Show Discussion: Hardball

By | May 13, 2018

Weekdays, 4:30pm,

Ore Oduba asks questions of six contestants, each trying to outrun the Hardball as it makes its way along 25m of track by answering general knowledge questions in the hope of winning cash prizes.

Don’t know much about the format other than that, presumably they’re keeping it simple and hoping lots of questions will suffice. Pity the set is just a track in front of a giant screen, though.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

29 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Hardball

  1. Matt C

    Perhaps a bit of a surprise, Murder In Successville takes the Comedy Entertainment BAFTA

      1. CeleTheRef

        Sette per Uno (Seven for One), by the maker of the Grande Gioco dell’Oca.
        Seven contestants perform stunts to increase the night’s cash prize.
        Next, they choose the night’s winner by voting each other (like in a reverse Weakest Link).
        Finally, the winner is put in a cage and must count the jackpot (made of 50,000 lire chips) and escape before it’s too late.
        Initially the “timer” was a white tiger slowly circling the contestant, but at some point animal rights groups protested and the feline was replaced by the fiery fireball of firedoom.
        If the count was exact, the contestant won the jackpot, otherwise the other six contestants split the money among themselves.
        This is the endgame from the tiger era:

          1. Alex

            Ah, the endgame is similar, but the Italian version of that was Conto su di te, where the endgame was in a couple, with one of them answering questions, and the counter receiving punishments for wrong answers.

  2. David

    Not bad- basically The Chase without a Chaser though…


    -6 players play, split into two groups of three.

    -Each person plays individually, starting on space 1 of a 6×5 screen.

    -They answer as many questions as possible, each right answer moves them one screen forward and earns £50 in a communal pot (and the only time money is added is in these six rounds, not in the playoff or semi-final round).

    -The Hardball of the title starts going up a short track off the screen as soon as the first question is finished being asked, then down across the rows. The player’s round ends as soon as the ball passes the screen they’re currently on.

    -The two players in the group that go the farthest play in a playoff- they both start on screen one, and questions are on the buzzer. Correct answers move you one space further down, wrong answers move your opponent one space. The Hardball doesn’t begin to move until one player reaches the first space on row 2. If the ball passes you, you lose.

    -Repeat with the other group, then the two winners play off in the same way.

    -The winner tries for the combined pot the 6 players built. They have to go all the way down the track and then off the board, so 30 correct answers.

    -The player is shown five categories. They pick one, and then try to get as far as they can until the Hardball reaches the end of the first row. The ball then stops, they pick one of the remaining categories, and the ball restarts as soon as the first question is asked- so you want to pick your better categories first to build a lead early, then hopefully be far enough ahead when you have to answer questions in a harder category.

    -As a last resort, they have three “boosts”; they can press a button to move ahead one square, but each one used halves the pot. Of course they lose the lot if the ball passes them.

    I like the in-play background music, but it is really repetitive- a 6 of 10 for me, and probably a one-series-and-out show..

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Pretty much agree with all of this. It’s basically OK (i.e. It isn’t broken) and as suggested, good clock music. But not especially exciting really. It’s not a bad attempt at a ‘lots of questions’ quiz that spoils the beginning of The Chase.

  3. George F

    It’s all just incredibly slow, isn’t it? Nice that we have lots of questions, but it all just feels rather safe.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I get that the ball and track is the set piece that gets the commission but, well, it’s not that impressive is it? It should all be double the size and sped up to match to at least look potentially exciting. As it is it’s a ball rolling slowly. And you sort of know when people are going to get caught.

      I note Friend Of The Bar Stuart Shawcross is behind this, and like 5 Minutes To A Fortune feels like a decent idea that’s probably a couple of applications of spit and polish away from a great execution.

      1. David

        I’d be interested to see how they keep the pace of the ball on the track consistent from player to player- I wouldn’t be shocked if they use magnets in some way…

        1. Will Tennant

          It looks to be on a track so the ball never actually rolls down so consistency shouldn’t be an issue

  4. Kniwt

    Certainly a bumper crop of questions of acceptable difficulty. But after just one episode, I feel as if I’ve seen nearly all that I need to see of it. The only questions remaining are how the various types of ties get broken.

    Would have felt far less tedious as a 30-minute show. I dislike overcaffeinated contestants (and hosts) as much as the next person, but gosh, at least a -little- excitement wouldn’t hurt.

    1. Crimsonshade

      A tie in the play-offs occurred in Tuesday’s episode, and was broken by a sudden-death buzzer question.

  5. Pete

    I really enjoyed the show, lots and lots of questions which were very playable.
    Ore was pretty good and it looked better than most daytime shows.
    Be interesting to see if it sustains.
    Solid 7.5 / 10

  6. jon

    I see Win Your Wish List is getting a reboot by Stellify Media for Channel 5 with Gino De’Campo.
    If i’m correct (sure I am) this is also created by FOB Stuart Shawcross – nice timing they announce on the same day as Hardball launches.

    1. John R

      The reboot will supersize the format by adding more players and including physical rounds to be played out against the digital floor.

      Five members of a family are to compete in the show, bringing in their own sofa from home and taking part in games that will take its cues from the digital floor.

      Each of them competes for their own prize to take through to the final round, where they will choose two family members to win the star prize of a family holiday.

      1. Jon

        Wish list – that sounds really interesting, especially physical stuff. Hope they don’t kill the heart of the show.

        Perfect show for Gino – doesn’t have to read questions!

  7. Mika

    No place else for it, so here’s a random Fort Boyard 2018 update, courtesy a fan forum Q&A with the artistic director –

    Boyardodrome – Gone, but not gone. Replaced with a new game, but with the same set?
    Course en armure, Cage – Confirmed gone
    Asile – Reskinned (Spinning set has been kept, but the theme is fully gone)
    Manoir – Being refreshed. (Not sure if just a visual refresh with new decor and props, or new rules/gameplay)
    Fosse – Might actually be played this year, as a red clepsydre game. Speaking of…
    Red clepsydres are back
    Excalibur – Due for a visual refresh, but not going away any time soon
    Mur glissant, Aiguilleur, Alerte Rough – Will likely return (Next year?)
    Judgement – New games
    New fort characters coming.
    Great Escape – Being kept, but new route

    1. Lee

      Its also been spreading around that cylinders is no longer on the fort either.
      Filming starts next week.
      And Norway is returning this year too.

  8. David B

    One interesting bug in the duel-type rounds is that, when your opponent is nearly but not quite out, you can buzz, pretend to forget to answer for a second or two, and then the Hardball eliminates the other person before you’re timed out. There’s what I believe to be play-acting in this regard at 12’45” on episode 3.

    1. David B

      Oh, and another thing. I wish more shows would be like old-school Fifteen-to-One and just let the sound effects speak for themselves. If there’s a ding or a chime, you really don’t need to be saying “Correct!” 100 times a show, especially on a game where the you’re struggling to get the questions short enough for the game to work.

      1. jon

        Totally with you on that David, let the incorrect noise do the talking! So to speak…
        Would have also made Ore’s job easier and quicker.

        I’d have thought they’ve have spotted this in the rehearsals.

  9. gyroscope

    I agree with nearly all of the above comments about this, however I’m actually really enjoying the show – even if it is for the fact that it packs a lot of quickfire questions in. It’s nice to see a show that just asks lots of questions. Today’s cashbuilder featured someone who made it onto the bottom level of the wall, which we haven’t seen yet, and was genuinely exciting!

  10. Brekkie

    Decent enough show but yet another that suffers from being stretched out. As a half hour show with just one round of contestants it would be much less repetitive.

  11. Michael Watt

    Make the board game please. Possibly made as a link up yo the tv through HDMI and box with buzzer. What a great game this is.

    1. Des Elmes

      Not gonna happen if it doesn’t come back for a second series. Sorry.


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