The Mole is a reality competition in which the contestants work as a group to add money to a pot that only one of them will eventually win. Among the contestants is one person who has been designated "the Mole" by the producers and is tasked with sabotaging the group's money-making efforts. At the end of each episode, the contestant who knows the least about the mole, as decided by the results of a quiz, is eliminated from the game.

The series was first hosted by news reporter Anderson Cooper; for the third season, Ahmad Rashād replaced Cooper, and Rashād was in turn replaced by Jon Kelley for the fifth season. The third and fourth seasons featured celebrity contestants instead of average citizens.

The contestants typically meet for the first time at or shortly before the start of filming. They are given black duffel bags with the show's logo and their names on them in which to keep their belongings. Each is also given a numbered journal which is the only place they are permitted to record information and thoughts about the other contestants.

Some contestants form "coalitions" with other contestants, ostensibly to share theories and observations about the other contestants. Some contestants attempt to cause others to believe that they are the Mole, on the premise that believing the wrong person is the Mole will result in them having poor quiz results.


Celebrity Mole Hawaii Contestants

(left to right) Corbin Bernsen, Erik von Detten, Kathy Griffin, Frederique van der Wal, Kim Coles, Stephen Baldwin, & Michael Boatman