Show Discussion: Beat the Chasers

By | April 26, 2020

Weekdaily 27th-1st, 9pm,
ITV

Intriguingly stripped nightly quiz where a player can win thousands of pounds by taking on not just one but an entire team of Chasers.

As we understand it each player gets a five question cashbuilder, and then a choice of offers – play against more Chasers with a smaller headstart for more money. What follows is a chess clock quiz (which also works a bit like The Final Chase in reverse, here’s its the team of Chasers on the buzzers against a lone contestant). Outlast the team, win the money, and several contestants will get a go in each episode.

We have our misgivings with chess clock based quizzes (they’re rarely actually as exciting as they look on paper, winning is much more about opponent attrition than it is about being able to Do A Thing, so they’re very difficult to come back from if you fall behind), and the scheduling for this feels a bit… hopeful?

On the other hand, the Chasers and Bradley are assets, and you have to think this would be an easy sell to all the international territories that currently make their own version of The Chase if it works out here.

Let us know what you make of it in the comments.

86 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Beat the Chasers

  1. Johnson

    Why are they only airing 5 episodes even though there were 10 which were recorded?

    Reply
      1. Chris B

        It was recorded over five days, and I think it was 2 x recordings per day so sounds about right.

        Stripping it over one week is bold, I think stripping it over two consecutive weeks would have been a step too far.

        Wonder if it was always supposed to be stripped or if this is a bit of a “needs must” sort of situation.

        A couple of TV reviewers who have seen advanced copies give it a thumbs up on Twitter, so I’m hopeful in the one sense. On the other, I can’t say I’ve seen anything about this apart from TV/Quiz people talking about it, so hope it doesn’t get lost. Might just be me though!

        Reply
        1. Brig Bother Post author

          I think certainly this first run was always designed to be stripped over a week – I think this might have come up in an old Stool Pigeon ages ago actually. But I also think you’re right re: buzz – it’s not really had much which is odd for a show they seem to have gone quite big on. The good news I suppose is that if it’s good, word of mouth success is absolutely the best sort of success.

          Reply
          1. Mart With An Y Not An I

            Well, depends how you class ‘5 recorded’

            According to SRO who did the tickets – it was recorded over 5 days, but two taping sessions per day.

            But as they all wear the same costume, and Brad has the same hanky in his top pocket, it’s been recorded, then edit assmembled to get the best mix of winners, loosers (both close and crash and burn) in all 5 editions.

            I’d like to know if there has been a re-edit job done including more of the Chasers asides to each other, after seeing how well it works on the judging panel of The Masked Singer earlier this year.

          2. Matt Clemson

            I was actually thinking back further, I was getting a The Voice feel from the interplay between the Chasers. Same principle, though, and I think it’s a canny thing to include.

  2. Johnson

    There is no buzz or hype for this show beyond the quizzing community. It is almost as if ITV deliberately do not want to overhype/over-promote the show before it airs because it would set the show up for failure. Let the show do the talking and word of mouth will be the best natural cause for success.

    Reply
    1. Brandon

      I’ve seen tons of adverts for it on ITV, plus it was ok the front cover of one of the tabloids TV pullouts, so it’s got a decent amount of publicity.

      Reply
  3. Johnson

    There are not enough rouds for each contestant. The contestant comes on, and it’s very soon afterwards when they’re off. I think this is a flaw with the format. It doesn’t build up the tension, like how the regular version does.

    Reply
  4. Johnson

    The girl just now won £25k in about 15 minutes. But there was no sense of jeopardy.

    The format should have been made, so that now she has won £25k, she should have been offered to continue playing more rounds. With the chance she might lose half her money if she loses that round or double her money if she wins the next round.

    Seeing contestants for only 15mins, and exactly after an ad break etc, is repetitive and boring. It does not have the final climax or the tension the normal version has.

    The format could be saved, if they introduce more rounds for each contestant. Basically a double your money/or lose half your money dilema.

    Reply
  5. Tom H

    It doesn’t really work – primarily for the reason Johnson gives. You’re not given long enough to care about how a contestant fares because they’re gone in a flash. An easy fix would have been to let players keep going if they win their first chess clock challenge, to build up their prize pot and the tension. As it is, I was a bit bored.

    Oh, and the random use of Arial in the chess clock round is unforgivable.

    Reply
  6. Oliver

    As expected, it’s… fine. That’s what I expected, as they clearly came up with having the Chasers share a stage then reverse engineered a format rather than having an idea first.

    The Chasers sharing a stage and interacting is great, they just need to go back to the drawing board about how best to use it that to create a more compelling format.

    Reply
  7. Chris B

    After all the pre-show discussion, I actually thought the chess clock elements worked pretty well, and the shows issues lie elsewhere, some of which have been mentioned already. I think the cashbuilder is really dull, and given everyone started getting them wrong at around the same time. No reason they just couldn’t do the standard Chase cashbuilder but understand why they wanted avoid.

    Editing, I assume this was a few recording sessions put together but nice to see a rollover. As Brig mentioned on Twitter, the scheduling is utterly mad having watched the final show, but can see it running for a few series as a once a week affair.

    Reply
  8. Clive

    I don’t understand why graphics today look cheaper than graphics from ten years ago, there’s no excuse for that.

    Other than that, i actually really enjoyed it. The was basically fine, if nothing new, but (aside from the graphics) they’ve done it with enough style to elevate it just enough. Brad’s definitely in his element, and the novelty of watching the Chasers play together is rather fun. I wish they’d be given a little more time to actually chat with each other and that the timer graphic didn’t completely cover up their buzzers, but other than that it was a perfectly enjoyable way to spend an hour.

    Reply
  9. Greg

    I don’t think it was a bad show, I’ll give it another watch for sure.

    There is some positives. Lovely set, banter between the chasers was good some interesting questions.

    To me the main problem was it didn’t feel well rounded enough, like you were building towards something. I like the suggestion of a winning player getting to go round again a la The People Versus.

    Can’t say I’m a fan of get your first question wrong and your off. Feels like a waste of 10 mins talking to somebody for them just to be booted.

    Reply
  10. Brig Bother Post author

    It’s basically OK, I think if the headstart was contestant gets 60 seconds + a time advantage to the Chasers straight 60 seconds then they’d never win, so at least we have possibilities, but as ever the results feel like foregone conclusions about halfway through the round.

    That said, I was expecting a) they’d edit out anyone who crashed out first question and b) leaving every episode’s big win for last and neatly tied up in a bow end of episode, neither of which happened so at least we have as wide a possibilty space as the format currently allows us. No complaints from a production standpoint really. Apart from the font.

    The game is far too repetitive for stripped 9pm, it’s a different sort of audience to people who will have a daytime routine, I think the scheduling is completely ridiculous – it’s not an event, people are not going to be talking about it the same why they did Millionaire (or, indeed, Quiz). I approve of straddling, but it’s not a must watch, and if it’s doing 60% of what it gets tonight on Friday then I’ll be surprised. If it opens to 4m they should be very pleased – but it’s an upper bound I suspect. Stick it on Sunday nights it’ll do OK.

    Was intrigued to learn that the Chasers are just as useless at letting the clock run down before passing as a standard team of contestants.

    Reply
  11. Henry R

    It’s not awful, but I was hoping for more. Every contestant is in and out with barely any build up which is pretty weird considering the money in play.

    It doesn’t feel like you need to tune in every night when the game spills over to another show like you do with WWTBAM

    Reply
  12. Brekkie

    Lets face it The Chase is so good a spin off was always going to struggle to match it. Isn’t really much on offer here we don’t see in The Chase where the prospect of wins in the tens of thousands is nothing we haven’t seen before. They needed to up the prize budget on this one to get towards the £250k mark.

    Graphics look cheap, and we don’t see anywhere near enough of The Chasers personalities compared to the main show. Not a huge fan of the cash builder here as it’s a poorer alternative of the main one, but the end game worked well enough.

    I do like the idea posted in the earlier messages though of having it more round based so you take on more Chasers in each round to win more money, gambling what you’ve won already. I also think The Chasers should somehow be involved in the cash buidler too – maybe it could be a mini-Chase against a Chaser of their choice, or all 5 in an order of their choice.

    Reply
  13. David B

    Felt there was some odd things about this. I don’t really understand why you have to increase both the time and the number of chasers, essentially. It feels doubly hard. The offers were a bit Numberwang – maybe having fixed amounts of 40, 45, 50, 55 seconds for the four offers would’ve helped.

    The ”one question and off” was A Bit Of A Wasted Journey that probably should’ve been ironed out somehow.

    The chess clock graphics looked clunky (redesigned in the edit?) and didn’t light up to show which side was in play.

    I like the stunt scheduling but I’d have played it at 8pm. I guess the immovable force that is Corrie prevents that?

    Reply
    1. Chris B

      Re: 8pm – normally yes, Corrie is immovable, however, at the moment there are reduced episodes so it’s only airing at 7.30pm, so they could have stripped at 8pm after all. That said, I understand why not, if it’s been commissioned for 9pm.

      Reply
      1. Brekkie

        And the 9pm cupboard is going to be more bare than the sort of filler they can throw out at 8pm in the weeks ahead.

        (An aside but if they do run out of the soaps I wouldn’t rule out them moving The Chase to 7pm)

        One more comment on the graphics and I do think for the chess clock game you need graphics which show the fractions of a second too. One decimal place would be sufficient.

        Reply
  14. Chris M. Dickson

    Mmm… this is exactly as good as you think it’ll be, and no better.

    Sometimes when we kick around game show ideas, we say “it’s a round of a show”. This is two rounds of a show. One of them is not particularly good, though it’s at least slightly different enough to be interesting. The other is a cracker, though I’ve always been a fan of chess clock mechanics. I think giving the staggered start as happens here reduces the chance of a blow-out, which is one of the concerns, though the show that implements the “sudden death overtime” concept we were talking about is really going to be onto something. As someone who’s always thought that the buzz-in-and-wait-to-be-recognised mechanic slowed the team down in the Final Chase, seeing the Chasers have to deal with it is a very tasty inversion.

    However, as Brig says, people don’t watch formats, they watch shows, and the dressing around this fairly light game is good, very good. The set (including all the dress) is as good as you’d get. The presentation has drawn exactly the right lessons from Gladiators, and the Chasers are as good value as ever. I’m not nearly as big a fan of Bradley as most, but this plays strongly to his strengths; this isn’t The Chase, it’s Bradley’s Chase-themed Strike It Lucky, with plenty of time for goofing around with contestants before (and in) the first round and well-chosen contestants to goof around with. The fact that each contestant gets at most two rounds and then is done is a stylistic decision that makes this not really a show for me, though far from a disaster; I can well see it finding an audience among the many Brad fans out there… and, to me, it feels like it might be best suited as a summer replacement for the main show.

    So here’s my gamier version of what to do with the base mechanic, and you’ll probably tell I’ve been watching a lot of WWTBAM? recently. Ditch the cash builder. The contestant starts off by playing a 60 second clock against one Chaser who only has 20 seconds for £1,000. They then play successively more challenging rounds for bigger prizes, or take the money instead of playing on. However, instead of being a money tree, the tweak is that there’s a two-dimensional prize grid; in later rounds, contestants can choose either to add another Chaser and give them the same amount of time as the previous round, or to give the same number of Chasers more time. (To add variety from round to round, offer the contestant a choice between a round on a theme announced in advance or one on general knowledge.)

    I’d be inclined to say that contestants facing one or five Chasers win cash, facing two Chasers win household goods, facing three Chasers win holidays and facing four Chasers win vehicles. So your second round might be a choice between two Chasers with 20 seconds for a £1,500 laptop or one Chaser with 30 seconds for £2,000 cash. Your third round would again be a choice between two alternatives, but which two alternatives depends on your previous choice; you’d get a choice of two options, which might be three Chasers with 20 seconds for a £2,500 week for two in Europe, two Chasers with 30 seconds for a £3,000 entertainment suite or one Chaser with 40 seconds for £4,000 cash.

    Because I’m having fun, I’m going to keep going. Your fourth round might be a choice between two out of four possible options: four Chasers with 20 seconds for a £3,500 Vespa, three Chasers with 30 seconds for a £4,500 fortnight for two in North America, two Chasers with 40 seconds for a £6,000 hot tub or one Chaser with 50 seconds for £8,000 cash. Your fifth round would be a choice between two out of five possible options: five Chasers with 20 seconds for £5,000 cash, four Chasers with 30 seconds for a £7,500 motorbike, three Chasers with 40 seconds for a £10,000 round-the-world trip for two, two Chasers with 50 seconds for a £12,500 kitchen or one Chaser with 60 seconds for £16,000 cash. The really fun thing is that you’re not necessarily limited to five rounds and can keep going; improbably taking on one Chaser with 100 seconds or five Chasers with 60 seconds could well offer a startling and attractive prize in theory that would hardly ever be won in practice.

    Reply
  15. John R

    For some reason the set reminded me a bit of the set from the hit Jeremy Kyle vehicle High Stakes

    One thing that was annoying me and is quite hard to describe is the on screen clock seemed to act a bit weird after stopping it then seemed to ‘drop’ an extra second, I’m sure there was an independent adjudicator of course

    Surely the next big hit has to be Beat The Machine – Tipping Point with a fancier machine like those at the seaside with the bonus drop that fires in about 100 coins in one go

    Reply
  16. Little Timmy

    Cashbuilder a complete waste of time if they are only going to cap it at five £1K questions. Make it a real big money quiz at a stroke by promising £5K questions thereafter, or do triangular numbers from the get-go. Bring the Chasers into proceedings here by having them answer simultaneously — the contestant stays in the game if any one Chaser also answers incorrectly. One Chaser letting the side down provides an additional crux for putdowns and banter, which is clearly something they are shooting for anyway.

    Some transparency around the offers (after 11 years) would be appreciated. A nod and a wink to “ITV paying for it if we lose” is conflicting at best. I cannot be the only one sitting here thinking that if it’s the Chasers legitimately devising the offers that they should be being paid out £x per pound the contestant fails to take from a max £100K pool.

    Well done Paul Farrer, whose library music has accidentally become one of the more iconic quiz themes of the age, who has had all this time to think about how he would redo it if he had the chance, and has decided forthwith to smash it out the park.

    Reply
    1. Paul Farrer

      Thanks for your comment but all the original chase music was composed specifically for the show 11 years ago. Due to a strange deal ITV had with EMI/Sony at the time they then also released my music as library music meaning anyone could use it. Oddly it turns up in places like Romania where it is the national News theme 🙂
      For Beat The Chasers I took my Chasers walk on music and expanded it into a new main theme. Overall I wanted the music to sound like The Chase’s darker, more serious older brother. Glad you enjoyed it.

      Reply
      1. Little Timmy

        Paul, thanks for stopping by to set me straight on that! (What do the Romanians use for a Chase theme then?!)

        You really have done a cracking job on the spinoff.

        One thing I always enjoy is your agitated industrial countdown clocks: even in this format where the time limit on the Cashbuilder (if I’m not mistaken) is really just a moment’s thinking time, in the context of The Chase it feels wrong not to have that audible moment of panic after A/B/C. Was that your idea or theirs?

        Reply
  17. Mart With An Y Not An I

    8/10. Nice music (hello, Paul!) great set design – bar (and I can’t be the only one to get caught by this) Brad’s question podium having a big letter C on it, and the multiple choice answer to the first question in the show was C, and for a moment I thought they were AI’ing the contestant’s multiple choice answer onto the set.

    I was thinking, why not just go for the usual 1 minute cashbuilder round, then base the money and time reductions on that? So, £6,000 in the cashbuilder equates to:-
    £6,000 – take on two chasers. Chasers clock starts at 55secs
    £12,000 – take on three chasers. Clock starts 50secs
    £24,000 – take on four chasers. Clock starts 45 secs
    Extra jepoady choice. For £48,000 – all five chasers. 40 secs on the chasers clock.
    Or 45 seconds on the clock for an extra £2,000 and go for the full 50 grand.

    But – it desperatly needs a ‘switch’ button.
    Only once and only for the contestant, press that on your turn and it’s a two in a row questions for the Chasers. That would help level it up when the time difference is around 10 secs up for the chasers, and bring into play panic tactics for the under the cosh contestant.

    Reply
    1. David B

      Hmm, maybe the number of questions you get right in the first round is the number of switches you earn instead of cash. At the moment, the link between the two parts is a bit tenuous.

      Reply
      1. Alex McMillan

        I like this, especially as I don’t think a show has had you earn lifelines before.

        Reply
        1. David B

          No, although ironically the WWTBAM? pub quiz machine did make you earn your lifelines at the start of the game.

          Reply
      2. Brandon

        One thing that could connect the 2 is have the Chasers choose what order the Cashbuilder questions come in, but to stop it from looking cheap, change it to £1500 or £2000 per question, or do something like this:
        Question 1 is for £500, 2 for £1000, 3 for £1500 etc.

        Reply
  18. Alex McMillan

    Given how it’s being pitched as nigh on impossible, I think it would be fun if there was some “Beat all 5 chasers, become a chaser” mechanic way down the line.

    Never going to happen, obviously.

    Reply
    1. Brandon

      I had a similar idea, where if you get beat all the Chasers after getting a perfect score in your Cashbuilder, the Chasers have to vote off one of their team and you take their place. That mechanic would work better in a country where the Chase doesn’t exist and this is its own thing.

      Reply
  19. Kniwt

    Would it have hurt to give the chess clocks at least 0.1sec resolution? Grand Slam used 0.01sec.

    The show is an interesting concept, but the production veers way too close to the overcaffeinated whoop-it-up style of The Chase USA.

    Reply
  20. Brekkie

    One problem this show may have is the idea of The Chase is it is supposed to be very difficult to beat a Chaser, though of course it happens quite frequently not just in the head to heads but the Final Chase as well.

    Therefore if we see a team of 4 or 5 Chasers regularly getting beaten it dampens the myth somewhat, but on the other hand you don’t want an Eggheads scenario where it never happens and comes across as one big fix.

    Maybe the Qualifying round should be about eliminating Chasers from the clock game – and then the offers come in to bring them back into play.

    Reply
    1. David B

      Re: last para: yes, interesting – because you’d be able to get rid of Chasers who’d have subject advantage over you.

      Reply
  21. Brekkie

    Assume somebody is keeping a record of The Chasers individual performances this week. Paul seems to be on fire tonight.

    Reply
  22. Christopher McBride

    I’m pretty sure the last question that won that contestant £50,000 was far too ambiguous. I’m pretty sure Angelica counts as one, and if she didn’t, the later addition of Kimi should have been taken into account? Unless I missed something in that question?

    Reply
    1. Chris B

      I think the key in the question was the word “baby” – in Rugrats Lore (yes I know how I sound) , there was a difference between babies and toddlers, the babies could talk to each other but not adults, the toddlers could talk to adults and babies. I think Angelica was technically a toddler. Kimi should have counted as a right answer by that definition.

      All that said, I thought it was a bit of a stinker of a question really but better that it ended up on the Chasers side of the fence in the end

      Reply
      1. Brekkie

        Yes, your first thought was “She’s right” rather than “She’s wrong”. Do love the idea though that after that all the Chasers probably went and boxset the Rugrats.

        Reply
  23. Brig Bother Post author

    I think my issue with the whole thing really is that The Chasers are pretty irrelevant as to whether you win or not, let’s assume that their probability of getting a correct answer is something like p=0.92, with each extra chaser only adding 0.01 to the proceedings.

    Winning as a contestant basically boils down to can they get ((15-q)-w) questions correct before they get q wrong, where q is equal to “seconds headstart divided by 4” and w=amount of Chaser failures.

    The Chasers are pretty much a constant so it’s therefore almost never ever worth taking a lower offer with fewer Chasers for the same time advantage.

    Also the inevitable app should be pretty easy to program.

    (I haven’t done stats for over twenty years so the numbers might be a bit off).

    I mean, they dress it up well.

    Reply
    1. Chris B

      Great analysis Brig. Even my non quizzy wife turned to me and said that it’s basically all about the time and not the Chasers, so I think people might cotton on to that quite quickly and perhaps so too the novelty. Fun ride so far though.

      To me though any proposed variation of knocking out the Chasers in earlier rounds is all a bit Eggheads

      Reply
  24. Brekkie

    All in all now it’s not so new I thought the show flowed much better tonight and the head to heads do make good TV, plus really appreciated things like the lighting tonight which I didn’t really take in last night.

    The qualifier component is still the weak link and feels like more of a mechanism for Bradley to chat to the general public than a quiz (casting feels like that too compare to the main show). Maybe a 60 second cash builder style where they have to answer consecutive correct questions to unleash the Chasers, and have to bank their answers too. So get 5 in a row you can take on all 5 for the bigger money if you wish, but only get 2 or 3 and your offers will be limited as such.

    Or if they keep the format maybe add a bit of a lifeline and add some involvement from The Chasers so when they get a question wrong they can nominate a Chaser to answer (answers locked in) and if the Chaser is wrong they get to stay in the game.

    Reply
  25. David

    I agree that last question was bad- I don’t know if it would have mattered though because of the time situation: the contestant would have had enough time to answer the next question right, but the Chasers probably wouldn’t have had enough time to get another question in if it got back to them…

    Reply
  26. Brig Bother Post author

    Everyone quiet on Twitter re: how this did last night so inevitably it’s gone down. But by how much? And where will it settle?

    If it’s still doing 3.5m by the end of the week that’s pretty much what it gets in primetime anyway, so no biggie.

    Reply
    1. Score

      ITV’s head of scheduling John Williams (johnwilliams004) says a peak of over 5m. Also says episode 1 is now up to 6.3m after a day of catch-up viewing.

      Reply
        1. Score

          He almost always quotes peaks, but yes. Still, 4.9m is higher than I expected it to launch with so can’t complain.

          The 6.3m for episode 1 is the thing that surprised me most though as The Chase (including the primetime versions) barely timeshifts normally.

          Reply
          1. Brekkie

            Later slot and an older fanbase watching the next day, plus it being a new heavily advertised format. Also other high profile shows in the Monday slot too.

  27. Alex McMillan

    Been noticing that the contestant/chaser’s clocks occasionally continue to tick down even after they’ve given a correct answer, only switching when Bradley finishes saying the word ‘correct’. I know that, nature of the beast, one clock always needs to be going down, but this feels like it could end up deciding a game at some point down the line.

    Reply
  28. Daniel Williams

    Just a thought.

    Assuming this gets a second series, the new sixth chaser would most likely be in it, would that improve the format?

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Well assuming that there are five others in the can waiting to go out at a later date, he wouldn’t be on it anyway. I don’t think it’d make much difference to be honest.

      Reply
  29. Will Stephen

    I’m enjoying it but for the contestant the time advantage isn’t as big as you think as they start first so they’re always 4 to 5 seconds behind in terms of question answering. Maybe there should be an advantage question on who goes first to help even this. Because having the chasers on 56 seconds is the same as you being on 60.

    Reply
    1. John R

      I thought they would have something like that in case of ‘it’s rigged because the contestant always goes first so they can rig the question set in favour of the chasers!’

      Noticed ITV are so low on content at the moment they actually repeat this on ITV1 literally 2 hours later!

      Reply
      1. Chris B

        Not sure if the repeat is entirely content related, it’s happened when Millionaire has been stripped across the week and some dramas have been repeated in the post news slot that were only on at 9 the same day in the past – I think Broadchurch might have been.

        Reply
      2. David B

        ITV’s shelf of stuff is nearly 2 years full. They have no issues with content. The problem is are they making enough ad revenue for the stuff they’re showing?

        Reply
  30. Philip

    Just noticed that ITV will broadcast a new 6 part series of Millionaire over the course of a week starting 10 May.

    BTW I wonder when and if they will broadcast the remaining episodes of Celebrity Chase or Tipping Point Lucky Stars.

    Reply
  31. Tom F

    It’s moreish stuff, and I have tuned in for all 3 episodes so far… although I agree with the fears about repetitiveness, I’m not sure where there is for it to “go” now we’ve had plenty of 5-head games and a win.

    For me, the game has two weakness: the cashbuilder doesn’t really mean anything (because no-one takes the floor offer, and the rest seem pretty uncorrelated), and the really big wins don’t feel epic enough (because they’re only 10 mins work).

    So, since everyone else is at it, my patch would be:
    Make the cashbuilder £2k, but it determines the 3-chaser offer. Then the chasers also make a 2 and 4-head offer (‘step closer to home and step closer to the chasers’ ala the daytime show), but there’s no 5-head offer initially.

    If the player wins this, they get an extra offer to play again one level higher. This would make beating all 5 (which I think you could make consistently 6-figures given the gamble involved) a rare and epic feat.

    Reply
  32. Score

    Looks like a peak of “close to 6m” last night. Which is higher than Tuesday.

    Reply
  33. Matt Clemson

    I did feel that yesterday, one of the collections of offers seemed particularly harsh. For the second contestant, Madan, his options were

    2: £2,000 for 40 seconds
    3: £4,000 for 40 seconds
    4: £10,000 for 45 seconds
    5: £100,000 for 55 seconds

    Compare that with episode 2’s Anna:

    2: £2,000 for 30 seconds
    3: £10,000 for 33 seconds
    4: £25,000 for 38 seconds
    5: £50,000 for 39 seconds.

    If we’re looking at the ‘temptation zone’ being in the 40-45s bracket, there’s an awful lot of difference between the offers and time there.

    Reply
    1. Luke S

      This is one thing that I’m not sure sat entirely right with me – different contestants facing vastly different difficulties of play. When one contestant is being offered a 55 second start for five chasers and the other is being offered 39, that’s four times the head start. (Or to put it another way, when you account for the contestant going first, the difference between room for one error or room for about six.) That’s a huge difference. I’m still working through how I feel about that.

      I could make a case for a standard set of cash and times (x1 for 30 seconds/2c, x5 for 40 seconds/3c , x10 for 45 seconds/4c, x25 for 50 seconds/5c, to pull numbers out the air) but then you lose the symmetry with the original Chase in terms of offers, etc. that they’ve obviously worked hard to keep. And potentially you lose some of the interaction with the Chasers, which is the fun bit.

      The difficulties in the Cashbuilder round also seem to be varying wildly as well when ideally you’d have a steady ramp up in difficulty from Q1 to Q5. And agree that the show really needs a better way to avoid games becoming a fait accompli in the first thirty seconds.

      Definitely enjoyed the show – I think it’s a very appealing package even if the format is a bit light. I could perhaps do with the contestants being 5% less Big. Agree with Chris Dickson that they’ve learned the right lessons from Gladiators – it knows that it’s an entertainment as much as a format. It’s worked remarkably well as semi-background television during this whole situation – watching, but not necessarily giving it 100% of your attention. I’m surprised that three episodes in I haven’t particularly been bored by it yet.

      And after the grudge match aspect, I’d quite like to see teams who just lost on the teatime show come back for a second go against the same Chaser. Some potentially interesting dynamics there. We know the team are good, how does that change their behaviour? So a week or two of Second Chance Chase could be quite fun.

      Reply
      1. Mart With An Y Not An I

        It also lends itself well to a celebrity version of this format – which might actually make for the better celb version that the ‘team take on one’ original format.

        For extra ‘spice’ let The Chasers themselves choose from shortlist of 5 celb contestants, which one they’d like to take on next.

        Reply
  34. Kevin McCarthy

    A technical comment on Beat The Chasers – possibly an as yet unbroadcasted episode!

    All ITV shows on the ITV Hub have a unique Programme ID. The BBC call this a PID and like the BBC iPlayer it forms part of the URL when you watch an ITV show online on the ITV Hub.
    BBC PIDs appear to be somewhat random and bear little resemblance to each other, even episodes of the same shows.
    However the ITV PID consists of a 7 character alphanumeric code which uniquely relates to each ITV show (in this case the PID for ALL episodes of Beat The Chasers is 2a6826a). This is then followed by a 4 digit numeric episode counter (NOT an episode number – for example, if there is a new 3 part ITV drama Series 1 Episodes 1-3 will end 0001, 0002, 0003. If ITV make a second series of that drama the PID for episode 1 of the second series will end 0004, so the 4 digit end of the PID is a count of the episodes broadcast.

    Interestingly the PID for the first episode of Beat The Chasers (Monday’s episode) ends 0002 and so far subsequent episodes have ended 0003 and 0004 and 0005.
    Unless they are showing episodes out of order (something that frequently occurs with The Chase) and episode 0001 gets shown Friday, this suggests that the very first episode made of Beat The Chasers has never been broadcast!
    Perhaps nobody won any money on the first episode they made (after all a contestant won £25000 on Monday’s episode – PID 0002, which clearly highlighted the show), or perhaps the format was changed and the episode not broadcast?

    Reply
    1. Brandon

      ITV gets episode numbers muddled up all the time on ITV Hub, happened a lot with Cash Trapped as well if I remember correctly

      Reply
    2. Mart with a Y not an I

      The first theory about no-one winning anything in episode 1 doesn’t hold any weight, as you are not seeing any episode ‘as recorded on the night’. They are all basically montages of different recording sessions, then edited together so you get a mix of different outcomes for each of the five shows.

      For proof, watch the audience closely. There are different people in the same seating area for each different contestant.

      Reply
  35. JP

    Across the 5 episodes, what were the average winnings per episode?

    Does anyone know what the average winnings per episode for Who Wants To Be a Millinoaire was in comparison?

    ITV have away £100k in one episode yesterday, it must be very expensive!!

    Reply
    1. David Howell

      Millionaire was very much cheaper in its late phase when they went Nintendo Hard to save budget – we never even saw a £500k question in the whole 12-question era (!) – but Clarkson era Millionaire has been going around £150k/hour (just under £3.3m in 22 2019 episodes, a much lower average in the initial 2018 batch and the celeb specials aired to date).

      I’m pretty sure that’s still cheaper than most scripted alternatives, though it might not have been in 1999 when imperial phase Millionaire was solidly around £100k/hour.

      Reply
      1. JP

        Millionaire winnings per episode during Clarkson era at £150k/episode is quite high. Bear in mind, with inflation, that is probably equivalent to £200k/ep during the early Tarrant era.

        What were the winnings per ep for BTC? Must have been close to £75k?

        Reply
      2. Brandon

        That’s probably skewed a lot by the 2 £500k winners and the £250k. When Millionaire was at its most popular, it was mostly funded by the premium rate phone line, and that was slowly mixed in with auditioned contestants until it disappeared all together in 2009.

        Reply
      3. John R

        I read somewhere once ITV turn in about 50 million quid a year just from the phone competition entries so giving away what…half a million quid? over this week of shows is literally pocket money even if advertising revenue is affected at the moment

        For a daytime show Tipping Point has to be one of the most generous out there, very hard to leave with less than £2k – £3k or of course £10k / £20k unless you’re reckless with a trade at the end

        Reply
  36. Score

    Rating slipped back to 4.9m on Thursday but was apparently back over 5m last night so a hugely successful week.

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Yep, did much better than I anticipated, didn’t really drop through the week. Incredible scenes.

      Reply
  37. James

    The developer in me is screaming “it’s too easy to win money”. Also, as great as it was to see someone win £100k last night in such a tense way, it felt somewhat underwhelming. There’s no denying it’s a hit though – many congrats to all involved!

    I’ve had a think about an alternative format for the show – would be good to know what people think. Basically, more of the chess clock, no cash builder and clearer & bigger scope for prize money.

    * A money tree style format, where the higher you climb, the more chasers you face. For example: Contestants start at Level 1 where you face 1 Chaser, Level 2 you take on 2 Chasers. Level 3 it’s 3 Chasers and so on…

    * The contestant has 60 seconds on their clock, as at present. Each new chaser presents the contestant with 2 offers to choose from: lower money + lower time or higher money + higher time. (e.g. £5k for 30 seconds or £7.5k for 35 seconds)

    * The contestant must beat the Chaser(s) in the chess clock head-to-head to climb up the money tree. The money on offer is banked when won.

    * Prize Money on Level 1 is four-digit, L2 from £10k – £30k, L3 in mid-to-high 5 figure range, L4 is high 5-figure to low 6 figure and L5 is at least £100k.

    * This bit I’m not too sure about: Either, at the end of each level, the contestant has to decide whether to play on or take the money and run. The new chaser will make them the offers to try and tempt them to play on. Or, you could say that contestants can only walk away after winning the first 3 levels.

    Reply
    1. Harry

      This was very close to the idea I had. It doesn’t feel like we get to know the contestants at all before they’re gone. I wonder if they could replace the cashbuilder with a chess clock off against two chasers at 30 seconds. For each second left when the chasers hit zero you get £100 (or of course nothing and are off the show). From then on another chaser is added and makes one offer to tempt you to play on. Hit zero and you leave with nothing.

      It would make beating five chasers much more legendary and string out one contestant’s appearance costing less money in the long run. Mark says this format has been in development for three years though so surely they must have tried something like this during testing? Maybe it just doesn’t work very well in practice.

      Reply
      1. James

        You could get to know the contestant in greater detail between the rounds. A 30 second head-to-head depends on what you mean. If both sides have 30secs to begin with, there could be a lot of crash outs. If the contestant starts with 60 & the chasers with 30 then that could work. It’s all about playing it out multiple times to see the different outcomes of how it would go.

        I admire that they’ve tried to keep as much of the original format points in there as possible, whilst trying to adapt them to be different. Having said that, the chess clock element is a big enough difference from the original format that you could warrant a couple of other large changes.

        There are two things bugging me here;

        * First question wrong & straight elimination is a terrible format point. I’m trying to think of a show where it’s been done before but I can’t (maybe someone can help). 15 to 1 even allows contestants at least 2 shots to get a question right. It feels like a waste of time for the viewer & a waste of opportunity for the contestant. I’m not quite sure how that managed to escape development.

        * The cash builder is really drab. The difficulty of the questions was all over the place too – some people getting much more difficult Q1 than others. If that’s the most desirable option to start off a contestant’s game then how bad were the other options. Surely no cash builder is better than what they’ve got right now.

        I’m struggling to understand how this was in development for 3 years. Having developed quiz shows in the past, I’m not sure why you’d pitch that format as the finished product. The chess clock is by far the best part of the game, why didn’t they base the format around that. Four head-to-heads in an hour is bloody skimpy – they’re really moreish!! Also, please put the chess-clock questions up on the screen in graphic form so that people can at least see them & play along.

        Reply
        1. SamB

          For me, the biggest problem was the massive variances in difficulty on the first question, for which if you got it wrong, you were off. Some very incredibly obvious gimmes, in the style of £100-on-Millionaire, and some that were quite easy, but not totally obvious. I felt for some of the people who lost on the first question.

          It’s also weirdly unbalanced. That first question is vitally important, and then the others in the cashbuilder basically make no difference whatsoever.

          Reply

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