Show Discussion: Ejector Seat

By | April 27, 2014

ejectseatWeekdays 4pm,
ITV

Filling in Tipping Point‘s slot, here’s another show featuring tipping things – chairs in this case as Andi Peters asks questions of contestants who when they get one wrong have to answer another right before their chair reaches the end of the track, tipping them backwards and out of the game.

On paper this sounds to me like a fun idea – kind of like The Whole 19 Yards but in reverse. We shall see if the reality matches up, we don’t know the exact format details as yet.

I had a question mark as to whether the tipping chairs might be a bit too slapstick for 4pm, well I certainly don’t think that element lives up to its promise – judge for yourself. Endemol’s Remarkable Television game formats like to (correctly) go for a strong visual idea, and the games are (usually) based on a sound basic idea, but a lot of the time they also want me to slap everyone involved for missing open goals. We’ll see how this stands up in due course.

34 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Ejector Seat

  1. Brig Bother Post author

    I’m not going to get to watch the first ep until really late on Monday, so I’ll be interested in your thoughts in the interim.

    Reply
    1. Kniwt

      Love the set (really!), but I think I’m going to tire of the EJECTED sound and visual effect after the first, what, 50 or so times.

      Reply
      1. Brig Bother Post author

        As I say, I think it’s just something that shoukd just happen as surprised shreiking is surely the payoff. We’ll see.

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        1. David B

          I think you’re right. The reaction of the losing contestant in the head-to-head was far better and she was ejected with far less warning.

          Reply
  2. Paul B

    Forty minutes in I reckon it’s OK.

    The questions are pretty easy (I’ve known all but one so far), but they were selling it at at MIP as “The show where contestants give hilariously stupid answers”, so there we go. I think the casting is good (although serious quiz types will hate it). Andi Peters is pretty good, although they need to come up with some alternatives to the “You’re on the move” catchphrase pretty quick sharp. The set is pretty good.

    Big mega issue is that it’s so very slow to get started. If it was thirty minutes long and started with four people it’d be basically good, I think. The first round proper takes way too long, so they’ve stuck a pointless qualifier on the front because someone’s said “We need to see an ejection earlier in the game”, but that’s just elongated the boring beginning bit.

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  3. Andrew 'Kesh' Sullivan

    Not a bad show, certainly better than Take On The Twisters was. Only thing I don’t like is the money tree for the final: £500 -> £1,000 -> £10,000. What I would have done is £1,000 -> £5,000 -> £10,000

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    1. Paul B

      But in that slot their prize budget will be about £1,500-£2,000 per episode, so £45,000-£60,000 for a series of thirty, and they’ll want at least one jackpot winner, so I can see why they’ve gone the way they have.

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      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Yes I think it’s not too unreasonable given there’s no gamble element, it’s a proper old-skool bonus round.

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  4. Clive of Legend

    Certainly makes better use of the gimmick than Take On the Twisters ever did, thought it does rather suffer from the same pacing issues. Andi Peters was quite good and kept the whole thing moving well, though for some reason his delivery of “You have been ejected” really bugged me.

    I think the panic button’s probably the big issue with the show right now. A contestant getting ejected by naturally reaching the end of the track gave exactly the kind of surprised shrieking the whole format’s been designed for, while all the panic button ejections rather underwhelmed.

    Probably could use a bit more variety in the rounds, but certainly enjoyable enough and I’ll certainly keep watching.

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    1. Paul B

      Agree that the “surprise” ejection was infinitely better than the rest, but understand why they’ve added the panic button – to mitigate against the possibility that games end too quickly. Hopefully other episodes will feature more than one correct “panic button” question, resulting in more surprise ejections and everyone’s happy..

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  5. Simon

    Initial reaction is that it seems a better than average format. It’s not amazing but it’s not terrible. The final does seem quite difficult (it does seem you can’t afford to get more than about 2 or 3 questions wrong) but at least for a change there’s no gamble involved.

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  6. Michael

    I would have done a “nominate” round at some point to up the tension personally.

    Reply
  7. Luke the lurker

    Thoughts:

    – Actually, I quite enjoyed this. Don’t think I’d watch it every day, but it’s plenty fun enough.
    – Andi Peters was perfectly cromulent, which is again, much better than expected. I think this could maybe do with some Tim Vine, but he’s a perfectly good choice and (assuming they’re airing in order) should warm up a bit more as it goes along.
    – Simple fix for the panic button ejections – as soon as the panic button is hit, push them back to the far end. If they’re right, the seat goes green, if they’re wrong, straight over the edge.
    – That final game looks particularly tricky. I know a gamble isn’t particularly favoured around here, but a 90 second run down the track with the opportunity to stop after 5 and 8 correct answers and a jackpot for 10 (or similar) could work quite well. (Especially if, as it looks like, they can’t *really* see how far they’ve got left to go…)
    – Set’s very swish. Game’s generally well judged, but round 1 does take a bit too long. Wish they’d give me the obviously due royalties because I was idly thinking of something similar a few years ago involving contestants sitting on inflatable donuts on a conveyor belt, with losers being dumped off the end. (Note to Endemol: I am available. I’m not *cheap*, but I am available.)

    Reply
      1. Luke the lurker

        I’m about 98% sure that’s where I stole (adapted? lovingly ripped off?) the idea from. Though mine looked a lot more like this (multiple contestants, initial eliminator round, chess clock like game, studio based) than Downfall.

        (Sidenote: I am aware that it’s very easy to claim you came up with something first, but it’s a bit moot if you don’t, you know, actually make television. That said, I’m still laying claim to the improvements in the second series of Breakaway though!)

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    1. Michelle M

      – I enjoyed the premise of it. Good tension when the contestants are travelling back and nice that they can’t see how close to the end they are.
      – The set looks good, just spoiled a bit by the sideways wobble of the chairs as they move and stop. It adds an element of cheapness to an otherwise lovely set.
      – I did think at first like they were trying to make a 30 min prog fit into a 60 min slot but on reflection it was just the qualifier and round 1 that were flabby. Assuming it’s a 44 min show to fit a 60 min slot, a 22 min (30 min timeslot) show would have been too short. A 32-34 min show (in a 45 timeslot) would work perfectly if only they were allowed to do so, getting rid of the qualifier and trimming up the chat in round 1 and a little elsewhere.
      – Lastly I’d like to echo/quote Luke the Lurker’s “Note to Endemol: I am available. I’m not *cheap* but I’m available”! (Hey, worth a try 😉

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  8. Brig Bother Post author

    Right then. I did end up liking this, I thought it got more interesting as the show progressed, although I certainly agree that frankly the qualifier and the first round were Frankly A Bit Slow. It felt like a much more appealing prospect when the buzzers came into play.

    But let’s make this clear – they’ve buggered up the punchline. I don’t want to bang on about this but it’s so important for casual viewers. I can deal with the contestants not being actually ejected but the comedy lies in the surprise, of which there was precious little on show. The ending of the head to head was a great payoff (if you’re after Social Media Moments, these are the ones more likely to work), the rest of the eliminations felt a bit tame.

    I *love* the idea of the panic button, a one-shot all-or-nothing to stay in the game. But it would have been perfectly fine used as a one-time Stop button used anywhere on the track. If the object was to add a bit more tension, they should have revealed it was a wrong answer with an immediate ejection.

    In my head it was a bit more quickfire, perhaps with questions more in the Every Second Counts mould. As it was the questions were pitched around my level I thought, I certainly didn’t think they were quite as gimme-ish in the main as people were suggesting. Although I’ve had a long day at work, so.

    I think the end game is fine albeit tough – proper old-skool bonus round with a big payoff if you win it. Basically answering correctly for 2:15 feels like quite a big ask, that’s even harder than Beat the Pack.

    The idea I had for the end game was to give them [X seconds] to get [X questions] right with the chair in constant motion and the contestant blindfolded, offering £200 for a correct answer and augmenting to £10k for [X right answers], but they’re blindfolded so they can’t see where they are on the track and aren’t told how many they’ve got right. They can stop and bail out at any time with accumulated monies, but if they run out of time the chair tips and they leave with nothing, “if you tip, you get zip.” I think I prefer what they’ve actually gone with here, in retrospect.

    It does feel a little bit like a great 45 minute show fleshed out to a good 60 minute show. Really interested to see how it rates, especially as it isn’t leading into The Chase.

    Reply
  9. Paul B

    Ejector Seat 1.31m (16%)

    As ever it will be what happens next which is crucial.

    I’ll do the rest of the ratings when I’ve navigated the tube strike and reached the office

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Cheers Paul. I have no idea which way it will go, but I like to think it’s decent enough that it’ll grow.

      Interested to see how it affected Deal and 15-1.

      Edit: Richard Osman’s suggesting 0.55 for 15-1 and 0.6 for Deal inc +1, slightly up on the last set of figs I’ve got, but not a great deal.

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      1. Paul B

        Pointless 3.53m (27.9%)
        Ejector Seat 1.31m (15.6%)
        Eggheads 1.08m (6.9%)
        Only Connect 0.82m (3.6%)
        Come Dine With Me 0.81m (6.2%)
        Perfection 0.80m (13.4%)
        Deal or No Deal 0.60m (8.2%)
        Fifteen to One 0.56m (5.6%)
        Countdown 0.36m (6.0%)

        All including HD and +1 where appropriate.

        Staggering share for Pointless. Well done them.

        Fifteen to One up 200,000 from its nadir towards the end of last week, although it did manage to exceed half a million both Bank Holidays last week.

        I’m going to stick my neck out and say Ejector Seat will grow to 1.7m or higher by the end of the run.

        Reply
        1. Brig Bother Post author

          The problem Ejector Seat has is that it has a more difficult lie than Tipping Point – it’s not leading into The Chase (Paul O Grady whilst popular is a magnitude less popular in the slot these days).

          I’d love see what it would have got if it was in the 4pm slot last week.

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          1. Paul B

            Yes, 1.91m (15.8%) for Paul O’Grady at 5pm. Ejector Seat did grow over the hour (1.17/1.21/1.37/1.47), and won its slot for the first forty-five minutes, so there are a couple of encouraging signs. But if first episode quiz ratings were any sort of reliable guide to future success we’d all be enjoying a new series of Take On the Twisters about now, so let’s wait and see.

          2. MrCT2U

            Christ don’t get me started on Take on the Twisters as I absolute hated being a contestant on that show lol ;).

            I have to say I rather enjoyed the first edition of Ejector Seat and although there is another 29 shows to go and its early days, certainly I think Endemol may be on to a ratings winner with this format. Glad to see a vast percentage of the main quiz element is on the buzzer and probably more skill than luck (although you do need a little bit of luck on the side) is required to win the game which is pleasing to see.

            I’ve always been a believer that quiz shows who adapt a “beat the buzzer” style format like Going for Gold, Blockbusters and Sale of the Century are more watchable and ratings when these shows (mainly the original and best versions) were on in the past have proved that!

            Also good to see an end game where you have to EARN your way to winning the £10k instead of fluking your way to the jackpot by constant guesswork although the prize money should be in my eyes:

            1 complete round of questioning – £1,000
            2 complete rounds – £2,500
            3 complete rounds – £10,000.

            And nice to see there is no gamble element to the show.

            Andi Peters is certainly an affable host and all round I’d give the show 7/10.

  10. Michael

    Today’s episode was actually much better than yesterday’s – at one point, four people were in the danger zone and three had used their panic buttons!

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Man, I’m desperate to watch a few more episodes of this but I’m so busy at the moment.

      If channels could avoid launching shows in end-of-April to mid-June that would be grand, thanks.

      Reply
  11. jon

    Ejector Seat dropped to below one million yesterday… and lost slot throughout.

    Not sure if the snooker is costing it viewers.

    All feels a little dark to me.

    Reply
  12. John R

    If anyone has any bright ideas on how to get ad block working again for ITV Player that would be marvelous (The workaround before was STV Player but now that appears to be using the same blocking technology :()

    As it is a complete pain to catch up with ITV shows with so many adverts!

    Reply
  13. Archie Hancock

    I’m a contestant on Ejector Seat tomorrow (should have been Friday, but was moved forward) and it was a lot of fun.

    I had AdBlock which doesn’t work on ITV Player anymore, but it’s only 2-3 ads per break, not long at all!

    Reply
      1. Archie Hancock

        Thanks Brig,

        Words can’t describe how much more difficult those simple questions were when you’re moving backwards… was shocked to have reached the final, so any amount to take home (spend in the hotel bar) was appreciated!

        Reply
        1. Andrew 'Kesh' Sullivan

          Well done, Archie! Now that I’ve been watching the show over this first week, I would LOVE to have a go at it!

          Reply

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