Darren Schick grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania but now also lives in Manhattan, where he sells expensive china and crystal stemware to some of the nation's top retailers.
When Ward and Schick met for the experiment, "Primetime" told them that they were about to compete. Both were going to try to connect with someone they had never met.
But connecting to that person didn't mean finding them -- that would have been too easy. The challenge was to link up by creating a human chain of contacts that ended with their "target," a man named Petey Pierre.
Pierre lives in Bedford Stuyvesant, also known as Bed-Stuy, a neighborhood of Brooklyn that has little in common with the areas Ward and Schick call home. In a region ripe with economic depression, Pierre has been trying to make a name for himself as an amateur boxer.
"Primetime" showed a picture of Pierre to Ward and Schick and asked them a simple question: Do you know this man? Both said no.
"Primetime" showed Pierre a picture of the two people who were about to start searching for him. Though Pierre said Schick "looks like a Spanish guy from 'The Young and the Restless,'" and Ward "is all right looking," he had never them either.
Asked if he thought Ward and Schick could connect with him just by building a chain of their friends and acquaintances, Pierre shot back, "No way, I think it's impossible. It's like 100 degrees of separation right there."
But Ward and Schick were much more optimistic. Each felt sure they could accomplish the task.
According to "Primetime's" rules, the winner of the contest would be the person who connected to Pierre in the fewest number of steps. Was six degrees all that separated them? Were the links fewer or much more? Or was a connection established at all?
What played out in the experiment took both Ward and Schick through surprising twists and turns.