Gambling + Toddlers = Best on Your Baby

New game show Bet on Your Baby looks to bring some excitement to the dull, Saturday TV lineup

Credit: ABC

Melissa Peterman hosts new Saturday-night game show Bet on Your Baby

New game show Bet on Your Baby could add a little silly fun to your Saturday night

It’s become a sad fact in the world of network television that nobody’s watching TV on Saturday nights.

A big part of the blame can be laid on the networks themselves; when Saturday-night ratings began to dip, they stopped putting fresh programming on Saturdays, instead filling the timeslots with stale reruns or burnt-off episodes of soon-to-be-cancelled shows (i.e. NBC’s Smash).

Perhaps thinking they might build a hit by putting it on this little-watched night of TV, ABC is launching Bet on Your Baby, a new Saturday-night game show that combines dubious parenting, degenerate gambling and unpredictable toddlers. 

Melissa Peterman Hosts Bet on Your Baby

Hosted by former Reba star Melissa Peterman (who just synergistically also stars in an ABC Family Channel show called Baby Daddy), Bet on Your Baby invites parents of children between the ages of two and three-and-a-half to see how much they really know about their beloved rugrats. 

For example, one parent might have to guess how many toys their toddler will put away when asked by the other parent, or which of several offered snack choices the child will choose, all in pursuit of the grand prize of a US$50,000 college fund. 

The show is set up with two different components. While one parent appears onstage in front of a live studio audience to make the bet, the other accompanies the child into “the Babydome,” a self-enclosed, soundproofed area outfitted with cameras that allow the other parent and the audience to watch what happens, while the innocent little child has no idea that his or her next move could mean the difference between going to community college or an Ivy League education. 

Five different families will compete individually, with those who bet correctly advancing to the final “Smash for Cash” round, in which the parents of one toddler are given a hammer and allowed to bash five of several piggy banks, one of which contains the 50 grand. 

Co-creator Craig Armstrong calls Bet on Your Baby “the happiest show on television,” describing the show as “an amazing way for parents to celebrate their babies and have a chance to win real money for their kids’ college fund.” Meanwhile, the network press release says the show is “adorable, hilarious and surprisingly suspenseful,” but I’ll believe that when I see it.

Bet on Your Baby premieres Saturday, April 13th at 8 pm on ABC.

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.