On The Cover (game show)

On The Cover (game show)

"On The Cover" was a short-lived game show that premiered on PAX TV (now called ION) on May 17, 2004. It was hosted by Mark L. Walberg, who previously hosted "Russian Roulette".


Three contestants competed in a game of identifying people, places and things on covers of magazines, CDs, DVDs and other items, and answering pop culture questions.

The main game

Round one

In round one, each contestant got 15 seconds to identify celebrities on a series of covers. Each correct answer was worth 100 points.

Round two

In round two (referred to on the air as the "On The Cover Round"), three covers were displayed on the board. Each one was assigned a point value that began at 250 points. The leading player chose a cover, and a question was asked concerning some aspect of what was on the cover. The first player to buzz-in got to answer the question, and a correct answer awarded the points and control of the board. An incorrect answer gave the other players a chance to answer. After each question, a new cover replaced an old cover and was assigned the 250 points, while the value of the unchosen covers increased by that amount until they were chosen.

Round three

In round three, three parody covers were displayed on a "rack" on the board. The answers to questions were the celebrities on those covers. Each correct answer on the first rack was worth 500 points. After a certain number of questions, a new rack of parody covers was introduced, with the value of the questions increased to 750 points. The questions on the final rack of covers were worth 1,000 points. When the round was over, the player with the most points won the game. If the game ended in a tie, an additional question using the third rack was asked, and the first player to answer correctly won the game.

Bonus round (mystery cover)

In the bonus round, the winning player was shown a grid of nine squares with numbers arranged in random order. Behind those squares was a mystery cover that the contestant had to identify. To remove those squares, the winning contestant had to identify what was on nine covers in 20 seconds (30 on earlier-taped episodes). Each correct identification revealed a square that corresponded to the identified cover. When time ended, or if all nine covers were played, a category to the mystery cover was revealed, and the numbered squares were revealed. If the winning player was able to identify what was on the mystery cover, he/she won the grand prize (a trip); failing to do so earned a consolation prize.

Format one

When the show premiered, the format was different. Here are the differences:
*Point values were lower.
**Round 1 - 25 points per cover
**Round 2 - 50 points (plus 50 for each time the cover was unchosen)
**Round 3 - 1st Rack = 100 points, 2nd Rack = 200 points, 3rd Rack = 300 points
*Contestants stood next to the host during round one, as opposed to standing at the podiums in round two.
*The parody covers had pun-related answers above them.
*The winning player won a prize for winning the main game.
*The bonus round allowed the contestant to answer four questions to solve the mystery cover. Each answer was a clue to a puzzle. Success meant winning a prize package that included a trip to the Miami Film Festival.


*The show was canceled after two days, only to come back weeks later with a new format and set, premiering a week after the new game show ""Balderdash"" with Elayne Boosler premiered.

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