Oh, Supermarket Sweep is VERY MUCH on the air in the United States
. Check out the PAX TV
network, which is Ch. 68 in Boston
(airs daily at six and seven!). Perhaps the format is a little different, though. Three teams of two competed in a number of different rounds.
In the first round, contestants would unscramble the names of food items or answer questions about those food items. In exchange for correct answers, they were given time that they could use in the next round.
During the second part of the game where the three contestants go apeshit through the store stocking as many high priced items into their carts during the alloted time, the only stipulation being that they can only take five of any given item. There are also strange items like large inflatable Chiquita bananas that are worth bonus dollars. But the contestants always go after large slabs of meat or packages of diapers. I've yet to see anyone go after OTC drugs, which would by far be worth more money, and take up less space in the cart. But, as you can probably guess... if these people were smart, they'd be on Jeopardy! and not Supermarket Sweep.
Once all of the totals are tallied, the team with the highest dollar value goes onto the final round for $5,000. They are given a rhyming clue to a food item in the supermarket. If they find the food item, they get another clue. If they get three food items in 60 seconds, they win the grand prize.
The show also has an extremely irritating host (David Ruprecht, who was radio voice in Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan) with a perpetual smile. He talks to the contestants to find out a little bit about their pathetic lives. He's always shouting things lik "OH, THAT SOUNDS EXCITING!!!" and "IT'S TIME FOR THE ROUND ROBIN GAME!!!" On top of that, the contestants are always yelling, too. They're hyperexcited... like someone's pumping nitrous oxide into the studio.
By far the best part of the show is listening to the announcer give the play-by-play of the second round mad-dash...
Mary Ann is heading over to the snack aisle, and she's filling up on Rold Gold Pretzels. They're low on fat, but not on dollar values! Meanwhile, Jeff is going after the Foster Farms Turkeys... he's got his alloted five... and he's off again! And now Mary Ann's found one of our bonus items... it's the giant Spam can! She'd better get that back before time runs out!
And, just to punctuate the cheese factor of this show (if you didn't catch on already), at the end of the show, the host and the final contestants all chime in...
The next time you're at the checkout counter,
and you hear that beep...
Think of all the fun you could have,
on Supermarket Sweep!