Show Discussion: Million Dollar Money Drop

By | December 20, 2010

Hi! Here is a post for you all to tell me exactly how well Million Dollar Money Drop works/rates.

Being a very good friend to the TV industry, I couldn’t possibly comment on ways you may be able to watch the show in the UK  for fear of harming the livelihoods of the sorts of people who make it, obviously.

In other news: Survivor Redemption Island! I may become interested in the show again, even if it’s something already done by most other versions years ago.

Edit: Interesting find, it sounds like there are two pilots for a UK version of Hold On To Your Seat being filmed at the end of January in London. It is, of course, the English version of France 2 daytime hit Tout le Monde Veut Prendre sa Place! which Greg Scott did a pilot for on the French set a while ago.

54 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Million Dollar Money Drop

  1. Paul

    I have it on good authority that Rob Mariano and Russell Hantz return for Redemption Island – AGAIN

  2. Jay

    Redemption Island sounds pretty interesting… I’m assuming that whoever’s still there at the merge will be the one going back in?

    And contrary to what Jeff said, this wont be the first time eliminated contestants could come back… I seem to remember a “outcasts” tribe during one of the earlier seasons.

      1. David B

        How hilarious. Given my consulting role on the French original all those years ago, it’s like the chickens coming home to roost. Or maybe cockrels.

      2. Ryan

        I just noticed something on the Greg Scott pilot – if you’re trying to sell it to UK audiences, wouldn’t you get rid of Euros and have the “payout” in pounds?

        Also… getting rid of the qualif’ round seemed to speed things along a bit too quickly.

        1. Brig Bother Post author

          I suspect that was “English language” pilot rather than “UK” pilot, you see that quite a lot on pitch tapes.

          Will be intrigued to see what the money structure is. £100 a point won’t cut it over here I don’t think. £250 a point might, especially as it could tot-up quite quickly.

          1. art begotti

            I’ve been trying to imagine an American pay scale. $100 is going to be way too small, but $1000 will break the bank. $500 would be an appealing number, but it’s still pushing the budget a bit. $250 or $300 might work for the budget concern, but I don’t know how people would feel about a ~$4000-$6000 daily prize. Granted, the show should be judged on the merits of the show rather than the prize, yadda yadda, but still.

          2. Brig Bother Post author

            Michael Davies bought the rights for a version for GSN at one point, I believe. I’d be intrigued as to what that sort of payscale might have been.

            Remember that the payoff is dependant on the score of the loser, so really you’re probably looking at a 15 point average – I know there are fans of the french show (Barry?), would that be a good indicator? A quick look on Wikipedia suggests that the recently dethroned record holder Dominique won €160,000 from 153 victories (which would suggest a fairly decent sampled average of just over 10), although I believe she may have earned more but bought back the seat a few times. Punters?

          3. David B

            Is that 163 genuine (as in world record-breaking) “victories”, in that she actually won the quiz that many times, or did she lose several of those on points but just bought her way back onto the show.

            Just wondering how it affects the record of that 75-time 100% champion?

          4. Brig Bother Post author

            I suppose it depends on whether you count “total victories” or “consecutive victories”. It’s probably a record on the former.

          5. Barry

            J’adore le jeu although I skip watching the first two rounds.

            Dominique is male and actually won 150 times and had 3 defeats.
            He offered €5000 (I think) after his first defeat and an unrefuseable €19,000 after his second.

            I’m not sure on average winnings but the reigning champ has had her opponents score 3 and 6 which really hits her in the pocket.

    1. Barry

      The contestants won’t care about unpopularity with the unlimited wins + cash rules. Unless there is a Facebook campaign to remove the long running champions of course.

      A show with a disliked champ will still get the ratings from people wanting to see him/her sent packing.

  3. David

    I wonder if VC came up with that question-writer thing on OC tonight- I don’t know if it was a complement or an insult….

    1. David B

      Actually, it was a line I came up with, since I thought it would be the kind of offbeat start she would like. So, it was self-depricating.

  4. Tataki

    I have to say, the music is rather good, if not as good as the original music. Same with the set, lighting, and graphics. Overall it’s a good show so far, just… Not quite as good as the original.

  5. Tataki

    These questions are a hell of a lot easier that on the original… Neither my mom nor I have missed a single one. And yet the contestants are down to one bundle…

  6. Lirodon

    Notable changes:
    Question 6 is 90 seconds
    Question 7 gives an additional clue and more time after the initial countdown
    The question-writers still get stuff wrong (yeah right, post-it notes were first sold in the 70’s)

  7. art begotti

    Heh. Two things to note: (SPOILERS! Oh.)

    In episode one, there are already allegations of questionable question-writing. A question (this is from memory so forgive me if I’m phrasing this wrong) asked which was invented first: Post-It Notes, Macintosh computer, Walkman. There seems to be debate about the date of the Post-It Note origin, as it seems to have been invented in 1976 but marketed in 1980, or something like that. I’ll have to keep an eye out for more details on this, because these allegations may or may not be true.

    In episode two (or part two of the two-hour special), the contestants are already having problems keeping the money stacked on the drop zones. We never learn, do we?

    1. Jeff H

      (SPOILERS continuing on.)

      The question was about which of the listed products was released first, and it seems to depend on how widely available you mean by release. According to what I found online, Post-It notes were first sold in 4 markets in 1977, failed, and then retested until its US nationwide launch in 1980. Meanwhile, the Sony Walkman was just launched everywhere in 1979. The show listed Walkman as the correct answer.

      1. Glenn Broadway

        I don’t think anyone else has posted this yet – so here’s the actual post-it note question on YouTube (an unlisted video, so it won’t show up on a search):

  8. art begotti

    Right, well, with that all out of the way, I think I can confidently declare that I won’t continue watching this. I would have stopped partway through episode one, but I was involved in a chat on Buzzerblog. The magic of the format is gone. Factor in the stereotypical Fox format (though it surprisingly lacked the pre-commercial previews), and it was just hard to watch. I’m done, thanks. If anything really interesting happens, it’ll be on YouTube by the morning, and that’s good enough for me.

    1. art begotti

      Also, I forgot to mention that in the chat, we discussed how this show likely wouldn’t rate highly. It’s up against the finale of The Sing-Off on NBC (which I noticed trended before Money Drop on Twitter (US list)) and a well-established comedy night on CBS. ABC had Skating with the Stars and a repeat of Castle, a fairly highly-ranked dramedy, so they might not have put up much competition, although I’d imagine people would still switch over to see Castle even if it was a repeat.

    1. David B

      If you search for slightly different spellings:
      “sheep pig” “Mangalitsa pig”

      …you get around 140 hits. There’s rather less evidence for ‘sheepig’, but even so if they were “fully aware of wooly-haired Mangalitza pigs” as they claim, it would have been a lot more sensible to choose another wrong answer to avoid the argument.

      1. Joe

        All the questions this series were checked by again and again by Remarkable TV, Channel 4 and an independent company. This was a valid question. Sounds like sour grapes from those two contestants.

        1. Brig Bother Post author

          All the questions this series were checked by again and again by Remarkable TV, Channel 4 and an independent company.

          Not brilliantly, by the sounds of it.

  9. Brig Bother Post author

    I’ve yet to watch episode four. I’m hoping tonight to watch MDMD, and hopefully to watch it tomorrow and come to some sort of competition conclusion.

  10. Joe

    Million Dollar Money Drop has been a massive critical success in the US, receiving rave reviews. Here’s just a few of them:

    – it is is a Thrill Ride of a Game Show” – Buzzerblog
    – “it has a unique and intriguing physical premise.” – Toronto Sun
    – “it follows the same addicting formula that made ‘Deal or No Deal’ such a hit worldwide” – Paparazzi Journal
    – “The key to a good TV game show is creating a concept that allows viewers to play along from their couches, and “Million Dollar Money Drop” does just that.” – New York Daily
    – ” it looks like pretty gripping stuff… unlike Deal or No Deal, which reduced game-show competition to a random pick-a-number exercise, Money Drop does test its contestants’ and, by extension, its viewers’ — intelligence at least slightly, and that makes it a much more engaging program.” – Winnipeg Free Press
    – “If every episode has such excitable contestants, then yes, I would watch this again.” – Ology

    It’s absolutely fantastic that the American audiences have enjoyed and embraced the show like their British counterparts. 😀

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Hang on though, none of those actually say anything.

      “It looks like it might be OK”.

      I’m looking forward to the overnights, obviously.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Right, a 3.5/5 rating according to Alex Buzzerblog on Twitter, for those who don’t understand TV ratings that’s 3.5% of all households (representing about 4m), and 5% of all households currently watching TV at the time.

        That’s only slightly better than MPD got on Thursday/Friday on Channel 4 in real terms. It’s another massive success!

        In fact if anything I’m disappointed in myself because I thought it would do a bit better than that.

        1. Joe

          The full ratings haven’t yet been released but a 3.5/5 is a very encouraging start because TMDMD faced very tough competition: the finale of The Sing-Off which has been the best rated programme on NBC this month and also was up against the hugely popular Monday Night Football.

          The Million Dollar Money Drop has started well and ratings will rise for tonight’s show as word is spread around. Don’t forget that The Million Pound Drop also debuted relatively low but ratings rose throughout the week due to word of mouth. And even at yesterday’s level, a renewal is likely given that it’s a relatively inexpensive show to produce and will follow Minute to Win It as the next big gameshow on US TV. 🙂

  11. Brig Bother Post author

    a very encouraging start because TMDMD faced very tough competition

    Yes true enough up to a point, and tonight you have Glee as a lead-in. That will be telling.

    a renewal is likely given that it’s a relatively inexpensive show to produce

    Again, true enough, although no US TV company wants to be seen with a hyped flop.

    It’s a shame Million Currency Money Drop seems to be THE by-word for duff questions though, isn’t it?

    1. Ryan

      I’d like to point out, for the sake of information, that yes, it is going out after a rerun of Glee, however it should be noted that the Glee episode originally aired a whopping TWO WEEKS AGO. December 7th.

      Just sayin’, that’s all.

  12. Joe

    Full ratings for The Million Dollar Money Drop are out:

    It had 5.4m viewers and a 1.9 adults 18-49 rating (which matters the most). That is VERY GOOD. It was the second most watched programme in its slot among adults 18-49 and rated as well as FOX’s expensive drama, Lie To Me, which has been airing in that slot in recent weeks (despite being far far cheaper to make).

    Importantly, it also rated better than the premiere of Minute To Win It which had 4.6m viewers. And rated higher than most episodes of Minute To Win It, even though Million Dollar Monday Drop is a cheaper programme to produce.

    This has been a massive start for the show and expect it to be on the American screens for years to come 😀 !

    1. Des Elmes

      🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄

      (Sorry, couldn’t help but show off there, now that I’ve got the hang of using emoticons on this site.)

      If we expect MDMD to last a long time, then I suppose we should do the same for Several, But Definitely Not As Many As 101, Ways To Leave A Game Show…

  13. James E. Parten

    I cannot imagine the American people going for this show. And I’m one of them!

    First off, the format is one that I have never thought Americans could embrace. As I’ve said before, the object for the contestant on most, if not all, game shows, is to WIN something–points, cash, prizes, crystals, what-have-you. Here, the object is not to lose something.

    Secondly, the pacing is all wrong! Everything is dragged out to an unhealthy degree. It took as many as forty-five seconds from the running-down of the contestants’ clocks to the dropping of two of the three wrong answers–with an additional wait for the final reveal. Sometimes, that wait was extended by a commercial break. This is highly manipulative, a piece of dirty pool by the producers.

    This show aspires to be a quizzer. And quizzes, if they are to succeed, require some degree of pacing. Would this pacing–resembling nothing so much as an arthritic snail–be accepted by “The Chase”, or by “University Challenge” or by “Masterming”?? I submit to you that it would not!

    Dodgy writing of questions is endemic these days, and not only on “Million Dollar Money Drop”, or its UK predecessor. Even on a kids’ game show (“Family Game Night” on the Hub), I noticed a couple of questions that weren’t properly researched.

    Kevin Pollak does show the professionalism expected of an American game show host. But he brings no excitement to the party!

    I found nothing in this show that makes me want to watch any more of it!

  14. Joe

    BREAKING NEWS: The ratings for Million Dollar Money Drop went UP for the second episode. The 2nd episode had 5.5m and a 2.0 Adults 18-49 rating, up from the previous day’s 5.4m and 1.9.

    This is an excellent result. It was FOX’s Number 1 TV show yesterday, was 2nd in its slot, beating the final of America’s version of Dancing on Ice and rated better than FOX dramas which have occupied that slot this year such as Lie To Me, Human Target and Fringe.

    It also almost matched Minute To Win It’s rating yesterday which had a 2.1 Adults 18-49 rating. So this is an excellent result because Minute To Win It is currently the biggest primetime gameshow in the US which has an established audience. If we can be so close for episode 2, we’ll be beating them next year.

    Thank you to all who have been watching. 🙂

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      The other way to look at it, of course, is that there was barely any competition and its rating barely improved.

      Minute to Win It is big in the same way something quite small is big, really.

      1. Joe

        From here:

        The ratings point you’re talking about is total viewers which doesn’t matter one bit in the US. It’s all about 18-49s and in that measurement, Million Dollar Money Drop was only 0.1 behind Minute To Win It.

        I have it on good authority that Million Dollar Money Drop is very likely to be picked up for a full season. If you look at the comments on that website I’ve linked, well respected media commentators are praising MDMD for its ratings and it has been critically acclaimed.

        1. art begotti

          Ta for the clarification on the numbers. The comments seem to indicate half for, half against MD^2.

    1. Tim

      I’m really keen to hear Joe’s thoughts on this.

      Actually, you know what? I’m really not.

  15. Brig Bother Post author

    Right, I’ve watched this now (episode three for reference) and the truth is I don’t hate it. I like Kevin Pollack. I like the fact the drops appear to weigh the money as they are put on. I quite like the bonus fact thrown in on the final 50/50 to make it a bit less of a crap shoot.

    I think the ever changing time limits are pointless. I’m not overjoyed by the Quick Change. I don’t think nearly enough is made of the drop itself – it’s a production on many levels but you rarely see anything not shot at an equal height to where the contestants are standing, compare and contrast to the UK version.

    It surprisingly didn’t drag too badly, although that is doubtless helped watching jt online with minimal adverts. If the UK version only had one question per part, it would be rightly laughed at.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Right episode 4 last night (bearing in mind episodes 1 and 2 were put together on Monday), dropped to 3.0/5 last night in the fast overnights. 18-49 demographic yet to declare.

      1. Joe

        It had a 1.6 Adults 18-49. Slightly lower than what I was hoping for but every TV show yesterday was down compared to usual.

        Nevertheless, MDMD was the #1 TV show on FOX yesterday (more popular than a new episode of drama Human Target), #1 TV show in its slot between 9.30-10pm and #3 TV show from any network yesterday. So I’m not too concerned by the drop at the moment.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.