One of the trends at this year’s MIPFormats has been the keen interest in the gameshow genre, as it evolves in new ways – including moving out of the studio, while adding more second-screen participation.
This afternoon saw Virginia Mouseler (photo), CEO of TV research firm The WIT, take to the Grand Auditorium to show clips of a dozen hand-picked new game show formats, with the aim of sparking ideas among the assembled attendees. Here’s our rundown of what was shown, and why Mouseler thought they were notable.
Big Family Game Night: Made in the US by Hasbro Studios, this is based on Hasbro’s line of board games. It’s already being adapted for China and has been recommissioned for a second series in the US. Rounds in the show are based on games like Scrabble, Operation and Connect 4, with teams of families competing.
Instant Cash: Made in Canada by Cineflix International, this sees normal people trying to get money out of an unattended cash machine, before being surprised by general knowledge questions and challenges on the ATM screen. If they complete 10 challenges and questions, they win a prize – and there’s a camera embedded in the cash machine to record all the action. One example challenge: ‘Convince a male stranger to let you shave both of his legs…’
Money Grabbers: This pilot show from SevenOne International sees a contestant locked in a glass dome, with five seconds to answer true or false questions about a topic. After every round, thousands of banknotes are blown into the dome, and at the end, the contestant has to grab as much cash as they can.
Take The Money And Run: Made in the US and distributed by Warner Bros Horizon Television, this has another money-related theme. Contestants are handed $100,000 in cash in a briefcase, and given one hour to hide it anywhere they want. They are then interrogated for 48 hours by four ‘detectives’, and if they manage to keep the location secret, they win the money.
El Tercero En Discordia: This daily dating show is broadcast on Antena 3 in Spain, having premiered in March. It sees three couples competing, with each accompanied by a third person who knows them both well – a friend, relative or even an ex-partner. Each trio has to answer questions about one another, with the top-scoring team going through to a final where they have two minutes to answer 10 more personal questions.
Perfection: This ITV Studios show was first shown in the UK in January this year, and poses a series of true or false statements to contestants. They can win £1,000, but only if they achieve ‘absolute perfection’ in their answers. If they don’t, the prize rolls over to the next game. Players can also team up to share rewards by working together.
The Chance Factor: Another pilot, this time from Newen in France. Four pairs of contestants compete in three rounds, with each pair having ‘The Brains’ and ‘The Lucky Guy’. The former answer general knowledge questions, while the latter play more luck-based casino challenges to double, triple or quadruple the team’s winnings. By the final, the top team is trying to win 100,000 Euros, by placing lucky horseshoes on a board that can multiply their winnings up to 10x, or send them into ‘bankruptcy’ where they win nothing.
The Spider Web: An Italian pilot from Veralia, this has four rounds, including Colour, The Revolver, The Thermometer and The Spider Web. Each contestant is identified with a colour, which has a boost effect on their score – for example when they answer a question associated with that colour.
Human Square: This French pilot blends memory and luck, with an array of glamorous females lurking in a grid, with 16 of them being pairs, wearing the same style of clothing and accessories. Contestants have to match the pairs, and find the two who are not twinned. A memory match game, then. But with women.
Faces: A Finnish pilot distributed by Banijay International, this sees contestants having to answer a range of photo-led questions about celebrities. For example, guessing which baby photo is a particular celebrity, or ranking a star’s ex-girlfriends in chronological order. Contestants also get to choose their opponents from the audience, based only on their faces.
Kaox: Another pilot from Spain, focused on younger contestants. Cameras move towards eight contestants, but if they answer questions correctly, their camera stops and attention switches to the next contestant. If they get them wrong, the camera moves faster – and if it reaches them, they get gunged with a goopy liquid mixture. “I’ve seen herds of pigs that smell better than what just fell on you,” is the presenter’s line to one contestant.
Arcade Heroes: A game show based on classic arcade games from the 1970s and 1980s, except turned into a physical challenge. It’s a pilot from the Netherlands distributed by Noble Savage. Games featured include Space Invaders, Track and Field, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man and Tetris – note, this is a pilot, so it’s unclear if rights to use these games have been negotiated. There is also an iPhone app for viewers to participate from home.