Fox brings back 'Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?'

27. December 2014 11:03 by Julie Merar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments ()

Fox is officially bringing back the quiz show "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" after the network removed the show from prime time approximately five years ago. The show was syndicated during daytime hours until spring 2011, when it ultimately was canceled. Mark Burnett, executive producer of the show, has been vocal about possibly bringing the show back onto the air for some time. Jeff Foxworthy is making a triumphant return as the host of the family-friendly quiz show, although no official premiere date has been announced. 

'Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?' 
Burnett pitched the quiz show to Fox in 2007 and it was quickly produced and aired only weeks later. The straightforward concept of the show pits adults against kids in a quiz covering grade school-level academic topics such as spelling, art and geography. The quiz is divided up into rounds, with questions slowly becoming more challenging as contestants answer correctly. The rounds are ranked by grade level - first to fifth - with two questions in each round. 

With each question answered correctly, the contestant wins more money, making $500,000 by the time he or she has answered 10 questions. The contestant is then given the opportunity to take on an 11th question that if answered correctly raises the grand prize total to $1 million. Contestants receive a classmate, grade school participants who play alongside the adults and answer questions as well. Similar to other quiz programs such as "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?," the show provides contestants with three aids from their classmate to help them answer questions correctly.  

Of course, the show puts adults in a potentially embarrassing situation, but also highlights how much elementary knowledge we forget from our school days. Fox's recommitment to the program is perhaps partly due to the recent success of "Masterchef Junior," another kid​-friendly competitive show. Officials from the network have also hinted that while "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" will be holding on to aspects of the traditional game play, new elements will be added as well.

Simon Andreae, Fox reality chief, explained that the show, "shares so much DNA with the Fox brand that it feels only natural to return it to the schedule - it's smart, witty, irreverent and it turns the adult-child power dynamic upside-down ... All of the core components of the classic format will be there, but we are also adding new twists that make it fresher and more fun for viewers."

Jeff Foxworthy 
Host Jeff Foxworthy is a celebrity stand-up comedian, actor and radio personality, perhaps best known as a member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Other members who join Foxworthy on stage when he performs on the comedy tour include Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Engvall and Ron White. Foxworthy has released numerous multi-platinum comedy albums as well as several books of jokes and an autobiography. When "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" originally aired in 2007, the comedian was already a TV personality, having previously played the lead on "The Jeff Foxworthy Show." The sitcom was based off of Foxworthy's stand-up persona, but only aired for one season. 

Foxworthy hosted "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" until it was canceled in 2011. Now he is ready to reprise his role as humorous host and quiz master, while he continues to perform live tour dates throughout the country. Often recognized for his "You might be a redneck if ..." jokes, Foxworthy still performs stand up, and has upcoming shows in Atlanta, Las Vegas and North Carolina.

Hawkeyes and Volunteers face off in the 2014-15 TaxSlayer Bowl

26. December 2014 07:14 by Julie Merar in College Sports  //  Tags:   //   Comments ()

The Big Ten Iowa Hawkeyes will face off against the SEC Tennessee Volunteers in the 2014-15 TaxSlayer Bowl (formerly the Gator Bowl). The Volunteers had an even 6-6 record on the season, taking on numerous ranked opponents including the Oklahoma Sooners, the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Missouri Tigers, the Ole Miss Rebels and the Georgia Bulldogs. With that type of schedule, the Volunteers are likely well prepared to go up against the 7-5 Hawkeyes. Due to the restructuring of the Big Ten, Iowa may have had what some call an easier road in the conference this season, as the Hawkeyes neither played the Michigan State Spartans nor the Ohio State Buckeyes.

However, the Hawkeyes did face back-to-back challenges at the season's end, dealing with defeats coming from the Wisconsin Badgers and an overtime loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Although, going into the TaxSlayer Bowl, Iowa brings a squad rich in experience, whereas Tennessee is relying on a relatively young team. Both the Hawkeyes and the Volunteers boast tough defenses, which could result in an intense, low scoring game that comes down to the wire.

Offensively, Tennessee has lost four wide receivers this season due to injury, the latest being Jason Croom. The sophomore has four touchdown receptions and 21 catches on the season, and was sure to be a difference maker in this bowl game before injuring his knee during practice. Both teams will likely rely heavily on running the ball, especially in a close fourth quarter situation. Iowa has struggled in the fourth quarter this season, and keeping the ball to the ground will help the Hawkeyes swallow up necessary clock time.

All in all, the Hawkeyes have more experience from upperclassmen that could make all the difference on the field. Yet, the energy of a young Tennessee team that's been beat up by the SEC might be more than Iowa can handle. A signature win in the TaxSlayer Bowl would give the Volunteers momentum going into the next season, and develop a team that's still learning to be cohesive.

The 2014-15 TaxSlayer Bowl
The 2014-15 TaxSlayer Bowl takes place at EverBank Field in Jackson, Florida on Jan. 2, 2015 at 3:20 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on ESPN and tickets are still available. Other bowl games on January 2 included the Cactus Bowl, Valero Alamo Bowl and Armed Forces Bowl.

G-Eazy prepares for 2015 North American tour

24. December 2014 10:37 by Julie Merar in Music   //  Tags:   //   Comments ()


Gerald Earl Gillum, better known by his stage​ name G-Eazy​, is considered the James Dean of rap. The hip hop phenom has approached his music with academic business acumen, building his brand with gusto. G-Eazy studied at Loyola University's music industry program and leads his team with the confidence of a CEO, according to Forbes. G-Eazy's hard work appears to be paying off, as the rapper's freshman studio album, These Things Happen, debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Album Charts. With an ever-growing fan base and increasing critical acclaim, G-Eazy is now preparing for a 23-city extension of his current "From the Bay to the Universe" tour. 

2015 tour  
The second leg of G-Eazy's tour is scheduled to begin on Jan. 2, 2015, in Pomona, California. The rapper will then travel across the Midwest and East Coast before eventually finishing up the announced dates Feb. 9, 2015, in Honolulu, Hawaii, before heading off to perform in New Zealand and Australia. Kehlani, Jay Ant and Kool John will join G-Eazy to support him as he tours the country. G-Eazy has become known for his high-energy stage presence, treating each venue as if he were performing at a stadium. 

When speaking with Forbes, the rapper explained, "We used to approach a small 400 person show like an arena show, as if I was a star and I was coming out on stage in front of screaming people and that I was to be larger than life ... It's our approach to treat each show like an arena show. We over-invest in production to make the stage look bigger, turning the show into an experience and not just somebody standing around with a microphone rapping."

With that type of dedication, the loyal fans who come out to see G-Eazy live can expect a one-of-a-kind concert experience. What's more, for those who want an insider perspective, the VIP package offers fans the opportunity to get a haircut from G-Eazy's barber. For fans trying to style themselves after the rapper, this is a once in a lifetime chance. Of course, VIP passes come with a wide range of other perks, giving fans a truly unique experience. 

G-Eazy's style is inspired by greats like Johnny Cash, Marlon Brando and James Dean. With a classic look and a contemporary sound, G-Eazy's brand has a timeless quality. G-Eazy tickets are still available for purchase.