Separation Anxiety is a comedic, relationship-based game show featuring a unique twist that isn't revealed until after they've played the game.
It is staged as a game show within a game show. An unsuspecting couple is brought to a studio in Atlanta, where they think they're playing together on an Internet game show for a top prize of $2500. Just before taping, the couple is told that the rules have changed, and that one half of the couple will play first, and the other will play later.
The player who is told they'll "play later" is taken to the real Separation Anxiety studio, where host Iliza Shlesinger explains the real game. The in-studio player will select the categories that their partner is playing in the fake Internet game. The real prizes are 100 times the dollar amounts shown in the fake game (so the first $10 question is really worth $1000). The game uses an 8-question money tree:
During the game, the in-studio player gets several opportunities, called "Mind Melds", to earn bonus prizes for predicting what their partner did during hidden-camera segments shot after the players were separated but before the fake game taping began. Those prizes are kept, even if the team loses the main game.
There are four ways the game can end:
- The fake-game player can answer 8 questions correctly.
- The fake-game player can stop the game after any correct answer.
- The in-studio player can, at several times after the $25,000 question is answered correctly, opt to end the game immediately and keep half of the real prize.
- The fake-game player answers one question incorrectly. The couple is given $5000.
In all instances, the real studio is then revealed, and the fake-game player is told the outcome of the real game.
Comedian Adam Ray hosts the fake game show, and usually does whatever comedic bits or unusual actions that Shlesinger directs him to do through his IFB earpiece.
- The term "Separation Anxiety" is a psychological condition in which an individual experiences excessive "anxiety" regarding "separation" from home or from people to whom the individual has a strong emotional attachment (e.g. a parent, a couple, caregiver or siblings).
- This show will be Shlesinger's second hosting gig for TV. The first was the short-lived, reality dating series Excused from 2011 until 2013.