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The Mole
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The Mole

Of the reality television game shows produced following the success of Survivor, The Mole has distinguished itself as the most complex and intelligent. Mensa hailed it as "the smartest show on television". The show was originally created in Belgium, and was later licensed in 40 different countries.

Players must to work together to complete various physical and mental challenges and build up a significant cash prize for the winner. One of them, however, is actually a double-agent hired by the producers to sabotage the efforts of the group. Using journals, players must track vast amounts of minutiae about the person(s) they suspect of being the mole, such as seating positions, clothing colors, minor discussion topics, etc. The quiz at the end of each episode tests players' knowledge of the mole, and determines by lowest score (or slowest time, in the event of a tie) who is eliminated from the game.


While succeeding in challenges is important in order to build up potential winnings, it is also critical to stay in the game by scoring better than opponents on the quiz, usually by attempting to draw their suspicions of the mole's identity toward oneself. Since the mole must use subterfuge to misdirect attention from his/her attempts to derail the team, disingenuous attempts to emulate the mole must be subtle, while still noticeable and suspicious. It's worth noting that often the players would sabotage themselves so much that the mole rarely had to tilt the table.

There were also a number of extremely, extremely difficult clues planted by the producers (Example: In one challenge on the second US series, host Anderson Cooper was eating an apple. The apple was the official fruit of Washington, Bill (The Mole)'s home state. Rumor has it that not even Bill himself got this clue until it was revealed to him.) Some players in later series chose to look for these clues, most often in vain. (It's been said that it ruined Corbin Burnson, from Celebrity Mole Hawaii, as he was too distracted to follow the game itself, always compulsively searching for clues everywhere) Ultimately these clues are intended for the viewers to catch (not the players themselves), although often their cryptic meaning remains hidden to everyone until revealed at the end of the show.

American Show Details

Anderson Cooper, a former correspondent for ABC News (later a host on CNN), hosted the show's first and second seasons in the US. The original series of The Mole was aired in 2000. The second series, Mole 2: The Next Betrayal, aired in September 2001, but was put on hiatus after only 3 episodes, then quietly returned in early 2002 to broadcast the remaining episodes. In early 2003, Celebrity Mole Hawaii, hosted by Ahmad Rashad, with fewer contestants and a smaller potential pot, debuted. In January 2004, Celebrity Mole Yucatan again featured Ahmad Rashad hosting the show as a mid-season replacement.

British Show Details

The show had two series in the United Kingdom, hosted by Glenn Hugill on Channel 5. Despite its cult following, a third series was not commissioned.

External links