3 Eps/Week, Prime Time
The Circle is a game of physical and mental endurance. It is studio based, with five people competing to see who can stay in The Circle for the longest to win a cash prize.
The competition begins with a 3.5 meter circle outlined on the studio floor. Each of the five contestants starts with a suitcase of cash containing $100,000 or its equivalent. The suitcases are placed outside The Circle with the contestant's names on each one. The prize for the winner is the money that remains in their suitcase at the end of the show. Anyone who leaves the game forfeits their money and must leave their suitcase of cash behind.
Once they enter the circle, the contestants must stay there for 72 hours. They are not allowed to bring anything in with them. They can leave only if they quit or break the rules. If a contestant puts a foot outside of The Circle, they are eliminated.
Every six hours, the contestants may leave the circle for a 'human needs' break for 6 minutes. For four minutes, they must speak to the camera about their experiences. Then they have two minutes for any personal needs before they have to return. Breaks are staggered so there are always four people in The Circle.
If a contestant gets hungry or thirsty, they may buy a meal or drinks. However, these are luxuries that come at a price. One meal is $7000! A bottle of water is $5000! If a contestant must take an extra bathroom break, it will cost them an additional $3000! This money is taken out of each contestant's suitcase.
When a meal arrives, there is an element of chance. Two covered dishes are presented to the contestant and they must select from one. Under one dish is the meal that they requested. Under the other dish, there is only a basic snack such as an apple. This way, there is a 50:50 chance of eating well but either way the contestant must still pay $7000 from their suitcase.
The contestants develop psychological strategies to stay in The Circle. They try to save money by not eating or drinking. They try to demoralize their opponents and force them to leave. Every day, there is an exercise session that everyone must take part in. Family members may also call in to the contestants to support them, or otherwise, but contestants may not contact anyone themselves.
At the end of 72 hours, the first round of the game is over. The remaining contestants enter the next phase of the game. In this phase, there are no bathroom breaks at all and no food or drinks can be purchased. The last contestant is the winner and takes their suitcase with the remaining cash as their prize.