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The Game Show Forum => The Big Board => Topic started by: TimK2003 on October 07, 2021, 12:19:33 PM

Title: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: TimK2003 on October 07, 2021, 12:19:33 PM
Now that we finally have a decent streak of consecutive episodes to watch on Buzzr or elsewhere,, and not just a couple of episodes scattered throughout the series run, here are some of my observations:

It seems like Chargers have about an even chance of winning any given round as Blockers.  I have seen several episodes where the charger either climbs the board and makes it with little or no obstacles (blocks/wrong answers) or survives the 1 out of 3 chance of finding the longshot blooper.

The Gauntlet can a lot tougher than we were led to believe when we only had those select pre-Buzzr episodes on Youtube -- most of those contained $25K wins.

Seems like Buzzr gave up covering the "Stay tuned for TPIR..." spiel at the end of the show.

I love all the different camera angles they have done at the end of the show, showing a lot of the parts of the studio and set that you wouldn't normally see during the game.

Amazed at how many edits they have made during the timed rounds -- most are barely noticeable.

  Along the same lines, they have been pretty liberal on the accepting of some answers that were not necessarily what they had in mind.

Strategy-wise, it feels like the $40 column is the most ignored in both the charging and blocking. They either focus on the easier columns or go greedy on the $50's.  One player recently went right up that $40 column in lightning speed with no problems.

After 40-some years, this show has really grown on me even more than it did back then.  I can see the show being revived in the near future as it seems like a good fit with some of today's existing offerings.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Chief-O on October 07, 2021, 12:49:08 PM
I love all the different camera angles they have done at the end of the show, showing a lot of the parts of the studio and set that you wouldn't normally see during the game.

Same here.

Quote
Amazed at how many edits they have made during the timed rounds -- most are barely noticeable.

Same here. I guess most of that might be due to board malfunctions, wrong bloopers being revealed, etc.

I can also add that, at least with the early crop of eps. they had, they always seemed to put blocks on the $350 on level 6.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: tvmitch on October 07, 2021, 01:34:49 PM
Amazed at how many edits they have made during the timed rounds -- most are barely noticeable.

  Along the same lines, they have been pretty liberal on the accepting of some answers that were not necessarily what they had in mind.
In an era of television producing where the strong preference was live-to-tape, these stopdowns must have riled some feathers. An episode this week had two spots in just one round where there was an obvious stopdown.

For me, the show is a must-watch every day. I look forward to it. I do think that the blockers have an advantage over the chargers, in general. I would enjoy seeing an episode where a blocker attempts a different strategy of blocking $x on every level.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: WhammyPower on October 07, 2021, 04:58:13 PM
An episode this week had two spots in just one round where there was an obvious stopdown.
Most of the ones I can recall may have been situations where judging the contestant's answer may have been a little more difficult. I think this was the case here.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: BrandonFG on October 07, 2021, 05:08:17 PM
The Gauntlet can a lot tougher than we were led to believe when we only had those select pre-Buzzr episodes on Youtube -- most of those contained $25K wins.
I wonder if the Gauntlet gets easier if the contestants had the clues written for them like in the main game? There, you could focus on the underlined blooper, whereas in the Gauntlet you have to listen closely to Tom. I'm not advocating for making a bonus round easier - esp. with 25K on the line - or anything, just a theory.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Clay Zambo on October 07, 2021, 05:20:36 PM
I wonder if the Gauntlet gets easier if the contestants had the clues written for them like in the main game?

Well, of course it would. And that's why they didn't do it. The underlined words were added between pilot and series, probably for the same reason.

I do wonder if it had been considered, and if the bloopers might at one point have been displayed on the Tele-bellies. I think they made the right choice *not* to do that, though.

Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: BrandonFG on October 07, 2021, 05:38:22 PM
I do wonder if it had been considered, and if the bloopers might at one point have been displayed on the Tele-bellies. I think they made the right choice *not* to do that, though.
Oh absolutely. With so much on the line, you're basically begging to give away the money if they do that.

From what I've seen, the Gauntlet riddles themselves don't seem to be that much more difficult, but I did notice they were a little more current events-based.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Bryce L. on October 07, 2021, 06:14:46 PM
Seems like that $100K+ they gave away in the days immediately following Randy have put the screws to the budget, since in the last week or so, it looks like players have been lucky to make it to #4 or #5 on the Gauntlet (whereas before Randy, it seemed like a typical loss landed somewhere around #8 or #9).
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Ian Wallis on October 07, 2021, 07:29:17 PM

I love all the different camera angles they have done at the end of the show, showing a lot of the parts of the studio and set that you wouldn't normally see during the game.


I agree with that.  Some of those shots are beautiful.

As far as strategy goes, I think the most effective blocking is to try to load up on a couple of levels.  It could backfire if the charger gets lucky and goes around them, but how many times have we seen two or three of those blocks hit?

It seems that more games than not end with the longshot.

Re the theme:  I'm guessing most of us here have the music, but I'm wondering how much of the closing theme was ever heard on air.  It seems that on most of the long-credit days, it never seems to go much beyond about 1:30.  There is an episode in the circuit from the Howard Wilson run where one closing runs 1:55, but that's the most I've seen.  I'd be curious if there's another along the way somewhere where it ran longer.

The reason I bring that up is there are some shows where long credit closings typically ran over 2:00; but others like Tattletales rarely ran over a minute.  Just an observation.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: SuperMatch93 on October 07, 2021, 08:01:30 PM
Re the theme:  I'm guessing most of us here have the music, but I'm wondering how much of the closing theme was ever heard on air.  It seems that on most of the long-credit days, it never seems to go much beyond about 1:30.  There is an episode in the circuit from the Howard Wilson run where one closing runs 1:55, but that's the most I've seen.  I'd be curious if there's another along the way somewhere where it ran longer.

The reason I bring that up is there are some shows where long credit closings typically ran over 2:00; but others like Tattletales rarely ran over a minute.  Just an observation.

I haven't heard the TVPMM reels in years (I think they're still on an old laptop somewhere) but I do remember the theme having a final section and ending rather than a fade out.

Given that the show was already pressed for time due to the newsbreak and that many final segments only have time for Tom to say "See you next time on...", I doubt they had time for much more of the theme anyway.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Nick on October 07, 2021, 08:03:03 PM
It seems like Chargers have about an even chance of winning any given round as Blockers.  I have seen several episodes where the charger either climbs the board and makes it with little or no obstacles (blocks/wrong answers) or survives the 1 out of 3 chance of finding the longshot blooper.

I hope somebody 'round these parts is compiling a statistics book on the spaces blocked and spaces charged, Charger wins and Blocker wins and so on.  I'd be very curious to see such figures as the blocks most commonly hit and spaces most commonly charged, especially for Level 6, and ultimately if one role was usually the one more favoured to win.

I love all the different camera angles they have done at the end of the show, showing a lot of the parts of the studio and set that you wouldn't normally see during the game.

Yeah, which wasn't really the trend back then that it is today.  Also on the subject of the set, it seemed as if Tom looked to his left for Rod on some occasions and other times to his right.  Would he have been on opposite sides of the stage depending on the studio in which they taped?  By Randy's run, they're in Studio 33, but earlier episodes show the audience layout of what looks to be a different studio.

Amazed at how many edits they have made during the timed rounds

It's probably the most frustrating part of watching the game, and one wonders how much this may have hurt the longevity of the show given the added production costs required with all the editing.  It's not just turning around the wrong blooper.  The sound effects operator was off on several occasions, sounding the block horn when no block was hit, et al.  If this ever did get a modern-day revival, I'd have to think an upgrade to a digital board would make the production move so much more smoothly.  They seemed to be pretty strict on the clock, but contestants were often held at the mercy of Tom flubbing a syllable while reading a blooper or a delay on getting the trilion turned around and losing precious seconds in the process (Look at Steve Leblang's first game.  He's held up for a full two seconds on Level 5 waiting for his second blooper to turn around after just being hit with a five-second penalty on a block).  Still, though, for a rapid-fire game where the trilions are not being turned in sequence against the clock such as on Pyramid, you have to commend the board operators for keeping up with the pace more times than not.

I also would think the formula for rapid-fire delivery would have developed to precision.  I suppose the rules required you to say level before the level number, but I'd be dropping dollars on the blooper if they'll let me get away with that and save my precious time (Also, it is a part of the rules that Tom must repeat the level number and dollar amount after the Charger calls it?  I suppose we need to do something to fill the seconds it takes to turn the blooper around, but again, it's my precious time, and the blooper is usually still not fully turned by the time Tom is finished repeating the Charger's call).

  Along the same lines, they have been pretty liberal on the accepting of some answers that were not necessarily what they had in mind.

Had the show lasted longer, I expect they would have worked out all the kinks in the writing formula so avoid these kinds of scenarios because contestants also lost precious seconds for judge deliberation (By the way, we hear his voice sometimes.  Anybody know who that is?).
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Clay Zambo on October 07, 2021, 10:40:15 PM
From what I've seen, the Gauntlet riddles themselves don't seem to be that much more difficult, but I did notice they were a little more current events-based.

And there's no unifying subject.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Sodboy13 on October 07, 2021, 11:54:00 PM
I introduced my wife to Whew! tonight. Her first impression? "What is this show? This is insane."

I mean, she's not wrong. That said, she got the rules down easy after watching Tom's rundown and seeing one round play out. But the show is, as I have maintained since my first viewing, a lot. And then she heard the phrase "Gauntlet of Villains" and was truly perplexed. The best explanation I had to offer was, "Look, there was a lot of cocaine going around at the time."
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: MikeK on October 08, 2021, 09:02:37 PM
Some stats for every show BUZZR has shown up to this point minus the pilot and minus the show that aired on 10/7:

34 Gauntlets have been run
8 wins

Randy has the highest main game winnings in a game thus far at $1190.  The lowest has been $130.  5 people have amassed at least $1000 in the main game.  The average amount won in the main game is $699.  There is a very weak correlation between main game winnings and how far you'll get in the Gauntlet--someone who earned $520 beat the Gauntlet, while someone who won $1000 in the main game only got through 9.

90 rounds have been played
The 5 most frequently chosen spaces to block in levels 1 through 5 are 4-20 (40 times), 3-30 (34), 3-20 (31), 5-20 (29) and 4-10 (28).  The entire column of $50 boxes are the 5 least often picked for blocking, with 5-50 only being selected 3 times.

For level 6 (non-longshots), 350 squeaks out 200 as the most frequently picked, by a 42-38 count.  500 has been chosen 10 times.

The most common first move is 1-10 (24 times), followed by 1-20 and 1-40, tied at 20 times.  1-30 and 1-50 are almost tied for least often chosen at 12 and 11 times, respectively.  The boxes most commonly picked on the board is the $10 column by a wide margin, with the exception of Level 1, where 1-10 is the 3rd most commonly picked box (34 times), just behind 1-40 (35) and 1-20 (37).  For every level besides 1, the order of most often picked to least often is 10, 20, 40, 30, 50.

When it comes to the initial selection on Level 6, regardless if it was a longshot or not, 200 has been picked 36 times, t00 has been chosen 29 times, and 350 only 19 times.

1 round has been completed in the minimum 6 picks.  4 rounds have gone 10 picks thus far.

Longshot has been called 52 times out of 90, so almost 60% of the time.  In the 37 longshot situations where the values of both blocks were known due to finding a longshot block or finding a safe block, the $500 was the unblocked box 23 times (62% of the time).  Both $200 and $350 were the available box 7 times each.

Blocking or charging:  Who has the advantage?  Blockers win by exactly a 2:1 margin, 60 blocker wins, 30 charger wins.

Whew, that's a lot of stats.

What strategies can be created using this information?  Go $500 whenever you're on Level 6.  When charging, go up the 30s, 40s, and 50s minus the 3-30 I mentioned earlier.  When blocking, block 2-10, 3-10, and 4-10, as each has an over 50% chance of being chosen.  If given a choice in a third round, block.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: TheLastResort on October 08, 2021, 10:32:31 PM
From what I've seen, the Gauntlet riddles themselves don't seem to be that much more difficult, but I did notice they were a little more current events-based.

And there's no unifying subject.

No doubt they are leftovers from the main game taken from different categories.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: knagl on October 09, 2021, 01:12:01 AM
And then she heard the phrase "Gauntlet of Villains" and was truly perplexed. The best explanation I had to offer was, "Look, there was a lot of cocaine going around at the time."

Hahaha, nice.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Mr. Armadillo on October 09, 2021, 01:33:27 AM
The 5 most frequently chosen spaces to block in levels 1 through 5 are 4-20
I can only imagine how much more frequently that block would be chosen in 2021.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: MSTieScott on October 09, 2021, 02:28:20 AM
What strategies can be created using this information?  Go $500 whenever you're on Level 6.  When charging, go up the 30s, 40s, and 50s minus the 3-30 I mentioned earlier.

If you're comfortable with the category, sure. But even though you're more likely to avoid blocks that way, there's still precious little margin for error. From what I've seen, both hitting a block and failing on a question eat up about the same amount of time. And, to use the baseball analogy, once a contestant gets three "strikes" (any combination of blocks and/or wrong answers), they can't win without a longshot.

The best blocking strategy seems to be to take advantage of your right to place three blocks on one level (it doesn't much matter which one) and force your opponent to guess whether you've left 10, 20, 30, or 40 open. Placing blocks on 50s is a waste, because the material over there is difficult enough that if a charger tries to run that column, they'll likely pile up enough wrong answers to ruin their game anyway.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: MikeK on October 09, 2021, 06:08:13 AM
What strategies can be created using this information?  Go $500 whenever you're on Level 6.  When charging, go up the 30s, 40s, and 50s minus the 3-30 I mentioned earlier.

If you're comfortable with the category, sure. But even though you're more likely to avoid blocks that way, there's still precious little margin for error. From what I've seen, both hitting a block and failing on a question eat up about the same amount of time. And, to use the baseball analogy, once a contestant gets three "strikes" (any combination of blocks and/or wrong answers), they can't win without a longshot.
Three strikes is a good rule-of-thumb.  Depending on factors like the length of the blooper, a contestant could get away with 4 or even 5 strikes.  35 times, a charger made exactly 9 selections.  26 of those times, a longshot was involved.  A cursory look shows that roughly half the time, the charger got no higher than level 4 before invoking the longshot.

I transferred the data to Google Drive because it's after 6 AM and I hate sleep:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1EarRTyenPqhnaAUX0Y30rwfC0igZzNC_GlyL3fBgn74/edit?usp=sharing
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Joe Mello on October 09, 2021, 08:11:05 AM
The two fun takeaways from me are that the Charger only wins 42% of the games where there is no Longshot, and that the correlation between money earned and Gauntlet questions right (.466) is slightly stronger than the correlation between seconds earned and Gauntlet questions right (.462)
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: TLEberle on October 09, 2021, 08:19:16 AM
Interesting to me that the prize money for the winner tends to clumptogether in certain spots but there was one outlier where the champ squeaked through with $180.

/and another with $130.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: calliaume on October 09, 2021, 08:52:48 AM
Blocking or charging:  Who has the advantage?  Blockers win by exactly a 2:1 margin, 60 blocker wins, 30 charger wins.
That's a huge advantage to the blocker. It would have been nice to make a gameplay adjustment (one less second lost per block?) to help even things out. (Does anybody think the production company kept track of this kind of information?)
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: weaklink75 on October 09, 2021, 11:35:05 AM
I'd have to go through them, but I'd be interested to see how the 2-1 games are split (did the winner block twice, charge twice, or block and charge once- I'd have to think blocking twice is more common). Giving the champ the block/charge option in round 3 seems to be a huge advantage..

And I agree that the technology of today would help a ton in the front game- I wouldn't be shocked if there had been a lot of errors in wrong trilons being turned because of mishearing of calls...
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: MikeK on October 09, 2021, 11:53:17 AM
I'd have to go through them, but I'd be interested to see how the 2-1 games are split (did the winner block twice, charge twice, or block and charge once- I'd have to think blocking twice is more common). Giving the champ the block/charge option in round 3 seems to be a huge advantage..
I was thinking of identifying what numbers go to what match or show.  I will alternate background colors to differentiate when a match ends and a new match begins.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: chris319 on October 10, 2021, 06:13:59 PM
How many main game bloopers did they need to have ready per show? Not played, but available on the board? There were 28 bloopers per board and I don't know how many main-game rounds they played per show. Multiply the number of bloopers per show by 10: two consecutive taping days of five shows per day, and you have the number of questions they needed to bring to the studio every two weeks and the number of art cards that needed to be prepared. With only two weeks to prepare, the writers must have been working at a frenetic pace and I suspect the research/authentication was light.

The main game was exhilarating for the players but the audience of hausfraus at 10 am or whatever had to work too hard to keep up. There was no time to savor the clever bloopers. The audience had to race against the players. This greatly reduced the play-along factor. The show was on the air for what, 9 months, before they brought in the celebs and that didn't save it.

Removing the clock from the main game would be a vast improvement. Keep the blocks, but have each incorrect or unanswered question count against the player. Three such "strikes" might be a little tight given the challenge facing the contestants, but maybe five "strikes" would be more realistic.

If I understand correctly, there may or may not have been a block pre-positioned on level 6. Then the "blocker" chooses a level-6 square to place a block, which may or may not already have a block on it. Thus, the "charger" may have a 1 in 3 or a 2 in 3 chance of getting a blooper on level 6. Do I have that right? That seems kind of slippery.

Like Jay's other shows, Whew! was ambitious and an imaginative concept, but it just didn't play to the audience. How Jay's version of Double Dare and Blackout ever saw the light of day is mystifying. Mercifully, "Pandemonium", which was a train wreck, never made it past the pilot stage. How it ever got piloted in the first place is likewise baffling.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: MSTieScott on October 10, 2021, 06:39:05 PM
If I understand correctly, there may or may not have been a block pre-positioned on level 6. Then the "blocker" chooses a level-6 square to place a block, which may or may not already have a block on it. Thus, the "charger" may have a 1 in 3 or a 2 in 3 chance of getting a blooper on level 6. Do I have that right?

Mostly, but the blocker already knows whether there's a block pre-prositioned on level 6 -- they're the one who dictated its position before the round began. So if the charger calls a longshot, which allows the blocker to place a secret block on level 6, the blocker knows not to place their secret block on the question they've already blocked.

In theory, the blocker doesn't have to place a block on level 6 before the round begins, but most all of the contestants understood that it's good strategy to do so. That way, if the charger calls for a longshot, two of the three questions will be blocked, which is what makes the longshot a long shot.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Bryce L. on October 10, 2021, 06:43:22 PM
... and I don't know how many main-game rounds they played per show
Usually three, but occasionally two (if a show started at the Gauntlet, then the next match ended 2-0, with Act 4 being another Gauntlet)
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Nick on October 10, 2021, 07:00:40 PM
Removing the clock from the main game would be a vast improvement. Keep the blocks, but have each incorrect or unanswered question count against the player. Three such "strikes" might be a little tight given the challenge facing the contestants, but maybe five "strikes" would be more realistic.

But the frantic pace of racing against the clock is what makes this game so exhilarating.  Unless you're going to match the lack of a clock with either a steep increase in the difficulty of your average blooper or much stricter judging on the answer, I don't think you're going to get many contestants who are going to strike out on five bloopers.  As long as the blocking rules remain what they were, there's inevitably an easy path up the board that's going to be free for the contestants to follow, and they'll get just over there if they're getting blocked or stumped on the harder side.  It's not as much fun to watch the Chargers take the easy route, but when they've hit a couple of snags on the way up and the clock is ticking, I can't blame them for defaulting left.

And then there's the Longshot.  If you're going to nix the clock and make it a five-strike limit or what have you, you're not going to hit nearly as many Longshot situations, which greatly reduces the tension in the game.  I think the whole Longshot business was genius.  A few snags out of the gate, and the Charger can put himself in a place where clearing the board in 60 seconds becomes impossible, so rather than render the venture futile, throw in a lifeline that can turn the game on its head, albeit with the odds generally (though not necessarily) against you.  It's brilliant.

Like Jay's other shows, Whew! was ambitious and an imaginative concept, but it just didn't play to the audience.

To each his own, I suppose.  I still think, in Whew!, Jay had the most innovative concept since Jeopardy! for turning the standard Q&A game on its head.  There are definitely some issues with the way it was packaged.  For instance, unless the Blocker is great at banter (and most weren't), the whole watching the Blocker place the blocks bit is pretty dull.  For the amount of time it takes to setup the game and then race through it, there really is only about 5 minutes of actual gameplay in a 20-minute episode.  You stack that against something like Pyramid, and it seems like the latter's got a lot more jammed into it, but Pyramid was only 8 minutes against the clock in a 22-minute episode.  All in how you package it, I guess.

The biggest flaw, I see, from a production standpoint is that generally 70% of more of each game board is going unused, so you have to have an outrageous amount in your question bank for each game despite using so little of it; and because you package it in category boards with specifically-identifiable spaces, you end up with a lot of recycled categories due to a lot of recycled content.  The cartoon shtick and the Gauntlet of Villains is nice window dressing to disguise up the holes and make your bonus round not look like a "10-in-60" repeat of the front game [though the 60+(d/100) formula for the bonus clock did this on its own, and I rather liked how playing for dollars in the front game could help your chances in the end game], but as it was with most Jay Wolpert productions, there's a lot dressed up here on a thin game underneath.

But even then, despite how thin the game is, I love it and would love it if somebody could find the way to package it for a new series.  There's something about this "we give you the answer with one part incorrect that you have to correct" concept that's just begging to be exploited in an addictive and interactive game.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: WhammyPower on October 10, 2021, 07:21:18 PM
I would love it if somebody could find the way to package it for a new series.  There's something about this "we give you the answer with one part incorrect that you have to correct" concept that's just begging to be exploited in an addictive and interactive game.
Technically, it has been, just without the underlining part. (First game @ 2:46)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1Z4IeZHSNU
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: JasonA1 on October 10, 2021, 07:25:00 PM
re: the judging, there have been times where they're going for a specific idiom, say, and they accept a vague synonym -- something as ridiculous as "That's the way the cookie falls apart." That kind of decision is far too lenient IMO, but otherwise, I agree with the calls. For the most part, you can't really avoid matters of judgment in a game like this without adding too many words to the question.

Which brings me to my overall point that they could've improved the average number of exposed squares per board. That could have closed the gap in the blocker's advantage. It feels like 7 or 8 trilons turned is the typical outcome before time's up/longshot. If they pruned as many words as they could from the bloopers, they could have upped that average towards 9.

In playing and hosting with friends, many of us who are students of trying to avoid alternate answers vis a vis modern "big money" shows have a tendency to make the bloopers overlong. Given the category, and the "underlined part is wrong" format of the writing, it should never be difficult to get down to the essence of what you want. Consider a board on WOMEN. You can either say...

IN THE '80s, MADONNA HAD A HIT ON THE DANCE CHARTS WITH "INTO THE GROUPIES."

Or, boil it down to:

MADONNA HAD A HIT WITH "INTO THE GROUPIES."

Sometimes you need more words to serve a joke, or direct the answer, but often times, the fluff is unnecessary.

I'll also say that they needed more people willing to charge up the $40-$50 bloopers. It seems like blocking 10-20-30 on one of the levels is too often a winning move.

How Jay's version of Double Dare and Blackout ever saw the light of day is mystifying.

Blackout I get, but what did you think they missed on Double Dare?

-Jason
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Bryce L. on October 10, 2021, 07:34:04 PM
...but often times, the fluff is unnecessary.
Isn't the point of the fluff to eat up the clock, and thus make the Charger's job that much harder?
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: chris319 on October 10, 2021, 08:06:05 PM
Quote
But the frantic pace of racing against the clock is what makes this game so exhilarating.

Exhilarating for the players, yes. But the 10am audience of housewives had to work to keep up. As proof, the show didn't even last a year. Even celebrities didn't save it.

Quote
There's something about this "we give you the answer with one part incorrect that you have to correct" concept that's just begging to be exploited in an addictive and interactive game.

Agreed, the writing and the concept behind the bloopers were clever, but the overall game was flawed.

Quote
what did you think they missed on Double Dare?

I actually discussed this with Frank Wayne once. I didn't watch Double Dare when it was on CBS, but after seeing it on Buzzr I agree with Frank's complaint that the material was too difficult, too arcane, especially for a daytime audience. I've seen many, many questions greeted with nothing but blank stares because neither player knew the answer. The game doesn't advance. We had a few puzzles on P+ which went unsolved and it was always anticlimactic. Per the bible we had the right to edit out unsolved puzzles but never did IIRC. OTOH, I once suggested to Howard that we award a bonus for solving the puzzle on the first clue, but that idea went nowhere.

A good example is Tic Tac Dough's brief run on CBS daytime in 1978. It flopped in daytime and then succeeded in syndication where it ran mainly in prime access and got away from the hausfrau audience.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Nick on October 10, 2021, 08:26:18 PM
Exhilarating for the players, yes. But the 10am audience of housewives had to work to keep up. As proof, the show didn't even last a year. Even celebrities didn't save it.

Fair enough, though if memory serves, the show was holding its own in the ratings until had had to go against The Hollywood Squares, did it not?

As for adding celebrities, it totally ruined the game, but that's just one guy's opinion.

A good example is Tic Tac Dough's brief run on CBS daytime in 1978. It flopped in daytime and then succeeded in syndication where it ran mainly in prime access and got away from the hausfrau audience.

So do you think Whew! would have had a better shot in syndication (weakness in the game's design aside)?
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: TimK2003 on October 10, 2021, 08:34:59 PM
You can either say...

IN THE '80s, MADONNA HAD A HIT ON THE DANCE CHARTS WITH "INTO THE GROUPIES."

Or, boil it down to:

MADONNA HAD A HIT WITH "INTO THE GROUPIES."

Sometimes you need more words to serve a joke, or direct the answer, but often times, the fluff is unnecessary.

I'll also say that they needed more people willing to charge up the $40-$50 bloopers. It seems like blocking 10-20-30 on one of the levels is too often a winning move.


IIRC, The Maggie Brown pilot shown during the 2021 Buzzr Lost & Found had at least one board like that.  It was on the Quotations category, where it pretty much was just the bloopered quote with no fluff whatsoever.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: chris319 on October 10, 2021, 08:41:36 PM
After some years of working with non-professionals on their game concepts, i.e. people without much game-show experience, I've observed the following:

Non-professionals tend to focus myopically on the task the players face in winning cash and prizes. In other words, they focus on "what does the player have to accomplish in order to win?" They analyze their games strictly from the players' point of view.

What they don't tend to focus on is of paramount importance: "how will this play to an audience?". The audience could be housewives at 10am or couch potatoes in prime access. The fact remains that they are passive observers whose participation in the game is strictly vicarious. A TV game must be evaluated with this overarching consideration in mind.

WOF is the most successful of several TV adaptations of hangman and look how durable it's been. You can't watch it and not try to solve the puzzle. So a contestant wins a car or a trip to Hawaii, big whoop. The prizes are not what keep the audience engaged. After a while the novelty of winning a million dollars wears off.

One big exception to this is What's My Line?. The audience knows the answer to the problem from the outset, yet the questioning is fascinating to watch. I don't know why it works but it does.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: JasonA1 on October 10, 2021, 08:41:51 PM
Isn't the point of the fluff to eat up the clock, and thus make the Charger's job that much harder?

If they were trying to use up the charger's time, then they really missed the mark, because even a casual observer can see it's much easier to win as a blocker than it is as a charger. However, I don't think the show was intentionally doing that. Looking at one episode real quick, though, I could cut syllables from at least a handful of bloopers easily.

Fair enough, though if memory serves, the show was holding its own in the ratings until had had to go against The Hollywood Squares, did it not?

Pretty much. Here's the post (http://www.gameshowforum.org/index.php/topic,27946.msg344170.html#msg344170) where we brought up the show's ratings. However, I don't think it's a big accomplishment that Whew could decisively beat All-Star Secrets, but not the nearly-14-year-old Hollywood Squares.

-Jason
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: chris319 on October 10, 2021, 08:53:07 PM
Quote
do you think Whew! would have had a better shot in syndication (weakness in the game's design aside)?

No. I think Whew! has possibilities if completely restructured. Jay should have run it through trying different variations on the format, such as playing the main game without a clock. He didn't have the benefit of a panoply of people critiquing it in development.

I still have all of the ratings sheets distributed throughout Goodson Todman when I worked there, but I would have to turn my place upside down to find them. ABC had nothing on against it IIRC and it was up against a show on NBC which could be abbreviated as "A.S.S.".
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: tyshaun1 on October 11, 2021, 07:58:06 AM
How Jay's version of Blackout ever saw the light of day is mystifying.
At least for Blackout, CBS green lit a pilot in 1986 and it was shot in October. It wasn't until a year later when Michael Brockman decided it was time to put Pyramid to pasture that they revisited the show and called Jay Wolpert. According to an interview, he actually had forgotten all about it! (I think he was working on his version of "Trivial Pursuit" for syndication at the time). I'm guessing the other options at the time were "I Predict" and "Money In The Blank".
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Clay Zambo on October 11, 2021, 11:49:01 AM
Technically, it has been, just without the underlining part. (First game @ 2:46)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1Z4IeZHSNU

I *adore* HOUSE OF GAMES, and have spent more than a few idle moments wondering if it could work here. In a podcast interview, Osman called the show "a love letter to the art of question writing," and said that it very much was an anthology of clever rounds that *wouldn't* stand on their own as a full game. Much as I love "Highbrow/Lowbrow" and "Win When They're Singing" and even "Rhyme Time," I think he's right.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: chris319 on October 11, 2021, 11:58:08 AM
I had pitched a show to CBS around that time before Blackout went on the air. At first they seemed interested, then they turned cold and passed on it saying they already had a merchandise game. That didn't stop NBC from having TPIR and Say When!! in the '60s, both merchandise shows. I didn't know they had already piloted Blackout (gawd knows why) and Blackout was so vastly superior to my show :P

Larry Hovis loved my show and Ira Skutch thought it was "ingenious".
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Neumms on October 11, 2021, 02:40:09 PM
I had pitched a show to CBS around that time before Blackout went on the air. At first they seemed interested, then they turned cold and passed on it saying they already had a merchandise game.

Out of curiosity, did you try NBC or why couldn't you?
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Neumms on October 11, 2021, 02:45:12 PM
Isn't the point of the fluff to eat up the clock, and thus make the Charger's job that much harder?

The Charger's job was hard to begin with. I'd bet there was a little bit of extra writing just to keep the game less frantic than it already was.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: BrandonFG on October 11, 2021, 02:48:27 PM
I had pitched a show to CBS around that time before Blackout went on the air. At first they seemed interested, then they turned cold and passed on it saying they already had a merchandise game.
And now, 30 years later, they have two.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: JohnXXVII on October 11, 2021, 07:48:19 PM
Watching this show really drives home what a consummate professional Tom Kennedy was. No matter how far out there things get, Tom always plays it straight, with energy and enthusiasm and no touch of irony. He was a great game show host!
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: chris319 on October 12, 2021, 02:17:06 AM
I had pitched a show to CBS around that time before Blackout went on the air. At first they seemed interested, then they turned cold and passed on it saying they already had a merchandise game.

Out of curiosity, did you try NBC or why couldn't you?

Yes, NBC, ABC, several producers (Larry Hovis, Bob Synes) and the William Morris agency.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Neumms on October 12, 2021, 10:13:45 AM
No. I think Whew! has possibilities if completely restructured.

GSN reboot idea: Three rounds. Three contestants on buzzers for 100 points apiece in the first, double the points in the second, knock out the lowest scoring player, then double the points again. For the bonus, 10 in 60 seconds. Rather than amusing painted villains, supered squares change color to indicate progress. Winners get their take bumped to $10,000, or around $2,600 in 1979 dollars.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: chris319 on October 19, 2021, 03:02:06 AM
Here is a nugget which completely modifies the game play.

Each "level" contains three bloopers.

Starting at the bottom level, the player is presented with the three bloopers in the open (i.e. they are revealed). Player chooses one of the bloopers and must correct it. If successful, he picks one of the two remaining bloopers and must correct it, then the third blooper.

No clock.

If the player is unable to correct a blooper, a strike is awarded.

The object of the game is to advance from the bottom level to the top level without accumulating (three?) strikes.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Neumms on October 28, 2021, 12:47:10 AM
Starting at the bottom level, the player is presented with the three bloopers in the open (i.e. they are revealed). Player chooses one of the bloopers and must correct it.

No blocks?
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Jeremy Nelson on October 28, 2021, 09:23:38 AM
Whew is (unintentionally?) modeled after a football game in that you're trying to make it from start to finish while avoiding blockers in a timed game. Could you revamp it by giving it a fresh coat of paint and making it sports themed?
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Nick on October 28, 2021, 09:44:12 AM
Whew is (unintentionally?) modeled after a football game in that you're trying to make it from start to finish while avoiding blockers in a timed game. Could you revamp it by giving it a fresh coat of paint and making it sports themed?

The problem is that the moment you make the theme sports, you're tuning out most of the female demographic, whether you're in daytime, syndication or anywhere else.

I agree.  The blocks are a necessary part of the game, and the race against the clock is what puts the exhilaration into the game.  How about this, if we're going to dump the clock: Keep the conventional board, and both players get to place six secret blocks on the board under the usual conditions (e.g., no more than three on the first five levels and no more than one on six).  If the contestants both try to block the same blooper, their blocks cancel each other out and the space is left free (so then strategy becomes coming up with a blocking pattern that is different from your opponent so that you don't cancel each other out).

The goal remains the same: Clear one blooper per level to win.  The challenger gets first pick.  If the blooper is blocked, the opponent who placed the block gets a free guess at whatever blooper was there and gains control if correct.  If the blooper is free, the one who picked it gets a guess at it.  If he's right, he maintains control and gets to charge.  If he's wrong, control passes his opponent.

Completing a path sequentially would be too onerous, I think, so once you clear a level, you don't have to go back to it (e.g., You clear level 1 and lose control on level 2.  You gain it back on level 3 when your opponent hits your block and you solve the blooper.  You've already cleared level 1, so you go back to 2 and can pass 3 once you clear 2 since you've already solved a blooper on that level).

I like the longshot, so I think it should remain.  If level 6 has not been touched, one player can call longshot and advance to level 6.  Usual longshot conditions: A secret block is placed by the opponent and there may be a previously-placed block there.  If the longshot caller finds the blooper and corrects it, he wins.  If not, the game goes to his opponent.  Winner of the best two out of three match goes to the Gauntlet.

I know it needs some more fleshing out, but am I onto something?  Yea or nay?
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: BrandonFG on October 28, 2021, 09:44:54 AM
Off the top of my head, make the "charge" board a football field. Put the player at their 25* - starting point after a touchback - and each correct answer advances you 15 yards. You get it wrong, you lose a down. Hitting a block is a five-second penalty. After 3rd Down or if you're too far back, you can call a Longshot (Hail Mary?).

The Gauntlet is still 10 questions, but you start at your own end zone and move 10 yards for every correct answer.

*Or the 50. Less confusion for those who don't understand how you got from the 25 to the 40 to the 45.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Dbacksfan12 on October 28, 2021, 01:45:47 PM
Whew is (unintentionally?) modeled after a football game in that you're trying to make it from start to finish while avoiding blockers in a timed game. Could you revamp it by giving it a fresh coat of paint and making it sports themed?
The problem is that the moment you make the theme sports, you're tuning out most of the female demographic, whether you're in daytime, syndication or anywhere else.
40% of NFL fans are female.  There's plenty of programming that targets one gender or another.  Your generalization is both outdated and overestimated, in my opinion.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: Nick on October 28, 2021, 01:57:03 PM
40% of NFL fans are female.

I would say most of that 40% would be probably be only interested in watching football, not a game show themed around football.

Demographic ratings on Sports Jeopardy! would be awfully handy right about now.
Title: Re: After A Month Of Whew,...Random Observations:
Post by: chris319 on October 28, 2021, 02:12:17 PM
Starting at the bottom level, the player is presented with the three bloopers in the open (i.e. they are revealed). Player chooses one of the bloopers and must correct it.

No blocks?

Keep the blocks. What I described is after the blocks have been placed. Keep the long shot.

I don't think you want to make Whew! any more complicated than it already is.

On a football field all of the players are in plain view. On Whew! the blocks are hidden from the charger until he encounters one. That's where the football analogy falls apart.