Opportunity Knocks

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Opportunity Knocks TV Poster Image
Fun family game show delivers the goods.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The closer families are, the more they win. But they're also being tempted by big-ticket prizes worth thousands of dollars -- and up to $250,000 in cash alone. The show spotlights families from a variety of racial and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Brand-name prizes (like stainless-steel Whirlpool appliances, big-screen televisions with service from DirectTV, and backstage passes to meet the Jonas Brothers) are offered as incentives along with cold, hard cash.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this game show is one of the rare series that adults, teens, tweens, and younger kids can actually watch together -- and they'll probably have a good time doing it. In fact, the show's format was designed to bring families closer together by rewarding parents and kids who know a lot about each other's passions and interests. That said, while sheer greed isn't the primary focus, commercialism is still a major player. Correct answers yield cash and prizes, and brand names are mentioned in every episode.

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What's the story?

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS unexpectedly in this family-friendly series that literally brings the excitement of a glitzy primetime game show to contestants' doorstep. Accompanied by several trucks full of cash and prizes, host J.D. Roth rings a random doorbell and challenges one lucky family to answer questions about each other in exchange for the chance to win $250,000, plus thousands more in brand-name merchandise. But he hasn't come alone ... he's also amassed an audience of friends, neighbors, and relatives to cheer the chosen family on in a frenetic atmosphere of high risk and intensely theatrical lighting.

Is it any good?

There are a few things working against Opportunity Knocks. For one thing, the actual "randomness" of Roth's visits seems suspect (how could you not notice a crew setting up a full-size stage in your front yard?). The show also embraces the notion that more is more. In one episode, for example, a family scores a fleet of big-screen plasma televisions: One for the living room, plus more for every bedroom in the house. Later on, it seems like a bargain for the same family to fork over $5,000 from their winnings to pay for backstage passes to a Jonas Brothers concert for their daughter and four of her friends. The point? Don't be surprised if your kids suddenly feel like the high life is in reach.

But, consumerism aside, Opportunity Knocks has good intentions -- and, frankly, it's a lot of fun to watch. To do well, a family has to work together as a team, but they also have to know a lot about each other's interests, hobbies, passions, and accomplishments. That means that close-knit families will be rewarded for the time they've spent getting to know each other. And that's time well spent indeed.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how they might fare on a show like this, which tests how well they really know each other. If you had to name your dad's favorite movie -- with more than $100,000 at stake -- could you do it? Would you know your mom's birthday or your sister's secret crush? (And would the prospect of winning a 42" flat-screen for your room motivate you to find out ... just in case you get a knock on your door?) How does the material on this show compare to other TV game shows? What makes it more family friendly? Parents and kids can also have fun pausing the show between rounds to ask each other the same questions the contestants just answered.

TV details

  • Premiere date: September 23, 2008
  • Cast: J.D. Roth
  • Network: ABC
  • Genre: Game Shows
  • TV rating: TV-G
  • Last updated: September 19, 2019

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