Actor Fred Savage is the face of CHILD SUPPORT. Scratch that, it’s not what you think. CHILD SUPPORT is a new show debuting on ABC Television. No, it’s not a reality show about deadbeat dads or broken marriages. Instead, ABC TV is looking to turn your notion of child support upside down in a one-hour game show created by Ricky Gervais and hosted by Fred Savage. Contestants try to answer questions to win $200,000, if they miss, they turn to a room of children for help. Get it? The contestants get… child support. I chatted with Fred Savage about CHILD SUPPORT, and he was so open about finding his inner game show host (as well as reservations about the show’s title). Continue reading for more of the infectious enthusiasm of Fred Savage about CHILD SUPPORT.
CHILD SUPPORT was created by Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Ricky Gervais. Hosted by Fred Savage, contestants are asked to answer 10 questions correctly to earn the top prize. If they answer incorrectly, the contestants have a chance to be saved by five kids who have been asked the same question by Gervais.
During our chat with Fred Savage he mentioned he never set out to be a game show host. “This was not a goal of mine,” Savage explained, “I learned I really have this inner game show host just dying to come out because I had so much fun.”
Watching CHILD SUPPORT you can tell Fred Savage is having fun cheering on the contestants to win. Fred continued, “I ride all the rollercoaster of emotions. When the contestants win, I’m thrilled, and when they don’t, I’m just crushed.” Savage said he was even admonished a few times for giving contestants too many hints for the questions.
The twist on CHILD SUPPORT is when the adult contestants answer a question wrong, we cut to a group of kids asked the same question by comedian Ricky Gervais. If the kids get the question right, the contestant is saved. The interactions between Ricky Gervais and the group of five kids are priceless. Fred Savage explained that the writers chose questions difficult for the contestants but easy for the kids. Savage added, “there’s a lot of fun watching when the contestant gets it wrong, but the kid gets it right.”
With three kids ages 11, 9, and 5-years old, Fred Savage wanted a show they could watch together – besides The Wonder Years (that he starred in from 1988-1993). “My mom shows them all The Wonder Years episodes,” Savage explained, “they love The Wonder Years.” However recent Fred Savage appearances have not been so family-friendly. “I did this show for Netflix [Friends From College] that was not for kids,” Savage said, “and this show I did a couple years ago for Fox with Rob Lowe, The Grinder, I thought was great, but was definitely like a 9:00 or 9:30 pm show. I really wanted something I could really enjoy with my kids and not worry about.” Although Fred Savage did have some reservations about the name CHILD SUPPORT, and called Ricky Gervais for some assurance.
During Fred Savage’s call with Ricky Gervais he noted, “child support is not something that people have a very positive association with. Do we want to be the face of child support?” Turns out Gervais had similar concerns about the title CHILD SUPPORT, but in the end trusts ABC Television and Disney to look out for families. Hearing that soothed Fred’s concerns.
If you’re wondering whether Fred Savage’s acting career has taken a turn towards game show host, he has an opinion on that too. Fred Savage chuckled while saying, “I think America will tell me if I have a future in this or not.”
If you want to find out what prestigious research university offers pirate certification for students completing archery, fencing, pistol (or rifle) and sailing, tune in to CHILD SUPPORT on Friday at 8:00 pm ET (starting January 5, 2018) on The ABC Television Network, streaming and on demand.
A version of this article previously appeared on AdventuresByDaddy.com.