BrainSurge (partially lost episodes of Nickelodeon game show; 2009-2014)
BrainSurge is a game show that aired on Nickelodeon from September 28th, 2009 to May 3th, 2011 and July 18th to November 17, 2011 on Nick at Nite and April 28th to May 9th, 2014 on Nicktoons. The show was hosted by Jeffrey Sutphen. Created by Scott Stone, who created other Nickelodeon game shows such as Legends of the Hidden Temple, Fun House, and The Mole. The show ran for three seasons before being canceled.
Format[edit | edit source]
The show involved 6 contestants known as the brainiacs who competed in 3 levels of brain games. The first level involved watching 6 different visual puzzles and the contestants had 10 seconds to lock in their answer on a numbered keypad. Each puzzle was worth a different point value (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 100) with the max score being 250 points. After all 6 puzzles, the 4 with the highest scores would move on to level 2 while the other 2 were eliminated and went down the Brain Drain (a slide filled with orange-colored foam) but were given a consultation prize.
Level 2 involved the contestants having to answer questions from a story Jeff told from his Big Book of Truth known as "Jeff's Big Book of Super Fantastic True Chronicles of Truth That Are Absolutely True." There were two types of stories, question, and list. The question stories were the usual who, what, where, when, why, and how, while the list stories involved the contestants listing off up to 20 items in a specific category. When the contestants were asked a question they were asked to sit down on the orange chairs if they heard a ding they were right if they heard a fart they were eliminated and send backward through the set of Jeff's mouth leading to the Brain Drain. This went on until there were only two contestants left. Contestants would also be eliminated if they ran out of time, or repeated an answer. The two remaining contestants would move to the Knockout Round where they had to match images from the story in a 4x4 grid. If a contestant made a wrong match, sudden death would happen and the person who made the next correct match would move on while the other was eliminated.
The final contestant would move to Level 3:The Final Stage, where they had to memorize and complete 3 paths on 3 grids in 90 seconds. The 3 paths were a 4x4 grid which had a path of 6 squares (5 in one episode), a 5x5 grid with 8 squares (9 in one episode, 10 in two episodes), and a 6x6 grid with 10 squares. Each time they completed a path they would win a prize, with the final prize being a vacation. If the contestant completed all 3 paths in 90 seconds, they would win all 3 prizes and get slimed. However, if they ran out of time, they were allowed to keep the prizes they won but were sent down the Brain Drain. In special Nick Stars episodes, the winner would win prizes for a randomly chosen audience member.
Broadcast History[edit | edit source]
The first season premiered on September 28th, 2009, and ended on April 9th, 2010 with the final episode airing on July 1st, 2010 during the beginning of season 2. Some differences compared to later seasons included, the stories in level 2 were still photographs instead of the animated ones shown in other seasons. In the first few episodes, if a contestant got a question wrong in Level 2, Jeff would skip the question and reveal the correct answers while in later episodes he would throw out the question but not say the answer. Another minor change is that Jeff allowed the contestants to throw the 90 seconds on the board which was only shown a few times in Season 2.
Season 2 premiered on June 21st, 2010 with the final episode airing on May 13, 2011. A few changes were made to the show including there being no more 40 point puzzle, making the max score in Level 1, 210 points. The stories in Level 2 were now animated and the list stories had a max of 16 items instead of the usual 20. The final change was that the Brain Drain ran down straight to the audience instead of the original exit sign. This season featured 4 special weeks each with 5 episodes. The 4 special weeks were; Boys vs. Girls, Stars of Nickelodeon, Co-hosts, and Family week.
During the final season, the show was later changed to Family Brainsurge which premiered on July 18, 2011, to November 17, 2011. More changes were made to the show. Instead of 6 contestants competing, 5 teams of 2(a kid and an older family member) would compete. All the levels were renamed, Level 1 being called Brain Tease, Level 2 was called Brain Fart, and Level 3 was called Brain Trip. Level 1 only featured 4 puzzles (10, 25, 50, and 100) with the max score being 185 and the only team would go down the Brain Drain. Level 2 introduced a new mechanic called the Brain Fart, where if the family got stumped they could yell Brain Fart, and their Braintrust consisting of 2 other family members, could help them with a question, but there were two catches. One, if they were wrong the team would be eliminated and two, the family could only use them once. The list stories were changed from 16 items to 12 and if the families named all the items, other questions would be asked about the story but no Brainfarts could be used. For Level 3, the kid would complete the 4x4 and 6x6, while the parent would complete the 5x5. On celebrity episodes, the celebrity families would compete for prizes and to win money for their selected charity ($1000 for losing Level 1, $1,500 for losing the story part of Level 2, $3,000 for losing the Knockout Round, and $5,000 for winning the show).
Cancellation/Reruns[edit | edit source]
The show was canceled in late 2011 due to Sutphen hosting the revival of Figure it Out in 2012. However, the last final 10 episodes of season 3 aired on Nicktoons from April 28th, 2014 to May 9th, 2014 with reruns airing until July 2014. Also, season 1 has not aired since at least June 2010 and Season 2 reruns lasted until about June of the next year. Some episodes also aired on Nickelodeon's sister channel Nicktoons aside from the final season with the 10 withheld episodes.
List of Lost or Incomplete Episodes[edit | edit source]
|Episode||Found footage for episode||Status||Contestants for episode|
|102||100 point puzzle||Partially Found||Alexis, Aly, Lindsey, Jessi, Justin, Drew|
|103||None||Lost||Siera, Alex, Kylie, Madison Kate, Sebastian, Bennett|
|104||Full Episode privately uploaded on June 30, 2020 (Skip to 5:30:30)||Found on April 1st||Sabyr, Celine, Carson, Noah, Jourdan, Nick|
|106||Slimming||Partially Found||Jessie, Sam, Daphne, Tyler, Camille, TJ|
|107||Clip from 2009 Promo/Slimming||Partially Found||Ken, Ciana, Scotty, VJ, Remy, Cheyenne|
|109||Small clip from Level 3||Partially Found||Cody, Sydney, Liam, Alec, Maya, Kellie|
|112||Clip from 2009 Promo||Lost||Dalton, Ally, Pat, Jennifer, Ruby, Chase|
|113||Image from Intro||Lost||Brandon, Kendyl, Kailey, Reese, Rikki, Bronson|
|115||Full episode (privately uploaded on December 29, 2015)||Found on March 10th||Madison, Keegan, Lilah, Mason, Spiro, Sarah|
|119||Level 2 without intro/Level 3||Partially Lost||Epiphany, William, Madison, Ariel, Ray, Isaiah|
|120||Level 1 /Level 3 without intro||Partially Lost||Danny, Nick, Eryn, Athena, Zee, Timmy|
|121||Clip from 2009 Promo||Lost||Yuki, Sydney, Erin, Brian, JP, Kristina|
|123||40 point puzzle||Partially Found||Ryan, Reign, Caitlin, Drew, Eric, Rebecca|
|125||Full episode (privately uploaded on December 29, 2015)||Found on March 10th||Madison, Keegan, Lilah, Mason, Spiro, Sarah|
|126||Level 1 without intro||Partially Found||Garek, Sarah, Kalen, Heather, Alec, Earl|
|127||None||Lost||Alia, Kenny, Tyler, Hyla, Ally, David|
|129||Level 3||Partially Found||Nathaniel, Kanoe, Claire, Matt, Allison|
|130||None||Lost||Julez, Josh, Taylor, Valerie, Gio, Tara|
|133||50 point puzzle||Partially Found||Sierra, Shawn, Hunter, Sydney, JT, Natalie|
|136||Clip from 2009 Promo||Lost||Brandon, Paige, Madison, Blake, Sal, Ebony|
|138||10 point puzzle||Partially Found||Matt, Kennedy, Nicole, Vincent, Noah, Ashley|
|140||30 point puzzle||Partially Found||Sierra, Pattriana, Fernando, Chanel, Travis, Arthur|
|141||Clip from 2010 Promo||Lost||Hannah, Coleman, Jonathan, Spencer, Taylor, Brianna|
|Episode||Found footage for the episode||Status||Contestants for episode|
|204||Clip from Promo||Lost||Isaac, Da'Jah, Kathy, Aaron, PJ, Emma|
|205||None||Lost||Katie, Michael, Danyal, Kyla P, Zayd, Caitlin|
|206||Clip from Promo||Lost||Ashley, Tyler, Ada-Nicole, Karine, Isaac, Danny|
|208||Knockout Round||Partially Found||Paige, Jonathan, Madison, Justin, Josh, Zariya|
|211||Level 2 but audio is replaced with music||Partially Found||Aiden, Rhudi, Ashley, Gretchin, Jake, Shaylie|
|212||None||Lost||Justin, Ashley, Davion, Jessi, Roxy, Brenton|
|213||30 point puzzle/Level 3||Partially Found||Chesley, Justin, Josephine, Mia, Ty'd, Lorenzo|
|218||None||Lost||CJ, Summer, Emma, Ryan, Ruby, Darius|
|221(Brothers vs. Sisters)||None||Lost||Nicole, James, Madison, Mason, Amber, Zach|
|228(Siblings)||Level 2 without intro but mirrored||Partially Found||Daquan, Zakiya, Bridger, Brecken, Jenna, Nikki|
|232(Twins 1)||Clips from Nick.com Quiz||Partially Found||Cailin, Hannah, Connor, Brian, Jade, Jasmine|
|235(Jordin Sparks)||Level 3 and Clips from Nick.com Quiz||Partially Lost||Caleb, Katrina, Lauryn, Alain, Hope, Ben|
|236||Full Episode||Found on February 5th||Natalie, Terry, Scott, Cyncere, Brooke, James|
|237(Family)||None||Lost||Isaiah & Mike, Charlotte & Barbara, Brooke & Ann, Crystal & Tony, Myles & Michelle, Skyler & Sean|
|238(Twins 2)||Clips from Nick.com Quiz||Partially Found||Andy, Kyle, Madison, Mallory, Max, Mason|
|Episode||Found footage of episode||Status||Families|
|301||Level 1 and Story without Intro||Partially Lost||Fenton, Munoz, Augustine, Dejoy, Kohno|
|303||Levels 1/2||Partially Lost||Bennion, Pakula, Cardena, Redfearn, Danesh|
|304||Levels 1/2||Partially Lost||Daruvala, Ayala. Gilmore, Johnson, Lancaster|
|309(Nick Talent)||Levels 1 without intro/Level 3||Partially Lost||Victorious, iCarly, House of Anubis, Bucket & Skinner, Supah Ninjas|
|310||Level 1 and Story without Intro||Partially Found||Guerreo, Jinadu, Corcoran, Houlihan, Bramson|
|311||Story but audio is replaced with music||Partially Found||Cruzata, Ardon, Kokason, Orriss, Sellers|
|312||Levels 1/2||Partially Lost||Martinez, Rowe, Gillcrist, McLurkin, Oliverio|
|314(WWE)||Level 1 without intro/Level 2||Partially Lost||John Morrison, Eve, Gail Kim, The Miz, Kofi Kingston|
|315||Levels 1/2||Partially Lost||Ocampo,Smith, Conneen, Wright, Gannuscio|
|318||Level 1||Partially Found||Sankofa, Levine, Gonzalez, Menotti, Arroyo|
|321||Levels 1/Level 2 without intro||Partially Lost||Monick, Ott, Parker, Barnes, Alvare|
|322||Levels 1/2||Partially Lost||Bradbury, Gray, Anand, Tramel, Denard|
|323||Level 1/Most of Level 2||Partially Lost||Aguilera, Nolan, Garcia, Steele, Baxter|
|324||Levels 1/2||Partially Lost||Radaker, Shou, Bowen, Palmer, Landon|
|326||Level 1 without intro/Level 2||Partially Lost||Moultrie, Muniz, Smith-Harris, Pieper, Torress|
|327||Levels 2/3||Partially Lost||Sarem, Vera, McLaurin, Butler, Holtwarren|
|328||Levels 1/3||Partially Lost||Crawford, Meza, Galdamez, Kling, Loucks|
|331(All Star)||Levels 1/3||Partially Lost||Anthony Anderson, Larry King, Candace Cameron Bure, Joey Fatone, Vanessa Williams|
|333||Story||Partially Found||Sargent, Woods, German, Vargas, Schoonover|
|337(Monkey Quest Sponorship)||Level 1 and Story without Intro||Partially Found||Pilapil, O'Neal, Edjhuryan, Hinojosa, Hilbig|
|340||None||Lost||Haltrecht, Webber, Musquiz, Crawley, Molnar|
Availability[edit | edit source]
Out of all 120 episodes, only 64 episodes can be found in full. 20 from Season 1, 26 from Season 2, and 18 from Season 3 but only 3 episodes are found in good quality. Several clips and full episodes of Season 1 were available from 2010 to 2012 on Nick.com that also included episodes 102, 106, 123, 126, 127, and 133. It is rumored by fans that an unaired pilot was released due to Episode 101, not airing. The only footage that could be from the pilot is the dancing puzzle which was shown in the Season 1 intro, due to the lineup of contestants never being seen, also seen is the clip of the 6x6 with 27 seconds left in the said intro. While many episodes from all 3 seasons aired on reruns, a few episodes only aired once. These include the last 11 episodes of Season 1, the co-host, nick stars, and family episodes from Season 2, and the final episode of Season 3 which never aired on Nicktoons despite every other episode airing. No episodes were released onto iTunes or DVD, so it seems that the only possible way to redeem episodes is via recordings of premieres or reruns like every available episode with the exception of 137, as that is actually a DVD rip from the studio given by contestant Alyssa's family.
Contact Attempts[edit | edit source]
Jeff Sutphen himself claimed to a Twitter user that he had no episodes despite fans' requests, and the studio behind the show, Sunset Las Plamas Studios, had no recordings of any episodes in their library. In fact, they had not even heard of the show, so it must have been a new employee responding to the call. In addition, the producer of the show Derek Bartholomaus was asked if he had episodes and he responded by saying,
No. I'm sorry, but due to conflicting rights issues the episodes are not available on any streaming service. Hopefully that will change in the future.
Consequently, the search continues but more contestants of the show are recalling their episodes but have not officially released them. It is very possible that recordings of the remaining episodes still exist.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
External Links[edit | edit source]
- YouTube playlist of Season 1. Retrieved 14 Sept '20
- YouTube playlist of Season 2. Retrieved 14 Sept '20
- YouTube playlist of Season 3. Retrieved 14 Sept '20
References[edit | edit source]
- A review article on the show's premiere. Retrieved 19 Sep '20
- Archived Nick.com webpage containing clips from the show. Retrieved 14 Sept '20