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Author Topic: The "budget saver" episode  (Read 6694 times)

Sodboy13

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The "budget saver" episode
« on: January 17, 2024, 10:11:44 AM »
I was watching a TPIR from the '84-'85 season on the Barker channel last night. I know it's pretty common knowledge about how Price can use wiggle room in its various games to affect the odds of winning, and boy does it seem like this particular episode is going above and beyond to keep things lean. It appears to be from November or December, as a portion of a promo for the Christmas Home Viewer Showcase was shown.

Game 1: Super Ball! (which always ropes me in) for two prizes and a cruise totaling less than $7,000. The price ranges on the first three ball prizes seem... tighter. Contestant blows all three, but does get the Super Ball and at least rolls in $300.
Game 2: Range Game, for a low-end Chevy. Accordingly, the price gets put on the low end of the range, about $6,245, for a loss.
Game 3: Barker's Bargain Bar. One of the bargain prices is $420, truly ahead of its time. Actual prices are $820 and $970 for a loss.
Game 4: Poker Game, where Bob always advises contestants to pick prices with "a lot of nines." The four prizes on offer are $505, $465, $620, and $640. Contestant draws the three 5s and holds them for the win.
Game 5: Clock Game for a sailboard ($749) and a range ($860) in a well-played win.
Game 6: Oh we're doing Grand Game! Target price is $1.35. Products are $.49, $.79, $1.03, $1.29, $1.39, and $1.85. Which actually seems pretty winnable, given the two lowest and one highest prices. And it does get taken, for the full $10K.
Showcases: Ah shoot, it was almost midnight and I fell asleep.

The show was still a fun watch, basically no one who wasn't looking for it would notice, and I am not posting this as a criticism of it; I am just noting it because of the way I could see the pennies getting pinched. And it makes me wonder if any of you know the subtler ways other shows could tug on the purse strings as necessary. Feel free to share your examples.
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Allstar87

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Re: The "budget saver" episode
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2024, 11:15:58 AM »
You saw Dec. 11, 1984.  :) https://tpirepguide.com/?p=17754

Linda won a surprisingly generous for 1984 Showcase, over $19K, after her opponent overbid. Maybe they were holding back over the rest of the show anticipating they'd be giving away a bundle at the end.

rebelwrest

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Re: The "budget saver" episode
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2024, 02:00:03 PM »
The joke I have is when the TPIR is over budget, there is a whole week of Lucky $even and That's Too Much.

Among our community, we know when a series is over budget when we see more difficult bonus rounds (a friend of mine was on Wheel, won the main game, and had a DIFFICULT bonus puzzle and all the episodes that week had DIFFICULT bonus puzzles).

I think my favorite attempt at a budget saver happened on an episode of The $20,000 Pyramid with a winner's circle that was clearly designed to not be won.  The third box was Lina Wertmüller Movies and the pair almost pulled off a win.  Dick even said you deserve to win after facing a board like that.
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Kevin Prather

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Re: The "budget saver" episode
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2024, 02:18:11 PM »
In the 90s, you knew Wheel was in budget-saver mode when the three-letter bonus puzzles came out.

Did Jeopardy have any budget-saving tricks? Wordier clues leading to less clues revealed? I imagine they don't have a terrible amount of fluxuation in their prize money from week to week, save for when James Holzhauer was on. Even Ken's daily average was only marginally above the mean.

BrandonFG

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Re: The "budget saver" episode
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2024, 02:25:13 PM »
The current version of Feud does this a lot, where it seems like there’s only one logical answer in Fast Money, and the second place answer is usually a distant second. As a result, you get a lotta high totals for the first player while the partner rarely gets to 200. On the rare occasion I watch, it seems like any family with at least four wins usually only has one FM victory.
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Sodboy13

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Re: The "budget saver" episode
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2024, 03:02:26 PM »
You saw Dec. 11, 1984.  :) https://tpirepguide.com/?p=17754

Linda won a surprisingly generous for 1984 Showcase, over $19K, after her opponent overbid. Maybe they were holding back over the rest of the show anticipating they'd be giving away a bundle at the end.

Well there ya go! That's $30K between the last pricing game and the Showcase, so I guess that works out to be a bigger/more average payout that they decided to make more likely toward the end of that show.
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Jeremy Nelson

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Re: The "budget saver" episode
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2024, 03:43:39 PM »
Did Jeopardy have any budget-saving tricks? Wordier clues leading to less clues revealed? I imagine they don't have a terrible amount of fluxuation in their prize money from week to week, save for when James Holzhauer was on.
I suppose you could insert some ToC/Maters level clues on Daily Doubles and Final Jeopardy. Didn't Wheel go through an epic bonus round losing streak while James was on? IIRC, it was something like 25 shows in a row.

The current version of Feud does this a lot, where it seems like there’s only one logical answer in Fast Money, and the second place answer is usually a distant second. As a result, you get a lotta high totals for the first player while the partner rarely gets to 200. On the rare occasion I watch, it seems like any family with at least four wins usually only has one FM victory.
The fact that five time winners, presumably the best families they have, rarely go home with $40,000 in cash, is a crime. If you're going to do that, I'd rather you just bump it back to $10k and make them more winnable.
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SamJ93

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Re: The "budget saver" episode
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2024, 05:10:35 PM »
The bonus round on Double Dare was pretty easy to manipulate for this purpose--any time they put the dreaded "find the flag buried in a giant pool of glop" obstacle in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th slot, you knew they were in budget mode.
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Dbacksfan12

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Re: The "budget saver" episode
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2024, 07:33:45 PM »
The bonus round on Double Dare was pretty easy to manipulate for this purpose--any time they put the dreaded "find the flag buried in a giant pool of glop" obstacle in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th slot, you knew they were in budget mode.
This brings up a question I’ve had…was there anything stopping the contestants from flipping the dog bowl upside down and searching that way?

As for the OP, I felt there were times on Legends where the temple guards were strategically placed to force a loss.
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JasonA1

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Re: The "budget saver" episode
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2024, 08:09:37 PM »
This brings up a question I’ve had…was there anything stopping the contestants from flipping the dog bowl upside down and searching that way?

Probably not. One time when they had set up a prop to look like cannoli, the contestant tore into the side of the foam/fabric, instead of reaching into the roll.

I just imagine, in the case of the dog bowl specifically, it would be hard to turn over because of how it was designed. They could throw the contents of the bowl every which way, too, but then you could end up throwing the flag across the stage and have to chase after it.

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gamed121683

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Re: The "budget saver" episode
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2024, 06:26:18 AM »
Oh, we're talking about how when you know a game show is tightening the pursestrings that week? I can think of two more examples outside of the broad adjective or pop culture category used on Pyramid during the Winner's Circle:

* Where In The World Is Carmen Sandeigo: Whenever they bring out the Africa map for the bonus round.

* The Price Is Right: Every time they play Stack The Deck (Honestly, I feel whoever created that game gave it that name just to rub it in).

Marc412

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Re: The "budget saver" episode
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2024, 10:56:07 AM »
Concentration (Narz): For the Double Play bonus, players had to solve two rebuses in 10 seconds to win the car.  Most times, the second puzzle was rather more complicated than the first, but sometimes they were both gettable.

jcs290

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Re: The "budget saver" episode
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2024, 08:32:51 PM »
In regards to Legends, Double Dare, Carmen, and other kids shows, I always felt their prize budgets were so low that nearly 9 in 10 bonus rounds were forced losses, rather than being the exception to the norm.  Fun House felt like the exception. Even if a team didn't find the Power Prize, the course was nearly same week-to-week and fast teams could still gather a huge haul.

Sodboy13

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Re: The "budget saver" episode
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2024, 11:29:40 PM »
Concentration (Narz): For the Double Play bonus, players had to solve two rebuses in 10 seconds to win the car.  Most times, the second puzzle was rather more complicated than the first, but sometimes they were both gettable.

In terms of staying on-budget, if someone won the car in the first half of the show, then for the second Double Play round, both of the rebus puzzles would be of the more difficult "full sentence" variety, so here's your $100, goodbye now.
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BillCullen1

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Re: The "budget saver" episode
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2024, 10:32:58 AM »
* The Price Is Right: Every time they play Stack The Deck (Honestly, I feel whoever created that game gave it that name just to rub it in).

Agreed. TPIR always had a few "forget about it" games. WOF had its share of super hard bonus puzzles and Pyramid had some tough categories in the WC, though the current version seems to want to give away the money.