|Ben Bailey (New York, Las Vegas)|
Beth Melewski (Chicago)
Adam Growe (Frost/Nixon Special, Canada)
Discovery Channel: "Cash Cab: Frost/Nixon Special" 2008
Cash Cab (or Ca$h Cab) is a game show on the Discovery Channel (based on the British game show of the same name) set in New York City (Chicago in the spin-off series) where people who hail a specially-designed taxicab get a chance to win money by answering a series of trivia questions as they move toward their destination.
When contestants hail the Cash Cab, the host sets off lighting and music consisting of a switchboard that is connected to an iPod and the car stereo. The Video Bonus monitor is a DVD player that is embedded to the back of the front passenger seat. After the host sets off the lighting and music, the contestants are informed of the rules and are given the chance to opt out of playing. More often than not, players usually opt in.
The questions in the first 2 seasons of the New York version were worth $25 apiece for the first 4, then doubled to $50 for the next 4, and then to $100 for every question after that. A missed question results in a strike. Three strikes, and all money is lost as well as the players being evicted on the spot.
On "Cash Cab: After Dark", and beginning with Season 3 of the New York version and carrying over to the Chicago version as well as the Las Vegas and Frost/Nixon specials, the question values were doubled to $50 for the first 4, $100 for the next 4, and $200 for every question after that.
Starting in Season 4 of the New York version and carrying over to the Chicago version as well as the Las Vegas special, some rides are designated as "Double Rides", which double the question values to $100 for the first 4, $200 for the next 4, and $400 for all questions after that.
If the players are stumped, they have two "shout-outs" similar to the lifelines of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. One is the "Mobile Shout-Out", which involves calling someone for the answer on a mobile phone (either provided by the host or by the player), and the other is the "Street Shout-Out", which allows a contestant to ask someone on the street. In the revived version of Cash Cab, "Mobile Shout-Out" was replaced by "Social Media Shout-Out", where Ben will go live on Facebook and let the Cash Cab fans join in to provide the answer. In the Canadian version, there's an additional help called "swap-out" (similar to the Switch the Question lifeline on Millionaire), where contestants can ask the Cash Cab dispatcher to switch the question for something easier, once they reach the $100 question.
If the players accumulate $200 ($400 on a Double Ride) or more and the cab hits a red light, a "Red Light Challenge" question is asked, which is a question with multiple answers. If the player(s) get all parts of the answer correct, they get an extra $250 ($500 in a Double Ride). There are no penalties for incorrect answers, so the players can call out whatever they think is part of the list of correct answers until they get all of them or until time runs out. If they miss the question, they do not get a strike nor do they lose any money, and they will have 30 seconds to accomplish this. Starting in Season 4 of the New York version and carrying over to the Chicago version as well as the Las Vegas special, a second Red Light Challenge will be played if the players accumulate $1,000 or more.
If the players make it to their destination without striking out, they are given a choice to either take the money or risk it all for double-or-nothing on a Video Bonus question. A video clip is played and a question accompanies it. A right answer doubles their money, but a wrong answer loses it all.
Based on the British version by Adam Wood
- Reruns of the program were allowed for syndication and are available in select markets.
- It has recently been announced that the Discovery Channel brought back Cash Cab in 2017.
- In a GSN commercial for the show, Ben Bailey explained other ideas before coming up with Cash Cab. There was "Cash Carriage", "Cash Balloon", "Mile High Cash", "Cash Ambulance", "Cash Gondola", "Cash Time Machine" and "Cash in Space". At the end of the commercial, Ben Bailey quotes 'Yeah, I think we made the right choice'.
Official Site (1) - Discovery Channel
Official Site (2) - Syndication
Cash Cab Lion TV Website
Cash Cab: Las Vegas Lion TV Website
Cash Cab: Chicago Lion TV website
Official Cash Cab online game
Another official Cash Cab online game
Cash Cab merchandise from the Discovery Channel Store
Cash Cab: Las Vegas intro