. Burton will also act as an executive producer, though no network has been reported as having picked up the show.
““Trivial Pursuit is one of the best-known brands in the gaming universe,” Burton said. “I am thrilled to have partnered with Hasbro and eOne to bring this beloved game to market as a premium show for television.”
For those who haven’t played, Trivial Pursuit has players traveling around a game board and answering questions from cards that correspond to one of the six colours. Correct guesses earn them a wedge for their personal score piece while incorrect guesses earn them nothing but lighthearted scorn from the competition. Once a player has managed to fill their hub, they must travel to the center of the board and answer a final question before clinching victory.
Dicbreaker may not place the well-heeled, wedge-based board game on any best-of list - in fact, there’s one dedicated solely to better trivia games - but its longevity in an easily saturated genre cannot be denied. Part of that ubiquity can be attributed to staying current, as newer editions frequently keep the trivia accurate and the pop culture references relevant to this decade, at least. And, like other “classics”, Trivial Pursuit has padded the portfolio with themed versions, such as last year's Spongebob edition.
This isn’t nearly the first time Trivial Pursuit has been adapted for home audiences. The United States has aired two different versions, the first on The Family Channel from 1992 to 1995 and then again as a syndicated show called Trivial Pursuit: America Plays from 2008 to 2009. BBC produced its own version in 1990 and hosted by Rory McGrath, while Germany’s incarnation lasted from 1993 to 1994.
Burton is fresh off a guest hosting run on Jeopardy! following the death of long time showrunner Alex Trebek. The watching community and Burton himself pulled for a more permanent slot, but the role was split between Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings. Whether this venture was spurred by his time on the venerable television trivial show or not is unclear, as is any news about when or how Burton’s version of Trivial Pursuit will look.
Those wanting even more board games and tabletop games on their living room screen are in luck, as the past year has offered a bumper crop of potential adaptations in various stages of production, from Dungeons & Dragons and Blades in the Dark to Cluedo and (somehow) Guess Who?