Trivial Pursuit heads to TV

Quizshow to kickoff in the fall

A quizshow based on the Trivial Pursuit board game has cleared the Fox-owned TV stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington and Baltimore.

Five-a-week half-hour “Trivial Pursuit: America Plays” will kick off in the fall. Counting the Fox O&Os, distributor Debmar-Mercury has signed TV stations in more than 50% of the U.S. so far. These stations, which includes outlets of CBS, Cox, Belo and Gannett, will pay cash license fees and give Debmar-Mercury three 30-second spots in each half-hour to sell nationally.

Mort Marcus, co-president of Debmar-Mercury, said a key selling point was Hasbro’s commitment to shell out for extensive merchandising and promotion in advance of the debut of “Pursuit,” helping to make the mass audience aware of the show.

Debmar-Mercury expects to engineer more station deals when it showcases “Trivial Pursuit” at the annual National Assn. of TV Program Executives convention in Las Vegas later this month.

Marcus said Burt Wheeler and Sharon Sussman, the producers of “Trivial Pursuit,” will tape it in Los Angeles at a studio still to be determined. Debmar-Mercury also distributes “Family Feud,” and its other co-president, Ira Bernstein, said many stations buying “Pursuit” will play it back to back with “Feud,” double running each show in a two-hour block.

The sales operation of Twentieth TV based in New York will handle the national-advertising time in the two shows.