Game on!

The first round of Game Shows 2007 has gone down. And Nine wins it.

1 vs 100 had an average audience of 1.958m viewers and a peak of 2.403 (which is in itself extraordinary).

The Rich List averaged 1.411m viewers and peaked at 1.50m.

Certainly everyone seemed to be talking about these and making comparisons at office watercoolers.

For the record here’s my 2c:

1 vs 100 looks amazing, and this is its biggest strength. The sheer scale of the “mob” is hard to resist. The format is Millionaire in the Thunderdome, but shifts the focus of that show’s clean “risk vs outcome” equation to the theatrics of the mob. Host Eddie is perfect for this sort of show …. if you like Eddie. He’s very relaxed, a good everyman figure, but overdid the raucous mob calls on the first night. He also built the human drama of a struggling contestant well. The Production with sweeping cameras and mood music is slick. Questions seemed a bit dumb, could move a bit faster.

The Rich List doesn’t require much knowledge other than memory recall. So it’s a light diversion at 7.30. This one is Family Feud with bells and whistles. Teflon host Andrew O’Keefe often tries too hard for my personal liking. But again, he’s a pro at a zippy game show. Emphasis on zip. Pairing strangers may have some nice subtext if we’re allowed to see teams who do or don’t connect. It’s nice that champions can reign over episodes. The set looks a bit Star Trek, as O’Keefe himself mentioned.

In conclusion, now the wow factor is over, survival really boils down to whether the viewer enjoys a good game show, likes the host and has little timeslot competition. I’d give the edge to 1 vs 100 but still reckon Millionaire is a cleaner, simpler format. After all, there’s great drama in watching someone risk $250,000 trying to decide whether the eldest Marx Brother was Harpo, Chico or Groucho.

Now bring on TEN!

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