ITV have done a press release, look.

By | February 19, 2019

Their “Spring slate” at their “Formats Festival”.

The Chamber sounds like Very Much The Sort Of Thing We Would Like:

Boom for S4C
The Chamber is a unique game show like nothing else on earth…or under earth. The world’s first underground game show thrusts everyday people into an extraordinary subterranean world. Each episode sees two teams take on four different levels designed to test fitness, brainpower and bravery.  The aim of the game is to be the first team to reach the bottom of the chamber and escape, in a race against time to crack the code before the power – and the chamber itself – shut down! With a fully-functioning international hub in Wales, based in a disused Victorian mine, The Chamber delivers a ready-made opportunity for cost-effective, family entertainment.

And Talpa’s The Desert is just Survivor with a racing end game by the sounds of it:

Find the hero within.
In The Desert, competitors are taken away from the urban jungle and placed in the heart of the world’s most unforgiving environment: the desert. Split into teams and guided by survival experts, they must make this harsh environment their home. Weekly boot camps and tests will lead to eliminations, where the losing team will have to vote a team member off the show. Eventually both teams merge into one, and it will be everyone for themselves. After 100 days, the two remaining finalists will compete in an epic three-day solitary race through the desert! This is more than just a competition. The Desert is a transformational journey of self-discovery that will test the competitors’ determination and physical strength. Who will keep up with nature?

And nobody is going to watch a show called Catchpoint:

Possessed and 12 Yard co-production for BBC One
The big, physical game in which you don’t always have to be correct to win – you just have to be close enough to the dropping balls… and catch them! Two teams of two answer a series of picture questions to build up their money bank. Every question has ten possible answers, each represented by an image on a giant LED screen. Suspended above the screen is a mechanism that will release a giant ball with the correct answer. Each ball caught adds money to the bank. All the players have to stand in front of the image showing what they hope to be the correct answer. If they are right, the ball will simply drop into their hands but, if they’re wrong, they still have the opportunity to dash, dive or leap to catch it from wherever it falls. The closer they are to the correct answer, the easier it is to reach the falling ball. Full of unique, visual questions, nail-biting tension and hilarious fun.

So there we are. In other news, there’s some discussion of Dick (a)’n'(d) Dom’s new interesting sounding Cash From Chaos podcast in the Taskmaster thread.

23 thoughts on “ITV have done a press release, look.

  1. Ash The Bash

    By name alone, Catchpoint just sounds like it’s a half-arsed mashup game of Catchphrase and Tipping Point, and given that blurb (visual questions, a dropping something), that might be an accurate comparison.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I mainly just don’t think I can say it out loud without feeling like a bit of a twat, let alone bring it up in watercooler conversation.

  2. Chris B

    Not seen mention on here so far, but has been on the “socials” is Greg James has been locked in a specially designed escape room for the past 30 hours on Radio 1 and can only escape with the help of the listeners. You can live stream a video on the Radio 1 website and it’s been pretty fun so far – although not quite as good as the hide and seek manhunt they did last year. Greg does seem to take an age to work stuff out though and I’m sure it took him a couple of hours to do even the basic edges of the jigsaw so there are some frustrations. Currently they are getting listeners to track down a 2006 copy of an Ainsley Harriet cookbook for the next clue.

    Better than Catchpoint will be anyway, probably, going on name alone.

    1. Jonathan

      It was a bit of a slow start. But the flow of clues, if anyone is interested:

      Hangman of 6 musical artists – all had songs with star in the name
      A music box with clips of songs with ‘listen’ in them
      Star Listeners -> A feature on Greg’s show
      Voice clips of Claudia Winkleman were played outside the room
      Claudia was the name of one of the Star Listeners on the show
      Jigsaw was a picture of Ricky Hatton with ‘Shake Rattle and Roll’ on it. Hatton is the surname of Jill from ‘WHY HELLO JILL’ and the song is what Ainsley Harriot got eliminated after dancing on Strictly.
      A second music box had 3 songs with ‘feel good’ in the name
      Pointing to the cookbook, Feel Good Cookbook by Ainsley
      This book was the gift given to Star Listener Claudia
      Boxes on the wall – Red Sea at the top to indicate the each row starts with C. Gaps in the boxes are notes, playing the Postman Pat theme, to say the answer is in the post
      A clock showed the time 1:04 in the mirror, leading to page 104 in the cookbook
      In the copy that arrived today to the listener, 6 numbers were circled, starting with 4 slices of bread
      4 slices of bread were then put through the postbox to Greg to show that was the first and the order was correct.
      Those 6 numbers were the code.


      1. Brandon

        It was fantastic, probably the best thing I’ve heard on Radio 1 for a long time.

  3. Mart with a Y not an I

    So, if they commission this, and then a full run of The Wall, you’ll have two quizzes featuring coloured balls dropping down an LED screen wall.
    Great. Can’t wait…

  4. Brandon

    Whoever thought of the name Catchpoint probably thought it was the greatest pun in the world, and refused to listen to tell anyone that told them otherwise. It’s a 12 Yard thing, so of course it will be boring. The Desert sounds like Very Much The Sort Of Thing I Like, but it will live or die by how interesting the contestants are. The Chamber sounds like it could be very very good.

    1. Arun

      Put it this way, Catchpoint still had contestant appeals on the last recording night. Shame I couldn’t get audience tickets – I would have quite liked to watch the car crash unedited.

  5. David

    At least on paper The Chamber sounds about a million times better than the last show with that name…

    (seriously it sounds like a Crystal Maze/Fort Boyard/Scavengers mix- Catchpoint sounds awful, and The Desert is basically Desert Survivor with TAR as the finale)

    1. Brandon

      “basically Desert Survivor with TAR as the finale”

      That’s not necessarily a problem, but sticking 2 good things together and hoping they work often fails. Having contestants work together as a team and them turning them against each other at the end is the oldest trick in the reality TV book, but that might because it works well.

    2. Brig Bother Post author

      The Chamber is hilarious. The actual Chamber ten minutes is quite compelling (and for all everyone’s kvetching seems rather tame now, so many doctors on hand there’s no real danger but a difficult challenge nonetheless, the most shocking thing was that the graphics were ahead of the action, behind the action, all over the place), the DRAMA of the preparation is all well and good first time, then having exactly the same spiel subsequent times is quite annoying. The qualification game is dull. Rick Schwartz has no charisma. The question master seemed unbelivably slow – if I only saw the first contestant I’d wonder how on Earth anyone was meant to get 25 correct. And the stinginess of halving the pot if they fail is amusing too.

  6. TimBob

    Is there a date yet for Catchpoint to broadcast? (even writing the name out makes me queasy)

  7. David

    Speaking of new formats, the mysterious Israeli format 2025 started over the weekend- here’s an article with some pics:

    From that and other items, here’s the general idea of how the first couple of days went:

    -16 players started outside the gates of the “city”

    -they each were given a smartwatch loaded with 12,000 shekels, which is important because everything has a cost, and money is the ultimate power.

    -they then were paired off, and had to face the home audience to see which got in and which didn’t.

    -the 8 winners then had to decide how much of their 12,000 to give to their losing opponent; the 4 losers who got the most also went in.

    -the city has many things, including a bank,a bar, a hotel, and a boutique (where the contestants can buy the clothes they brought with them!). All of these places are manned by robots; there is also a narrator who appears all over the city on walls and screens.

    -Again, they have to pay for everything, from food to sleeping quarters. For sleep, there are several options; a park bench (free), Japanese-style sleeping pods (cheap), a house that three people can share (mid-price), and a hotel suite (expensive). They can also communicate with others, but of course there’s a cost.

    -There are ways to earn money though; there are tasks they can do, and the audience voted to give money to several players and will do so each week.

    -And there’s no hiding what they have; there’s a giant scoreboard at city hall that shows the players and their wealth.

    -Each week, the person with the lowest net worth is kicked out of the city and replaced with someone else.

    -At the end of the series (about 3 months); the winner not only gets their money, but the keys to a luxury apartment.

    The pictures sure make it look good, and it apparently rated well (it’ll air live 4 days a week, and there’s a online subscription and such)…

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I’ve found Keshet/Armoza/other Israeli outfits a bit Emperor’s New Clothes in the past, but credit where it’s due this does look really interesting.

      My problems with it aren’t really format related (I haven’t seen/read enough to see if there are any obvious flaws), but as a production it doesn’t feel like the sort of thing your average production company is going to build, and if the idea is to use the Israeli set you’re going to be very limited as to the timing, presumably only one country is going to be able to film there at once, so this doesn’t feel like an easy international sell.

  8. David

    A bit more info thru some translated material-

    -the sleeping arrangements are done every week. The players have to choose which place they want to go, and if there are too many applicants for a spot (the sleeping pod hostel can have 6, the house can have 3, there’s one single room and one suite for one or two at the hotel) they auction it off.

    -there are advantages and disadvantages to each place (the hostel has no hot water, you have to share expenses in the house, the single hotel room has free breakfast and free access to the swimming pool that costs 70 per day otherwise, and if you get the suite you can invite one person to join you who doesn’t have to pay anything)

    -there is a restaurant manned by a local celebrity chef that changes each week, but if they don’t want to pay there are vending machines all over the place

    -for the tasks, one person is named the project head, after the task they go to the bank and have to assign different amounts to each person (they are locked in to a middle amount)

    -one task early on was that a storm had caused a tree to block the door to the house locking them in as well as knocking the power out there; the others had to keep watch on a public phone, when it rang they had to dress in official power company garb, answer the phone, and then give instructions to the people in the house via a megaphone.
    Failure to answer the phone fast enough or in proper uniform, using the megaphone incorrectly, or failure for the people in the house to complete their instructions fast enough (which they had to do in the dark) caused a fine to be taken out of the total task amount that would be earned when the power was restored to the house.

    -there are various random events (for example, one person was randomly picked to be taxed 10%)

    -they can secretly transfer funds to another person to keep them in the game, but at least for now they can’t tell anyone or it’s cancelled

    The set cost was supposedly $15 million US- I agree I couldn’t see a smaller company do this, but if one of the US networks decided to do it there are plenty of places that would work.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      That task sounds rather Big Brother-esque, and the money dispersal feels a little bit like that Korean Endemol/CJ E&M show Society Game.

      1. Chris M. Dickson

        The British cheap-arse version would go “hang on, can’t we just repurpose Kidzania?”

    2. David

      one correction- the person(s) selected to be taxed isn’t picked at random, everyone votes for someone to be taxed- and it’s 10% for each vote you get (so you can hurt someone through the vote, but help someone through the transfers)

      One person left because of illness, so two people are entering tonight (and one is leaving, so they’ll still be at 12)


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