Anyone who’s seen wedded actors Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell play games on Ellen DeGeneres’ daytime talker knows they’ve got a competitive streak — and that includes DeGeneres and the folks behind Ellen’s Game of Games, who partnered with the famously fun duo to give them their own show Family Game Fight!.
“We saw how infectious they were,” says executive producer Dan Norris. “They want to win, but it’s in such a loving way.”
On Family Game Fight!, two teams (whose four members are related by blood or a common bond) go head-to-head. Shepard and Bell are “adopted” to play alongside them, and switch sides at the halfway point so they’re invested in both clans’ fates. While games can be physical or mental, Norris notes the couple are particularly fond of word association.
One favorite, played by the Pope family and Military Moms in the August 11 episode, is Pie Rollers: Shepard and Bell must get their teammate to guess the secret word within a certain number of clues…or the teammate gets a pie in the face. “There’s lots of drama and tension,” Norris says.
Whichever family accumulates the most points goes to the final Spin Cycle round, where Shepard and Bell unite to speak, draw and act out 10 clues. Each correct guess is worth $10,000. Do the pair sneak a peek beforehand? Never, says Norris. “They play hard and they play fair.”
Family Game Fight!, Series Premiere, Wednesdays, 9/8c, NBC