ZEE TV Premiers “America’s Smartest Family” This Saturday
The New Game Show Series is the First-Ever English-Language Quiz Show of its Kind
This past Saturday, media and entertainment mega-giant ZEE Entertainment premiered the first episode of “America’s Smartest Family” – a brand new television game show where 16 families will compete for a $10,000 cash prize. Airing exclusively on ZEE TV, the highly-anticipated series is the first-ever English-language quiz show of its kind, placing some of the globe’s brightest South Asian families on stage for a chance at the title of “America’s Smartest Family.”
The first episode of “America’s Smartest Family” truly set the tone of what is to come for this new, fast-paced game show series. Hosted by 23-year-old YouTube sensation Zaid Ali, the show is a unique mashup of the American household favorites “Family Feud” and “Jeopardy,” combined with that special ZEE TV twist that celebrates its South Asian heritage.
After initial eliminations, 16 families were selected to compete for the crown. The Jabbal family of Monroe, New Jersey; the Bhagania family of Quincy, Massachusetts; the Somani family, also of Monroe, New Jersey; and the Bahuguna family of East Brunswick, New Jersey; were the first four teams to compete in the series premiere.
Viewers were kept at the edge of their seat throughout the entire episode. All four teams were fierce competitors and were neck-in-neck, even in the final round. The first two rounds proved that the Bhagania, Somani, Bahuguna and Jabbal families were not going to go down without a fight. All four teams ended rounds one and two with a perfect score, answering each and every single question correctly. They each exhibited a wide range of knowledge in the show’s five categories – science, math, arts, history and geography.
In rounds three and four – the buzzer rounds – things really began to heat up. During these rounds, each correct answer is worth 200 points, and an incorrect answer docks 100 points from the team score. In both round three and round four, the children carried their teams and were the real MVPs of the game, answering some tough questions with ease.
Rishi Somani, just 10-years-old, was the star of the first episode, answering questions the average adult would have trouble with – and in a matter of seconds. It was his quick thinking that would thrust the Somani family into the lead early into the game. Despite only being a team of three, the Somani family finished first in round three with 1,000 points. The Bhagania family trailed behind with 800 points, and both the Jabbal and Bahuguna teams were tied with 600 points.
Round four proved challenging for the competing teams. It was the first round in which wrong answers were given. The Jabbal family broke their perfect streak with two wrong answers, setting the team back 200 points. The Somani family also broke their perfect streak for incorrectly answering a true/false question about the Java Trench. Still, the Somani kept their slight lead at the end of round four, wrapping up with a strong 1,200 points. The remaining three teams – the Bahuguna family, the Bhagania family and the Jabbal family – were all tied for second place, each accumulating a solid 1,000 points.
The fifth and final round, as Zaid Ali noted, was the “make or break” round – with the game still too close to call. During this round, the game takes a turn with the host spicing things up by offering clues. If the team answers correctly without a clue, a maximum of 300 points is awarded. If the one hint is used, 200 points are awarded; and if two hints are used, 100 points are added to the score.
The Bahuguna family kicked off the final round, answering their first question after two hints. The pressure was on for the Bhagania team, which needed to answer correctly to advance to the next round – and they did not fold under the pressure. Refusing to take a clue, the Bhagania team answered their question with ease, securing their spot in the semi-finals and lifting them to the lead with 2,000 points.
Taking two clues to answer correctly, the Jabbal family finished the final round with 1,600 points – a tie with the Bahuguna family, which also finished with 1,600 points. It all came down to the Somani team, who’s next move would seal the fate of the game. After taking two clues, Rishi Somani would help his family advance to the finals. Despite his father’s initial reservations, he trusted his 10-year-old son. This would be the right move for the Somani family, who finished the final round with 1,800 points, eliminating the Bahuguna and Jabbal teams.
After an incredibly close game, ultimately, the Bhagania and Somani families will advance to the semi-finals. They will meet again in episode five, which will air on Saturday, March 24.
In the meantime, tune in next week on Saturday, March 3 to see the next four teams – the Jaffery family, the Kumar family, the Parikh and the Brahma family – compete for the title of “America’s Smartest Family.” The series airs exclusively on ZEE TV at 9:00 p.m. EST; 9:30 p.m. PST; and 9:00 p.m. AST.