TKO: Total Knock Out

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
TKO: Total Knock Out TV Poster Image
Ninja Warrior meets dodgeball in fun physical game show.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

It's a tough, silly race for money, but offers positive messages about perseverance and having a sense of humor. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Kevin Hart is funny without relying on personal insults. Some contestants are playfully vindictive as they throw things. 


Folks are hit with giant discs, balls, swinging hammers, and other objects. People sometimes yell out in pain, but no one gets seriously hurt. Safety gear is used. 


Some very mild innuendo that will go over the heads of young viewers. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that TKO: Total Knock Out is a game show where people run through obstacle courses while their competitors launch things at them in order to physically push them out of the game. It's designed to be fun, but folks awkwardly fall, and occasionally yell out in pain when they're hit. Some of the banter contains some suggestive comments that will go over younger kids' heads, but generally the humor is pretty tame. Positive messages, like celebrating when people refuse to quit despite a poor performance, are also featured. 

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What's the story?

Hosted by comic Kevin Hart, TKO: TOTAL KNOCK OUT is a game show that mixes obstacle challenges with dodgeball. Each episode features five competitors individually navigating through a course full of things that roll, swing, and move for a chance to win a cash prize. The catch? As one person runs the course, the other four shoot balls, throw discs, and swing hammers at them in hopes of knocking them down. After the second knockout, minutes are added to the player's finish time. The person who completes the course in the least amount of time wins the $50,000 grand prize. The season's top winners get to battle each other on a later episode for a chance of winning $100,000. 

Is it any good?

This goofy series offers lots of laughable moments as people awkwardly make their way through an obstacle course without getting knocked out. Much like the Wipeout franchise, the show's humor comes from the various ways players try to hang on, as well as the graceless ways they fall. But it's Kevin Hart's hosting style, which is both hilarious and energetic, that makes the show stand out. 

TKO: Total Knock Out features a wide array of contestants -- from school teachers and nurses to cheerleaders and police officers -- and some are less athletically gifted than others. But they're all recognized for positive things, and jokes about them are restricted to their performance during the competition. It's lighthearted and silly, and the type of show you can tune in to when you're simply looking for some mindless entertainment. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why folks participate in crazy reality competitions like TKO: Total Knock Out. Is it for the cash prize? For a chance to be on TV? Or is it something else?

  • When watching TKO: Total Knock Out, do you think viewers are supposed to be more excited about people falling or about people winning? What does it feel like to watch another person fail or succeed?

TV details

  • Premiere date: July 11, 2018
  • Cast: Kevin Hart
  • Network: CBS
  • Genre: Game Shows
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: March 13, 2020

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