March 18, 2008

Moment of Truth – Cruellest gameshow ever?

Posted in Nine Network at 11:40 am by Give Me The Remote

I watched a large chunk of this program last week. Firstly I must admit however that I only half-watched it whilst doing some household chores, so perhaps my intake was skewed.

Okay, so aside from the fact that it’s really quite boring .. slower than Millionaire even, it is really quite cruel.

This guys goes on the show hoping to win the bucks. He think he’s honest – easy money! As the cash values go up, the questions get more personal. Some of the stuff that he admits to can really ruin his relationship. But the real catch with this show is that it relies on a polygraph machine to determine whether you’re lying or not. The old lie detector, whose evidence has never been proven to actually be worth a grain of salt in any legal sense.

So the guy bombs out and gets absolutely nothing. Did he lie? Maybe he sweated a bit? Perhaps the question was so vague he didn’t know the answer. I’m sure it’s in the fine print that the lie detector’s decision is final, but poor guy. So he goes home with absolutely no cash and he’s told the world his dirty secrets and damaged his relationships with loved ones.

So not only his hopes of winning big cash – any cash even! – are dashed, but he’s actually become worse off personally. How cruel.

This happens for weeks and weeks. Stupid people demoralising themselves all in the lure of big bucks. Does this take reality tv/gameshows to a new low? Shock television. Why do we like watching people squirm. Are we a bunch of sadists?

Maybe I would have liked this program if it were more interesting.

I’m trying to think of a crueller game show than this.. anyone?


November 12, 2007

Nine releases information about The Chopping Block

Posted in Nine Network at 1:38 pm by Give Me The Remote

Production has begun on a new reality television series set in the restaurant business area. ‘The Chopping Block’ is being created by David Barbour and Julian Cress, the folks who gave us such offerings as The Block, Celebrity Overhaul and Celebrity Circus. It will be hosted by Catriona Rowntree (Getaway) and chef Matt Moran (a former judge on Seven’s My Restaurant Rules).

Producers David Barbour and Julian Cress
Producers David Barbour and Julian Cress

The series is being shot both in Melbourne and Sydney where two restaurants will compete each week for a $20 000 cash prize. The restaurants will first receive a review by a secret critic, before being then given $5 000 to overhaul their eatery in 3 days under the guidance of Moran. The businesses will then be scrutinised again and the restaurant who has made the most improvement will get the big ones.

The concept actually sounds quite interesting. I’m liking the fact that we’ll be seeing new restaurants every week – the latter weeks of My Restaurant Rules and The Block start to become a bit boring when it’s just same old, same old. I also believe that Matt Moran is a really good television personality and Nine have been very smart in picking him up.

Celebrity Chef - Matt Moran
Celebrity Chef – Matt Moran

The show will air in 2008.


November 7, 2007

Contestant loses Temptation on name pronunciation

Posted in Nine Network at 6:50 pm by Give Me The Remote

Okay, so perhaps make up your own minds on this one. But I reckon it was pretty tough on the carry over champ. I think his name was David but not sure.

I’ve forgotten the question, but the answer was Maria Callas and the champ pronounced her last name ‘Callay’. The judges ruled it incorrect and he ended up losing by 1 point. He wasn’t happy about it either.. straight after the game finished you could see him speaking his mind to the contestant next to him (the winner).

Maria Callas
The lady in question.. Maria Callas

I guess the judges decision is final… and had they given it to him it could have been seen as unfair on the lady who won. It’s a tough one..

October 23, 2007

Nine axes Viva Laughlin

Posted in Nine Network at 3:47 pm by Give Me The Remote

Following its axing in the United States after only two episodes as consequence of bad reviews and bad ratings, Channel 9 has followed suit and given Hugh Jackman’s show the boot after only one episode.

Viva Laughlin

I guess this is the risk to take with grabbing US television programs before they run a season over there. At least they’re taking some risks now. Not everything is going to work – that’s a given. But let’s just say it didn’t help that Eddie told his Milloinaire audience that everyone thinks the show’s rubbish.

Millionaire is back.. slightly modified but still much the same

Posted in Nine Network at 9:51 am by Give Me The Remote

Last night was the first installment of the new Who Wants to be a Millionaire. I had actually forgotten to switch this on until I heard the familiar strains of the opening sequence and then Eddie McGuire’s fight night voice welcoming all and sundry. So I flicked it on.

Eddie McGuire with Millionaire Rob Fulton

All actually seems very familiar with the old format. A couple of small changes though. The game now goes up to a $5 million jackpot, which works by simply adding another question to the end worth that amount. So question 15 is still worth $1 million but is no longer the top amount. Simple enough. The other (actually quite interesting) change is an addition to the lifelines. If the contestant gets to the 2nd safe level of $32 000, a new lifeline appears called ‘switch’ (i think), which basically says to Eddie – ‘I don’t like this question give me another one.’ So that’s a pretty nifty idea. Unfortunately, however, nobody got to this level and so we didn’t get to see it in action. This leads me to what I see as a major problem in the format.

In the past, 10 contestants were auditioned to be on the show and of course they were all absolute smarties due to the little examination they had to get through to make the grade. At this point, each of the 10 would vie for the hotseat by playing the fastest finger first game. No more! The new millionaire contestants are ‘chosen’, sort of Backyard Blitz stylem if you know what I mean. They seem to have chosen people who have undergone hardship or have a real excuse for wanting the money. So people who weren’t adopted or are without cancer need not apply. Being chosen in this way means that generally the intelligence level has decreased significantly from the older game. These aren’t smart people. Just average. The questions should either get easier or no where near as much money is going to be given away (how unfortunate for nine).

The show is also live now and goes for 90 minutes. Which is too long. Sixty minutes is enough thanks – I looked at my watch 5 times during the last half hour. Apparently there is also some sort of ‘cattle-call’ sound that Ed will play now if the contestants are taking too long, but it didn’t happen last night.

An interesting thing I found about last night was Eddie’s insistence on showing to us that the show was recorded live by talking up recent events. Okay Ed we believed you when you said it was live, you don’t need to bring up last night worm debacle a gazillion times.

Another laughable Eddie moment came in the cross-promotion of the new show Viva Laughlin (or ‘Lofflin’ as Eddie likes to call it), which follows Millionaire. Eddie starts by being honest and admitting that the show has absolutely been canned as possibly ‘the worst show on television’. Then he continues, and ‘but wait I’ve seen it and it’s actually really good. and i’m not just trying to sell the show.’ (not his exact words, can’t remember) You are trying to sell the show! Why else have you brought it up. It doesn’t mean a thing whether you actually like it or not, you are talking it up on your program for a reason. You’re plugging it!

Viva Laughlin

Anyway, overall it was good to see Millionaire back and somewhat faster paced. The format is easy to follow and fun. It really is a cracker of a show. I definitely see it going back to the 8:30-9:30 in the future, live or otherwise. 7 until 8:30 is just strange. But I’m guessing nine doesn’t have any suitable lead in programs to go 7:30-8:30 that they’re confident will deliver justifiable numbers going in.

October 21, 2007

Press Club cut Channel 9 debate feed over worm

Posted in Nine Network at 10:13 pm by Give Me The Remote

A bit of excitement tonight concerning the 2007 Leaders Debate. But predictably it did not result from what Mr Rudd or Mr Howard were saying. However, there was a small argument 40 minutes in that resulted in Mr Howard raising his voice just a tad and telling the country that Mr Rudd was misleading the Australian public. Well, the Australian public that were watching. Interesting to see how it rates in comparison to Australian Idol – let’s not discuss Bingo anymore than this mention.. classy.

National Bingo Night

Anyway, so the National Press Club had agreed that they would make the broadcast of the debate available to any media outlet that wanted it, on the priviso that they did not chuck one of those pesky worms on it. You see, Prime Minister Howard is not a major fan of the worm. But do you blame him? He comprehensively lost this debate and the past three on worm score. Not that this means a lot. The worm is garbage. Mr Rudd just had to open his mouth and the thing went skyward – the opposite of course occurred for the incumbent. How does this prove anything?

John Howard vs Kevin Rudd

Okay, so Channel 9 promised the worm. They always said that they were letting it loose. The Press Club said that they weren’t allowing it. The worm appeared. It wriggled up. It wriggled down. It disappeared. In fact everything disappeared. Press Club had pulled the plug. But Channel 9 had obviously thought this scenario through and quickly grabbed the footage from Sky… and put the worm on it!

Was it worth it? Definitely. The worm was a differentiation point for their broadcast, which I’m sure took viewers away from the ABC. The really interesting question though is how well it has rated. Did it beat Idol? and ahem, what Channel 7 had on.

October 20, 2007

Viva Laughlin – ‘is it the worst show in the history of television?’

Posted in Nine Network at 10:20 am by Give Me The Remote

The critics in the United States have been savage. Viva Laughlin, produced by Hugh Jackman, debuted a couple of days ago and, well, the critics didn’t really like it. To say the least.

Viva Laughlin

The New York Times said: “”Viva Laughlin on CBS may well be the worst new show of the season, but is it the worst show in the history of television?”

The Washington Post called the program “a dizzy loop-de-loop ride whose departures are so awkward and absurd that they make the norm look pretty darned good… It’s karaoke gone cuckoo, mawkish mush with a thump-and-bump beat — a rinky-tinky hybrid of ‘Dallas,’ ‘Dynasty’ and ‘Bye Bye Birdie.’ And, oh yes, ‘American Idol.’ ”

Maybe the world isn’t ready for a TV musical. Or maybe the thing is just rubbish. To be perfectly honest, there is very little chance that I will watch this show – well, no chance. But not because it’s been absolutely panned, but rather because that sort of thing just simply doesn’t appeal to me – iac!

Well.. at least that’s one less program I have to try and fit into my recording schedule. But for those of you who would like to give it a shot, it begins this Monday at 8:30pm on, you guessed it, the home of duds, channel 9!


October 19, 2007

Surprise Surprise Gotcha stunt backfires

Posted in Nine Network at 9:56 am by Give Me The Remote

Last night on that absolute gem of a program (read: rubbish), Surprise Surprise Gotcha! (hilariously titled) there was a stunt involving Catriona Rowntree setting up her Getaway castmate Ben Dark in a (ridiculously innovative) poor restaurant service skit.

Surprise Surprise Gotcha!
Courtesy: What’s On The Tube

All the talk however has been about what didn’t actually go to air. So apparently Catriona said she had to go to the bathroom, when she was really going to speak to the hidden camera crew. Dark, unaware of course that he was being filmed, started saying some nasty things about Ms Rowntree to his mate after she had temporarily left them. Backstabber!

Catriona must have been devestated as she watched it all on the hidden cameras out the back. Although ever the consumate professional, she returned to finish off the skit without saying a word in order for the setup to work.

Catriona Rowntree & Ben Dark

I wonder what happened after the cameras stopped rolling. Enough firecrackers for Guy Fawkes Day perhaps?

October 10, 2007

Help me figure out The Mint puzzle..

Posted in Nine Network at 8:16 pm by Give Me The Remote

So I got home one night and chucked on the telly and as usual the mint was on. As usual the puzzle didn’t seem to make a lot of sense.. so i persisted with it to see what the answer was.. I figured it looked pretty simple on the surface so it should be a bit of a cinch for the phone-ins. Apparently not..

This was the puzzle..

The Mint - Question

I thought the show was ending at 3 so I decided to stay with it for a little bit because I figured someone was bound to get it before then. The clock was approaching on 3 and a quick check of my telly guide told me that the show actually ended at 4 tonight. Too much minty for me so I chucked a recorder on it and flicked it off.

So this was answer..

The Mint - Answer

Which begs the question.. how did they get this answer? I’d be really appreciative if you could enlighten me.. anyone? Not surprisingly nobody got the answer again and the 5 grand stayed in 9’s pockets.

So yeah.. here’s the call out.. explain this one to me. Thanks muchly!

October 5, 2007

Nine backflips – Temptation to stay

Posted in Nine Network at 10:49 am by Give Me The Remote

Nine’s new CEO David Gyngell has spoken.

The ‘rest’ that Temptation was going to be having has been canned and the program is not going anywhere anytime soon. However, Monday nights will be Temptation-less, which is when Mr Eddie McGuire will keep us entertained.

David Gyngell
David Gyngell – back again as CEO

The previously planned 30 minute nightly Who Wants To Millionaire will be replaced by a live 80 minute Monday night $5 million dollar Millionaire extravaganza. The format, beginning on October 22nd, will give viewers the chance to win $10 k and episode and will run for six weeks.

Eddie McGuire with Millionaire Rob Fulton
Eddie McGuire with Millionaire Rob Fulton

So Ed & Livinia (and Chelsea and Scotty) aren’t going anywhere. This is great news.. and it seems that David Gyngell is already preaching a bit of stability to the network. There might be some hope yet.

Livinia Nixon
Livinia Nixon – not going anywhere.

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