MasterMinds – the Capital District high school quiz show

Those of you who read my blog with any sort of regularity know that in 1981, my high school (Street Academy of Albany) demolished three other schools on WRGB’s Answers Please high school quiz show.  Greatest. Moment. Ever.

Answers Please aired on WRGB for many decades, until it aired its last episode in 1989.

About ten years later, a new high school quiz show – MasterMinds – aired on one of Time Warner Cable’s homegrown channels.  It was the same format – two teams of high school students answering questions of knowledge and recall.

After a few years, MasterMinds went off the air.

Or did it?

A few months ago, my friend Dan contacted me with some news.  He said that his son was competing in an “Answers Please” / “MasterMinds” show taping at Proctor’s Theater in Schenectady.  Dan thought that maybe this was being taped for WMHT or something.

I asked my friend Danielle, who works at WMHT, if such a show was on the local schedule.  She said she wasn’t aware of such a program on Channel 17’s televised lineup.

Okay, now my interest is piqued.

And yesterday, I found out that not only is MasterMinds still on the air, it’s still available on your cable channel’s “local access” network.  In Albany, the show airs on Time Warner Cable’s “ChannelAlbany” (18) station at 7pm Thursday and 7pm Saturday.  And although MasterMinds still has the same format – two teams of high school students matching wits and brains – it also features a season-ending tournament in which the Albany-based high school champions face off against the best high schools in the Syracuse, Buffalo and Rochester areas.  I should let you know that the Albany-based schools have won seven of the last ten MasterMinds tournaments, with Bethlehem High School claiming the last four championships.

But now comes the fun part.  You want to see some of those MasterMinds episodes?

I got you covered.

Here’s an episode from earlier this year, in which Columbia High School faced off against Johnstown High School.  Johnstown High School actually won several “Answers Please” championships in the 1970’s.

And here’s an episode of MasterMinds featuring Lansingburgh High School matching up against Gloversville High School.


Here’s an episode featuring Waterford High School against Berne-Knox-Westerlo.  Or, as the graphics artist listed them, “Berne-Knox-Westerloo.”  Oops.

We’ve got Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake battling Hoosick Falls in this episode.

And finally, here’s an episode featuring LaSalle taking on Schalmont High School.

MasterMinds is produced by Schenectady County Community College, and is taped at the GE Theater at Proctor’s in Schenectady.  To watch more archived episodes of MasterMinds, visit this link and select the MasterMinds playlist.

Man oh man, it’s great to see shows like this back on the air.  I love that there’s a program that features the Capital Region’s top students in a battle of wits and brains.

This is fun.