"Hi/Hey, everybody, I'm Greg Lee, and this is Nitro! (insert first contestant info), (insert name)! And (insert second contestant info), (insert name)! Let's play Nitro!, everybody!"
Nitro! was a short-lived pop culture knowledge/physical challenge game show.
Two contestants competed to answer questions about TV while moving around on a racetrack-like board. Some spaces on the track were on ramps, others on stairs, two on tires, and three (spaces 14-16) were on top of an old beat-up Mustang painted green.
To start, Lee would ask the contestants a list question, with the contestants alternating in giving answers (similar to the Seesaw category from Tic Tac Dough) until one failed to answer correctly or gave no answer at all, at which point, the opponent would move the number of spaces equal to the number of correct answers he/she gave. Both players had to take an equal number of turns and if the first player missed, the second player had to answer correctly to move, or nobody could move at all. If both completed the list, whoever gave more correct answers moved ahead. If there was a tie on a question with an even number of answers, both players would move a combined number of spaces, and a wheel was spun to determine control.
The winner of the list question played a stunt related in a way to a clip shown on one of the various networks that the tv! Network provided. If the player was successful, he/she advanced two more spaces.
Various games on the show included:
- Grid Game – A grid of ten television shows was shown to both players for 15 seconds. When time was up, they alternated guessing what shows were shown, advancing one space for each correct answer.
- Cold Spell – A name was given to both contestants, taking turns guessing the next correct letter. Once a contestant made a mistake, his/her opponent would advance one space for each letter that he/she provided and perform a stunt.
- Video Game – The contestants played a custom-made video game, and each player advanced one space per point earned.
- Pit Stop Survey – Before going to a commercial, Greg would ask the studio audience a survey question (similar to Family Feud and Card Sharks), and the contestants were asked to predict the outcome. The player who was closest to the acutal result would move ahead two spaces.
Similar to You Bet Your Life, the home viewers were shown a secret name at the beginning of the show. If a contestant used it in a correct answer, he/she advanced two more spaces.
When time was running short, the finish line was placed five spaces ahead of the leading player, and no more stunts were played; only list questions. The player who crossed the finish line first (or was closer to it when time was called) won the game and played the bonus round.
Bonus Round: The Nitro! Void
In the bonus round, the winner would pick one of three channels (usually Court TV, The Military Channel, and a random channel which changed from show to show) and had to provide ten correct answers within a certain time limit (two seconds for each space moved; for example, moving 30 space meant 60 seconds). The player won a better-looking and better-functioning TV based on how many correct answers were given. No right answers awarded a junk TV on its last legs, but getting ten awarded a home entertainment center, complete with a big-screen TV, satellite dish, and a stereo.
The tv! Network was a cable channel that was primarily a sampler package of other cable networks that at the time were either on higher-tier packages or were pay-TV. These networks included:
- The Box
- Cartoon Network
- Classic Sports Network
- CNN International
- Court TV
- The Disney Channel
- The Ecology Channel
- Game Channel (a never-launched competitor to GSN created by The Family Channel)
- The Learning Channel
- The Military Channel
- Music Zone
- Newstalk Television
- Nostalgia Television
- Outdoors Motorsports Channel
- Planet Central
- The Travel Channel
- Turner Classic Movies
- TV Food Network
- TV Health & Fitness
- Z Music
tv! Network changed to Intro Television at the start of 1996, then at the start of 1997 became MoviePlex, a spinoff of another Liberty Media-owned channel, premium service Encore, that aired programming from Encore and its multiplex networks (excluding Starz).
Tatooed Lady, Sam Beaman, and Jim Boardman
Pit Crew Members
Howard J. Blumenthal
tv! Network Studios, Englewood, Colorado
Howard J. Blumenthal and James Greenburg, both crew members on Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, worked on this show with Lee. Erik Ulfers and Jim Fenhagen who worked as production designers on both World and Time, also worked on this show.
All of the spaces on the track, as well as many of the background items, were painted blue so they could be chromakeyed in post-production to look like staticy TV sets.
Some questions used on the show were verified using The Complete Directory to Network Prime Time and Cable TV Shows, Sixth Edition (1995), by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh.
13 episodes were produced.
Repeats aired following the network's name change to Intro Television, but were removed at some point in 1996. The most likely reason is the fact that the programming Intro carried began to differ (sometimes heavily) from what it had while Nitro! was in production, making the latter outdated and an ineffective marketing tool.