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Author Topic: The Challengers: a Discussion  (Read 2371 times)

PYLdude

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Re: The Challengers: a Discussion
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2021, 02:06:18 AM »
One thing Iím curious is to who hit the Ultimate Challenge  in its original format on the third occasion.

It was hit for 42 large on October 18 and it was back to 31 when Stan Newman hit it on November 20...if my calculations are right, the pot wouldíve reset on November 5, correct?
Still crazy after all these years...but that's okay.

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That Don Guy

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Re: The Challengers: a Discussion
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2021, 10:20:00 AM »
In my area (Chicago-NW Indiana), The Challengers aired as a companion show to Jeopardy, the former coming on at 3pm and the latter following at 3:30 pm on WLS 7. However, the commenter said that in his area (which he didnít specify), the Challengers aired AGAINST Jeopardy, which played a role in its quick demise. For those of you who remember, was this the case? Did it air as a lead-in to Jeopardy, or did it air completely separate from Jeopardy where you live?

In San Francisco, I'm pretty sure The Challengers and Jeopardy ran in the 4-5 PM block on KRON; I want to say Jeopardy ran at 4 and The Challengers at 4:30, but I'm not 100% sure about that.

BrandonFG

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Re: The Challengers: a Discussion
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2021, 10:42:39 AM »
I just watched the October 1990 ep. that Chris posted. At some point, I'll watch a few more episodes to re-familiarize myself, but I can't help but notice how much the Ultimate Challenge dragged in comparison to the rest of the show. It almost felt like a tacked-on idea.

I'm guessing the producers felt the need to add a bonus round of some sort to make it not look like J!, but I don't think this was the route to go.
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PYLdude

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Re: The Challengers: a Discussion
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2021, 09:01:41 PM »
The idea was good. The execution totally sucked.
Still crazy after all these years...but that's okay.

"I suppose you can still learn stuff on TLC, though it would be more in the Goofus & Gallant sense, that is (don't do what these parents did)"- Travis Eberle, August 2012

TLEberle

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Re: The Challengers: a Discussion
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2021, 09:10:43 PM »
I think thatís a little harsh. How would you execute differently?
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beatlefreak84

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Re: The Challengers: a Discussion
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2021, 09:58:09 PM »
Given that this show was originally on when I was 6, I didn't really appreciate it for what it was, other than it was another game show, and I recognized Dick Clark.  Having watched it again as an adult, I really enjoyed the game as a whole, but also completely understand how, in a world already occupied by J!, why it only lasted one season.

For it to have gotten legs and gone for multiple seasons like J!, I think it needed to come out *before* Alex's J! gets legs and becomes Wheel's syndie twin.  But, since J! is such a simple game at its core (yes; the trivia is challenging, but the game itself is extremely easy to follow), I still think J! had a much better chance of a long life as compared to The Challengers.  Of course, too simple of a format isn't really interesting (see Card, Trump), but too complicated of a format means not as many are going to give it a chance unless there is some other sort of gimmick to hook people (huge cash prize, super-engaging host, etc.).  And, I think this is why they originally had the Ultimate Challenge:  a huge cash prize dangled in front of viewers that a champ had to win 3 times to try for, so you'd want to see if someone would get a chance at that big money.  The downside, though, is that, if you know a champ was on his/her second day, and your incentive is to see that huge cash prize played for, you'll just watch the next day and see if that champ is back.  Oh, she lost?  Guess you'll check back in three days...

That said, I think, if they had stuck with the final format (Sprint round, no Ultimate Challenge), that would have been the best format from a game play perspective:  it's the simplest format of the ones they tried, and it had a good mix of rapid trivia and the strategy/betting part of the game I think we all enjoyed.  I, honestly, never knew there *was* a bonus round until I saw an episode with the Ultimate Challenge as an adult; I thought the Final Challenge was the end of the game.

Final thoughts after rambling:  I love The Challengers as a game (I think the idea behind it would make a great board game).  I wish it would have lasted longer.  But, with J! ruling the trivia roost by 1990, and still doing so to this day, I don't know what format could have been done to eat away at that.

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PYLdude

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Re: The Challengers: a Discussion
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2021, 11:25:15 PM »
I think thatís a little harsh. How would you execute differently?

I think they got the right idea when they turned it into a daily game. One question, multiple answers, get it and you win. That way you accomplish the same objective in a tidier package and you donít have to sacrifice a whole half a round of play to fit it in.

I felt the concept of qualifying to play the bonus was a novel idea, but clumsy in its execution.
Still crazy after all these years...but that's okay.

"I suppose you can still learn stuff on TLC, though it would be more in the Goofus & Gallant sense, that is (don't do what these parents did)"- Travis Eberle, August 2012

TLEberle

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Re: The Challengers: a Discussion
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2021, 11:33:48 PM »
Ok, you meant just the bonus game. Hard to argue that.
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PYLdude

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Re: The Challengers: a Discussion
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2021, 11:41:10 PM »
Ok, you meant just the bonus game. Hard to argue that.

Sorry if I didnít make that clear enough. :)
Still crazy after all these years...but that's okay.

"I suppose you can still learn stuff on TLC, though it would be more in the Goofus & Gallant sense, that is (don't do what these parents did)"- Travis Eberle, August 2012

Sodboy13

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Re: The Challengers: a Discussion
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2021, 12:50:11 PM »
The daily Ultimate Challenge at the end of the game makes a whole lot more sense. To make it more in line with the rest of the show, I'd say you first give the category for the Ultimate Challenge, then offer the three subcategories like so:

Easy - Single answer, $2,000
Medium - Two-part answer, $5,000
Hard - Three-part answer, $10,000

Also, this is a very nitpicky thing, but I can't shake that when I look at the main shot of the three players, I'm looking at something that feels a little too much like Jeopardy at the time. Have the players seated, make the center champion's seat raised and set back a bit or something, use eggcrates for scoring instead of white vanes, I dunno. Just give it a look that doesn't tell the viewer "You're watching Jeopardy, but not quite" on first glance.
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Kniwt

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Re: The Challengers: a Discussion
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2021, 01:03:00 PM »
Just give it a look that doesn't tell the viewer "You're watching Jeopardy, but not quite" on first glance.

... which the original 3W's did rather well. Still baffled over why the original format (with mo' money, of course) wasn't exciting enough for the remake.

JasonA1

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Re: The Challengers: a Discussion
« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2021, 03:42:28 PM »
That said, I think, if they had stuck with the final format (Sprint round, no Ultimate Challenge), that would have been the best format from a game play perspective:  it's the simplest format of the ones they tried, and it had a good mix of rapid trivia and the strategy/betting part of the game I think we all enjoyed.

I agree with the earlier point that Dick Clark was awfully wobbly when it came to the speed round, but by this format, they changed enough things to accommodate him - Dick got to finish reading before they buzzed, and only one player was able to ring in on a particular question. That seemed to reduce all of his faults within those 60 seconds. It was slower than a $ale speed round, but a nice way to differentiate the show from Jeopardy!

Also, this is a very nitpicky thing, but I can't shake that when I look at the main shot of the three players, I'm looking at something that feels a little too much like Jeopardy at the time. Have the players seated, make the center champion's seat raised and set back a bit or something, use eggcrates for scoring instead of white vanes, I dunno.

I agree, from earlier threads. When you offer that direct visual comparison, seeing one show's players flail around with sub-$1,000 scores isn't going to help. The pilot put the total scores below the bet monitors, but that didn't work IMO. The only major format difference I can recall from the pilot was each category had different dollar amounts. That is to say, one round 1 category could go $100-$150-$200, and another in the same round could go $75-$100-$125.

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Casey Buck

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Re: The Challengers: a Discussion
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2021, 04:43:45 PM »
The sad thing about The Challengers is that Dick Clark was the right host on the wrong show, and that we got saddled with John Friggin' Davidson for the $100K Pyramid revival a few months later.

TLEberle

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Re: The Challengers: a Discussion
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2021, 08:59:41 PM »
I would have given this to Jim Perry with no questions asked.
Travis L. Eberle
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Neumms

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Re: The Challengers: a Discussion
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2021, 01:10:02 PM »
Also, this is a very nitpicky thing, but I can't shake that when I look at the main shot of the three players, I'm looking at something that feels a little too much like Jeopardy at the time. Have the players seated, make the center champion's seat raised and set back a bit or something, use eggcrates for scoring instead of white vanes, I dunno.

They could've have the scores behind and above their heads, a la the original 3 W's. They could have made the privacy screens between players more prominent, maybe neon edges. Even back then the set, logo and graphics were just plain dull. Looked like a courtroom show.

Wholeheartedly agree on Jim Perry.

One thing differentiating Who What or Where from J! was that there was no buzzing in. I can see a speed round news quiz--especially if Perry were hosting--at the beginning and maybe another halfway through to earn stake money, but there's a simplicity in no buzzing at all.