BrainSurge (partially lost Nickelodeon game show; 2009-2014)

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Images2.jpg

The show's promotional logo.

Status: Partially Lost

BrainSurge is a game show that aired on Nickelodeon from September 28th, 2009, to May 13th, 2011, and was reprised for a final family season on July 18th to November 17th, 2011, on Nick at Nite, which finished from April 28th to May 9th, 2014 on Nicktoons. Hosted by Jeff Sutphen[1] and created by Scott Stone, who made other game shows such as Legends of the Hidden Temple, Fun House, and The Mole. The show ran for three seasons before being cancelled.

Format[edit | edit source]

The show involved six contestants known as the brainiacs who competed in 3 levels of brain games. The first level involved watching six visual puzzles, and the contestants had 10 seconds to lock in their answers 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 six puzzles, the 4 with the highest scores would move on to level 2, while the other two 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 answering 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, questions and lists. The question stories were the usual who, what, where, when, why, and how, while the list stories involved the contestants listing 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 listened to a fart, they were eliminated and sent backward through the set of Jeff's mouth leading to the Brain Drain. The round 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 three paths on three grids in 90 seconds. The three paths were a 4x4 grid with a path of 6 squares (5 in one episode), a 5x5 grid with eight squares (9 in one episode, 10 in two episodes), and a 6x6 grid with ten squares. Each time they completed a path, they would win a prize, with the final prize being a vacation. If the contestant finished all three paths in 90 seconds, they would win all three 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 happened a few times in Season 2.

Season 2 premiered on June 21st, 2010, with the final episode airing on May 13th, 2011. A few changes were made to the show, including omitting the 40-point puzzle and 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 last change was that the Brain Drain ran down straight to the audience instead of the original exit sign. This season featured four special weeks, each with five episodes. The four special weeks were; Girls vs. Boys, 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, five 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 four 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 Brain Trust consisting of 2 other family members, could help them with a question, but there were two catches. First, if they were wrong, the team would be eliminated, and second, 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, Jeff would ask other questions about the story, but the remaining families could not use their brain farts. For Level 3, the kid would complete the 4x4 and 6x6, while the parent would complete the 5x5. In celebrity episodes, the celebrity families would compete for prizes and to win money for their selected charity ($1,000 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 cancelled in late 2011 due to Sutphen hosting the revival of Figure it Out in 2012. However, the last ten episodes of season 3 aired on Nicktoons from April 28th, 2014, to May 9th, 2014, with reruns airing until July 2014. Also, season 2 reruns lasted until about June of the following year. Some episodes also aired on Nickelodeon's sister channel Nicktoons aside from the final season with the ten withheld episodes.

Episode Guide[edit | edit source]

Season 1[edit | edit source]

# Air Date Contestants Status
102 Jan 28th, 2010 Alexis, Aly, Lindsey, Jessi, Justin, & Drew Found
103 Nov 13th, 2009 Siera, Alex, Kylie, Madison-Kate, Sebastian, & Bennett Found
104 Oct 9th, 2009 Sabyr, Celine, Carson, Noah, Jourdan, & Nick Found
105 Oct 13th, 2009 Patrick, Shelby, Camerin, Maria, Amber, & Nick Found
106 Nov 9th, 2009 Jessie, Sam, Daphne, Tyler, Camille, & T.J. Found
107 Oct 8th, 2009 Ken, Ciana, Scotty, V.J., Remy, & Cheyenne Found
108 Nov 10th, 2009 Tommy, Daniel, Kiki, Hayden, Skylar, & Justin Found
109 Oct 1st, 2009 Wave, Jacquelyne, Boo, Susie, Jordan, & Lilly Found
110 Dec 4th, 2009 Chase, Shelby, Monica, Alex, Shawntel, & Andy Found
111 Oct 6th, 2009 Sara, Ariah, Chase, Mario, Brian, & Kirsten Found
112 Mar 29th, 2010 Dalton, Ally, Pat, Jennifer, Ruby, & Chase Found
113 Apr 1st, 2010 Brandon, Kendyl, Kailey, Reese, Rikki, & Bronson Found
114 Sept 30th, 2009 Cody, Sydney, Liam, Alec, Maya, & Kellie Found
115 Oct 2nd, 2009 Madison, Keegan, Lilah, Mason, Spiro, & Sarah Found
116 Dec 2nd, 2009 Elijah, Francesca, Jocelyn, Chase, Ryan, & Sarah Found
117 Oct 16th, 2009 Adam, Zoya, Priscilla, Christian, Josh, & Alana Found
118 Oct 14th, 2009 Oscar, Victoria, Caylie, Patch, Joey, & Vanessa Found
119 Nov 12th, 2009 Epiphany, William, Madison, Ariel, Ray, & Isaiah Found
120 Oct 7th, 2009 Danny, Nick, Eryn, Athena, Zee, & Timmy Found
121 Apr 5th, 2010 Yuki, Sydney, Erin, Brian, J.P., & Kristina Found
122 Sept 28th, 2009 Xavier, Jessica, Megan, James Taylor, Nahil, & Nancy Found
123 Apr 8th, 2010 Ryan, Reign, Caitlin, Drew, Eric, & Rebecca Found
124 Dec 1st, 2009 Jordan, Cristian, Tianna, Natalie, Marco, & Hailee Found
125 Apr 9th, 2010 Zoe, Dylan, Carl, Jazzy, Adam, & Kenzie Found
126 Apr 6th, 2010 Garek, Sarah, Kalen, Heather, Alec, & Earl Found
127 Jan 26th, 2010 Alia, Kenny, Tyler, Hyla, Ally, & David Found
128 Dec 3rd, 2009 Hannah, Evan, Tyler, Zoelle, Alai, & Randy Found
129 Jan 27th, 2010 Nathaniel, Kanoe, Claire, Giovanni, Matt, & Allison Found
130 Apr 2nd, 2010 Julez, Josh, Taylor, Valerie, Gio, & Tara Found
131: Stars of Nickelodeon Nov 30th, 2009 Jerry Trainor, Ashley Argota, Miranda Cosgrove, Lil' JJ, Nat Wolff, & Victoria Justice Found
132: Stars of Nickelodeon Matt Shively, Nathan Kress, Keke Palmer, Jennette McCurdy, Lily Collins, & Alex Wolff Found
133 Mar 30th, 2010 Sierra, Shawn, Hunter, Sydney, J.T., & Natalie Found
134 Oct 15th, 2009 Antonio, Morgan, Kassie, Darnell, Zak, & Syd Found
135 Jan 25th, 2010 Corrina, Charlie, Megan, Crystal, D.J., & Jared Found
136 Mar 31st, 2010 Brandon, Paige, Madison, Blake, Sal, & Ebony Found
137 Apr 7th, 2010 Skyler, Austyn, Philip, Mayah, Mike, & Alyssa Found
138 Oct 5th, 2009 Matt, Kennedy, Nicole, Vincent, Noah, & Ashley Found
139 Sept 29th, 2009 Samantha, Nate, Jenna, Spencer, Gabe, & Priscilla Found
140 Jan 29th, 2010 Siera, Pattriana, Fernando, Chanel, Travis, & Arthur Found
141 Jul 1st, 2010 Hannah, Coleman, Jonathan, Spencer, Taylor, & Brianna Found

Season 2[edit | edit source]

# Air Date Contestants Status
201 Jun 29th, 2010 Jakobe, Marley, Ethan, Elena, Inga, & Kevin Found
202 Jun 28th, 2010 Jojo, Athena, Lucy, Audrey, Mike, & Michael Found
203 Jun 30th, 2010 Willow, Logan, Emily, Shay Shay, Zac, & Aaron Found
204 Oct 4th, 2010 Isaac, Da'Jah, Kathy, Aaron, P.J., & Emma Found
205 Jul 6th, 2010 Katie, Michael, Danyal, Kyla P., Zayd, & Caitlin Found
206 Oct 5th, 2010 Ashley, Tyler, Ada-Nicole, Karine, Isaac, & Danny Partially Found
207 Jul 9th, 2010 Malik, Abigail, Paxton, Nathan, Zaq, & Ariel Found
208 Jul 2nd, 2010 Paige, Jonathan, Madison, Justin, Josh, & Zariya Found
209 Oct 7th, 2010 Summer, Ally, Darius, Daniel, Art, & Makenna Found
210 Jul 7th, 2010 Zack, Keith, Gabby, Alena, Jack, & Jennie Found
211 Jul 12th, 2010 Aidan, Rhudi, Ashley, Gretchin, Jake, & Shaylie Partially Lost
212 Jul 8th, 2010 Justin, Ashley, Davion, Jessi, Roxy, & Brenton Found
213 Jul 13th, 2010 Chelsey, Justin, Josephine, Mia, Ty D., & Lorenzo Found
214: Girls vs. Boys Jun 22nd, 2010 Clara, Brendan, Hallie Lou, Elliott, Nury, & Michael Found
215: Girls vs. Boys Jun 25th, 2010 Kyle, Tiffany, Dante, Ashley, Ben, & Angelica Found
216: Girls vs. Boys Jun 21st, 2010 Brittany, Reese, Katrina, Sam, Mazey, & Benjamin Found
217 Oct 12th, 2010 Colton, Chanell, Reysita, Axon, Matt, & Lexi Found
218 Jul 14th, 2010 C.J., Summer, Emma, Ryan, Ruby, & Darius Found
219 Oct 14th, 2010 Megan, Niall, Rebecca, Shaniah, Logan, & Aneesh Found
220 Jul 15th, 2010 Tori, Isaac, Leann, Corday, Jacob, & Megan Found
221: Brothers vs. Sisters May 9th, 2011 Nicole, James, Madison, Mason, Amber, & Zack Partially Found
222 Oct 13th, 2010 Rachelle, Kamron, Khalil, T.J., Avery, & Claire Found
223: Tom Kenny Apr 27th, 2011 Garrett, Erika, Mariza, Jameson, Ema, & Nick Found
224: Stars of Nickelodeon Apr 22nd, 2011 Logan Henderson, Victoria Justice, Stephen Glickman, Leon Thomas III, James Maslow, & Daniella Monet Found
225: Stars of Nickelodeon Apr 21st, 2011 Kendall Schmidt, Liz Gillies, Ciara Bravo, Ariana Grande, Carlos Pena, & Matt Bennett Found
226: Stars of Nickelodeon Apr 19th, 2011 Avan Jogia, Victoria Justice, Nathan Kress, Noah Munck, Gage Golightly, & Nick Purcell Found
227: Stars of Nickelodeon Apr 18th, 2011 Matt Shively, Nathan Kress, Ashley Argota, Jennette McCurdy, Keke Palmer, & Reed Alexander Found
228: Siblings May 10th, 2011 Daquan, Zakiya, Bridger, Brecken, Jenna, & Nikki PartiallyFound
229: Stars of Nickelodeon Apr 20th, 2011 Nathan Kress, Jennette McCurdy, Gage Golightly, Nick Purcell, Matt Shively, & Ashley Argota Found
230: Girls vs. Boys Jun 24th, 2010 Danny, Quiara, Justin, Emily, Shane, & Reese Found
231: Girls vs. Boys Jun 23rd, 2010 Santeon, Tony, Danielle, Gino, Jessa, & Michael Found
232: Twins May 11th, 2011 Cailin, Hannah, Connor, Brian, Jade, & Jasmine Found
233 Oct 6th, 2010 Ben, Ashley, Jake, Brynne, Zoe, & Kellen Found
234: Misty May-Treanor Apr 28th, 2011 Jazymne, Raymond, Sydney, Madeline, Ryan, & Daniel Found
235: Jordin Sparks Apr 25th, 2011 Caleb, Katrina, Lauryn, Alain, Hope, & Ben Found
236 Oct 15th, 2010 Natalie, Terry, Scott, Cyncere, Brooke, & James Found
237: Parents May 12th, 2011 Isaiah & Mike, Charlotte & Barbara, Brooke & Anne, Crystal & Tony, Myles & Michelle, & Skyler & Sean Partially Found
238: Twins May 13th, 2011 Andy, Kyle, Madison, Mallory, Max, & Mason Partially Found
239: Natalie Coughlin Apr 29th, 2011 Andrew, Chantel, Bordeaux, Brandon, April, & David Found
240: Tony Hawk Apr 26th, 2011 Preston, Rachel, Dreu, Noah, Ryan, Blesst Found

Season 3: Family BrainSurge[edit | edit source]

# Air Date Families Status
301 Nov 17th, 2011 Fenton, Munoz, Augustine, DeJoy, & Kohno PartiallyFound
302 Apr 28th, 2014 Holloway, Mansel, Sebastian, Marshall, & Bessler Found
303 Apr 29th, 2014 Bennion, Pakula, Cardena, Redfearn, & Danesh PartiallyLost
304 Aug 10th, 2011 Daruvala, Ayala, Gilmore, Johnson, & Lancaster PartiallyLost
305 Apr 30th, 2014 Fernandez, Reno, Kennerly, Smith, & Bentley Found
306 Jul 20th, 2011 Haynes, Ark, Jenkins, Herren, & Torrey PartiallyLost
307 Jul 19th, 2011 Silvia, O'Day, Villa, O'Brien, & Smith Found
308: Celebrities and a Family Member Oct 12th, 2011 Shaughnessy, Crews, Eggert, Gould, & Garth Found
309: Nick Talent Oct 10th, 2011 VICTORiOUS, iCarly, House of Anubis, Bucket & Skinner's Epic Adventures, & Supah Ninjas Found
310 Aug 8th, 2011 Guerrero, Jinadu, Corcoran, Houlihan, & Bramson PartiallyFound
311 Aug 3rd, 2011 Cruzata, Ardon, Kokason, Orriss, & Sellers Partially Found
312 Jul 25th, 2011 Martinez, Rowe, Gillcrist, McLurkin, & Oliverio PartiallyFound
313 Nov 14th, 2011 Abboud, Kulp, Pena, Lebeda, & Nickels Found
314: WWE With Kid Fans Oct 13th, 2011 John Morrison & Martilliano, Eve & Dayna, Gail Kim & Michael, The Miz & Ali, & Kofi Kingston & Collins Found
315 Aug 9th, 2011 Ocampo, Smith, Conneen, Wright, Gannuscio PartiallyLost
316 Jul 18th, 2011 Guthzeit, Haro, Maddox, Hancock, & Williams Found
317 Nov 15th, 2011 Randazzo, Bell, Sample, Terry, & Vargas Found
318 Oct 18th, 2011 Sankofa, Levine, Gonzalez, Menotti, & Arroyo Partially Found
319 May 1st, 2014 Solberg, Fox, Gutierrrez, MacKinnon, & Brown Found
320 Nov 3rd, 2011 Stewart, Eng, Jacobs, Friedman, & Krieger Found
321 Nov 1st, 2011 Monick, Ott, Parker, Barnes, & Alvare PartiallyFound
322 Aug 2nd, 2011 Bradbury, Gray, Anand, Tramel, & Denard Found
323 Aug 4th, 2011 Aguilera, Nolan, Garcia, Steele, & Baxter Partially Lost
324 Nov 16th, 2011 Radaker, Shou, Bowen, Palmer, & Landon Found
325 May 2nd, 2014 Menard, Gibson, Gonzalez, Hilbert, Burrill Found
326 May 5th, 2014 Moultrie, Muniz, Smith-Harris, Pieper, & Torress PartiallyLost
327 Aug 11th, 2011 Sarem, Vera, McLaurin, Butler, & HoltWarren PartiallyLost
328 May 6th, 2014 Crawford, Meza, Galdamez, Kling, & Loucks PartiallyLost
329 May 7th, 2014 Deloach, Haag, Lentz, Liddle, & Green Found
330 Nov 2nd, 2011 Sanchez, Beres, Castro, Cazares, & Atkins Found
331: Celebrities and a Family Member Oct 11th, 2011 Anderson, King, Cameron Bure, Fatone, & Williams Found
332 Jul 27th, 2011 Ashton, Umans, Jones, Barrett, & Dowell Found
333 Jul 21st, 2011 Sargent, Woods, German, Vargas, & Schoonover PartiallyFound
334 Jul 26th, 2011 Cintron, Cook, Bustamante, Price, & Rodarte Found
335 Oct 19th, 2011 Seaman, Cook, Rodriguez, Meyer, & Herjavec Found
336 Jul 28th, 2011 Valeriano, Glass, Holmes, McCulty, & Lopez Found
337 May 8th, 2014 Pilapil, O'Neal, Edjhuryan, Hinojosa, & Hilbig PartiallyFound
338 May 9th 2014 Carberry, Fleck, Binford, Bryan, & Aguirre Found
339 Oct 17th, 2011 Atteberry, Ek, Jens, Panganiban, & Johnson Found
340 Oct 20th, 2011 Haltrecht, Webber, Musquiz, Crawley, & Molnar Partially Found

Availability[edit | edit source]

Out of all 120 episodes, only 97 episodes can be found in full. All 40 episodes of Season 1, 34 from Season 2, and 23 from Season 3. While many episodes from all three seasons aired on reruns, a few episodes only aired once. These include the 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, making the only possible way to redeem episodes is via recordings of premieres or reruns.

Episode 101[edit | edit source]

It is known to fans that the first-taped episode, Episode 101, went unaired. The only footage from the episode is the dancing puzzle seen in the Season 1 intro, the clip of the 6x6 with 27 seconds left in said intro, and a screenshot shown in the story of Episode 108.

When asked about her time on BrainSurge, Alyssa Waldrip from Episode 137 revealed on her Twitter that all the contestants from her episode, except for Skyler, were in the episode but had the shirts swapped[2]. Mayah was purple, she was still red, Philip was green, Mike was pink, Austin was yellow, and an unknown contestant was blue who didn't return for the reshooting. She also revealed that in the episode, she lost in level 1, and Mayah actually won the show, which explains why she said Mayah was mad when she lost to Alyssa in the Knockout Round in 137. She also mentioned in her tweet with an audience member that filming took 13 hours due to technical and mechanical issues, also the audience wasn't allowed to get up for food and water. She stated that Philip was crying the entire time during the episode, speculating that Philip was also eliminated in level 1. Unfortunately, Alyssa and the other contestants weren't given a copy of the episode, so the episode is still lost. It's unknown if any of the puzzles or the level 2 story are the same as 102 aside from the dancing puzzle. Also, fellow competitor Austin said that she got injured when she got eliminated in Level 2 and was told that changes were being made to the format, so five of the contestants came back for a re-film (Episode 137).[3]

Director Steve Grant said that the Knockout Round in the episode was matching funny faces on the board. However, the round went longer than expected, so it was thrown out and switched to the Knockout Round we know today.[4]

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 Palmas 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, a producer of the show Derek Bartholomaus was asked if he had episodes, and he responded with,

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.

This is a common concept with shows that had to deal with music rights. In the case of BrainSurge, these conflicting rights were initially speculated to be from the parodies of name brands in several of the stories in level 2 (Indiana Jones, Willy Wonka, Transformers, etc). However, it is actually due to the production companies fighting for distribution rights on this show, hence its absence from streaming, including the newly made Paramount+ and even iTunes and DVD.

Recovery of Episodes[edit | edit source]

On January 14th, 2019, YouTube user Originalsboy uploaded 15 Season 1 episodes (four of which had already been posted, 110, 131, 132, 139) to the Internet Archive, which were then re-uploaded to Youtube by another user appropriately named BrainsurgeGuy, including the premiere episode of 122 from Dailymotion around this time; the original archive has been removed, however.

Six months later, 2 Season 2 episodes (217 & 219) were uploaded by TelevisionArchives. Following three months, Episode 229 was recovered from its deletion in 2012, only to disappear on March 16th, 2020, but recovered once more on September 22nd of that same year.

On February 6th, 2021, contestant Natalie Martinez uploaded her episode (236). One month later, 115 was finally publicized, having been originally privatized on December 29th, 2015.

The next month, 104, 125, & 114 were uploaded from a Microsoft OneDrive by George Ortuño, a screen recording from Nick.com in 2010, and a file from Google Drive, respectively.

Most surprisingly, on May 3rd, all of Season 1 and about the first half of Season 2 were uploaded to a Google Drive folder by Halofan. These episodes were originally obtained from Usenet and a private tracker.

On July 9th, 8 more episodes (204, 232, 235, 308, 309, 314, 322, & 331) were uploaded from another Google Drive Folder by Lost Media Wiki user Racelympics.

Three weeks later, another episode (317) was found through another trade done with Racelympics.

On August 31st, he uploaded Episode 324.

A year later, on September 4th, 2022, Racelympics released part of Episode 238 onto the Internet Archive. According to him, he was sent the file by an anonymous user.

On November 16th, Rexkip etc uploaded Episode 335 in 720p and a mere four days later, 339 was uploaded in one piece by encodestvdotcom. On November 19th, Regular Guy uploaded 302. Also, on November 24th, RealRTOT uploaded 320. Also, on November 26th and November 29th, Dexter and Regular Guy uploaded 305 and 313. On November 30th and December 1st, SomeRandomGamerAnimator uploaded 319 and Phanpy Ken uploaded 329. Also, on December 2nd, Nickel Mickel uploaded 338.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

The intro to BrainSurge.
Behind the Scenes footage of Episode 238
Blameitonjorge's video, which mentions BrainSurge (04:38-07:15).

See Also[edit | edit source]

Anthology and Short Series[edit | edit source]

Bumpers and Promos[edit | edit source]

Game Shows[edit | edit source]

Inaugural Series[edit | edit source]

Live Action[edit | edit source]

Pilots[edit | edit source]

TV Films[edit | edit source]

Other[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]