The first round pits three contestants with debts ranging from $8,000 to $10,000. These debts are averaged out as their initial stake. Five categories are presented with money values of -$50 to -$250. Upon his/her turn, the player selects a category and an amount, and it reveals a question clue phrased as "I am." To score the money and have it deducted from his/her debt, they must give the correct response and phrase it with "You are." One box, the "Debtonator," doubles the value of that clue.
In the second season, the contestant chosen to start was whoever answered a -$1 toss-up question. Also, contestants chose just the categories, and all five questions in it were asked. The "Debtonator" encompassed an entire category, making all five questions double the value. The "You are" requirement of response was eliminated.
At the end of the first round, the player with the highest debt in score leaves with a $200 savings bond and a piggy bank. The remaining two now play a round where a series of categories is presented, worth -$300, -$400, -$500, -$750 and -$1500. The contestants bid on how many answers they can get correctly in that category. The winning bidder must complete the contract to score the money value.
The player with the highest debt leaves with a $500 savings bond and a piggy bank. The surviving player now must answer ten questions in sixty seconds in a pre-determined category. Doing so wipes out all of his/her debt, and gives him/her the option to go double or nothing on one final question.
Debt was canceled after two seasons because while it did good in the ratings, it was discovered that over half its audience was of male persuasion. Lifetime's audience skews mainly towards female demographics.
|Season One||June 3, 1996||1997||370|
|Season Two||September 8, 1997||August 14, 1998||215|
- At a Glance: Additional information about the series