Craig Ferguson explains why his twisty new game show The Hustler is like The Bachelor
There are more than a few ways to describe ABC's new game show The Hustler. You could call it Who Wants to Be a Millionaire by way of Agatha Christie. Host Craig Ferguson, when speaking to EW, compared it to The Bachelor. And the title of the series premiere opts for "A Puzzle, Wrapped in an Enigma, Tattooed in Mystery."
But for all that, the premise of The Hustler is actually fairly straightforward, even if the act of gameplay is anything but (as you can see in the exclusive clip above). In each episode, five contestants assemble in a drawing room-type set, where they answer trivia questions (worth $10,000 each) to build up their cash prize. But one person among them is "the Hustler" — who knows all of the answers and eliminates two players over the course of the game. The remaining three must decide who they think the Hustler is and either split the money between themselves if they're right, or watch the Hustler go home with everything if they're wrong.
"Although it's a game show — and it most certainly is a game show — it's kind of a hybrid," Ferguson says. "It has a slight reality show feel in the sense that you're trying to figure out who these people are. So it has a The Bachelor-y type thing where you're trying to figure out who is this, what's their motive, and why are they like that? And then it has an almost murder mystery feel about it, too. I love that."
Despite being the host, Ferguson also has no idea who the Hustlers are when filming the show. "I'm playing the game along with everyone else," he notes. "So I am as much a detective as any of the contestants." He advises would-be players to "watch people's body language and to pay close attention to them," but also "to be maybe a little bit cynical, and not too trusting."
"I always thought I would be pretty good as a detective, but I'm not! I'm terrible at it," Ferguson says with a laugh. "I think it's because I'm an optimistic person. I try and see the good in people. I'm a little too Anne of Green Gables to be a good detective."
The Hustler premieres Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
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