Thursday, March 10, 2011

There's No Real News...

...but I think it is worth it to bring one thing up: that bastion of game show information, BuzzerBlog, has posted a report of the rules of Million Dollar Mind Game, a long-awaited show that shows no sign of actually reaching television. Just to remind you, this is the American version of the Russian show What? Where? When?; it was originally known as The Six, then Six Minds, then Million Dollar Mind Game. The host for the episodes that were taped (and which, as I said, will probably never reach television) was veteran British game show host Vernon Kay.

This is a show I've been waiting for for a long time; I said May 20, 2010 (and that gives you an idea as to how long) that "if this works, it could lead to some genuinely intelligent and tough American game shows; if it doesn't, at least we can't say the Americans didn't take a risk." Well...

The show, as reported by BuzzerBlog, features a team of six people. They are asked a question and have sixty seconds to think about it, after which the team captain (who is different for each question) gives an answer. If correct, we advance on the money ladder towards $1,000,000. There are three lifelines: one gives the team another thirty seconds of thinking time, the second is Switch The Question, and the third allows the team to give a different answer than the one decided on by the team captain. After each step on the money ladder, the team is given the option of quitting; however, the decision must be unanimous or the game will continue.

In other words, the Americans didn't take a risk. This is Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? with tougher questions. I somehow get the feeling that it looks and sounds like every other big money primetime game show, something that's surprising only when you remember that the original Russian show is an no-prize show in the vein of, say, Countdown or Only Connect. I've been hoping for years for a show like that to reach America.

If Million Dollar Mind Game does reach television, I'm guessing it will be a lesson in being careful what you wish for.


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