Fifteen to One

By | September 20, 2013

15to1Friday 20th September, 8pm,
Channel 4

Well it’s finally here, Adam Hills hosts the return of the knockout quiz that puts fifteen contestants up against each other in a knockout quiz. In this one-off-with-a-view-to-a-series, those fifteen people are celebrities playing for charity, for Channel 4’s Eighties Weekend.

I expect the celebrity one to do OK this evening (it’s up against both Eastenders and Coronation Street so good scheduling there) and then when they decide to make it for the afternoons it’ll bomb.

36 thoughts on “Fifteen to One

  1. Whoknows

    In other news Five Mins to a Fortune has been axed according to Broadcast. It was flawed but could have been fixed but ultimately it was killed because of Channel 4’s utterly appalling scheduling.

    1. Nico W.

      Oh what a shame, I really liked it and was hoping for a second series with small changes. But then we will have to take a look at the french version…

    2. David Howell

      Not a shock cancellation announcement, and as you said, it wasn’t the show’s fault. It could well have got close to a million as a DoND summer replacement, and with where DoND is now, that’d have made it an easy renewal.

    3. Brekkie

      Exactly. Had they held it back a few weeks Pointless would have been on repeats and ITV would have had the Twisters. C4 need to be doing something different at 5pm and offer a real alternative.

      Agree with your view on 15 to 1 too – unless they ditch Deal I can’t see where it’s going to go.

  2. Steven

    No coloured blocks ident = boo. I was hoping for the original theme tune but the new one is decent.

    Adam Hills was brilliant I thought. I’d never seen him on anything before but yeah, I thought he fit the quizmaster role nicely – intelligent and with warmth. Maybe they can get him to do Countdown once they can get Nick Hewer out.

    If this is with a view to a series, C4 shouldn’t be doing it as they always like to mention their remit doesn’t consider remakes of any form; or at least they’ve been fending off calls to bring back The Crystal Maze with that line for around 15 years now.

    I’d be shocked if it came back for a full series. I just really can’t see it being worthwhile, wherever they put it.

    Oh and a great shame RE Five Minutes To A Fortune. Enjoyable show, pathetic scheduling.

    1. Delano

      If 15-to-1 miraculously makes it to a full series, my suggestions for Remedy Productions would be:

      – Trim the shows down to 30/45 minutes. Okay, it’s a one-off, never mind.
      – Better use of desks in the first part of the show. Tracking one’s progress by only using colours will deter colour-blind people from viewing the show altogether.
      – [Optional] Actually ask questions textual as well, just like they do in Sweden. One or more picture questions are also welcome.

      The above remarks aside, 15-to-1 did few else wrong.

      (BTW: Adam Hills famously presented Spicks and Specks Down Under, a topical quiz akin to Never Mind The Buzzcoks. Didn’t see any episode, but I can recollect).

  3. Brig Bother Post author

    Has the news about 5 Minutes to a Fortune really only just come out? I thought I mentioned it months ago. Never mind.

    Fifteen to One I got a bit bored during round two and I don’t get why the set had a radius of about six miles. I did like the titles though.

    In fact doing it as an hour long show with celebrities really throws up questions about the viability of doing it as a series. As a daily show, notwithstanding questions as to where it would go, I still don’t see any reason it’ll do any better than Countdown. As a weekly primetime show? Sure you can keep the large set and the tens of thousands payoff, but unless you got celebrities in it every week we’ll have the prospect of quiz nerds bantering to make up for the extended time. Unless you don’t have quiz nerds and you have to dumb the material down (and don’t think ‘according to a website’ questions will go down well, it’s not The Million Pound Drop) but then you take away why people liked 15 to 1.

    So I don’t know really. Will be interested to see how it rates tomorrow, this might all be academic.

  4. Kamen Duck

    That, I think, was basically the best game show revival in years. Not the best game show on current television, but definitely the revival that best kept the key elements of the old show while bringing the whole think up to date.

    Love the remixed theme tune. I wish to possess it on many different electronic devices.

  5. Brekkie

    Random thought but anyone know if 15 to 1 had contingency plans in case all 15 contestants were eliminated in Round 1 – surely 13,14 & 15 wouldn’t go straight to the final by default.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Interesting question.

      I gather they used to knobble contestants at random by picking a couple of numbers and giving them really hard questions in round one to thin the field, but I don’t know what the opposite of that is.

      1. Barry

        11 players fell in Round 1 once. William G said that if one more contestant was eliminated then they would have proceeded directly to the final and skipped Round 2.

        I’d imagine if all contestants were eliminated that would be it and the host has 20 minutes to kill with chat.

      2. Brekkie

        An Elgin Marbles lecture no doubt.

        The obvious way to proceed would be for all players to remain but with just one life – or if they wanted to fake it a bit they could just redo the first round (or the second set of questions) and play on from there.

        1. Jennifer Turner

          WGS once answered this question in one of his end-of-show time-filling chatty bits – and the answer was that they’d just scrap that round and start over.

    1. Nico W.

      I watched it with a proxy at channel 4 on demand, otherwise I couldn’t watch it as well…

  6. Nico W.

    Oh I liked this, I think it was way slower than the German version back then, but I liked it and I hope they will (if they want to do this again) stick with one celebrity edition every year and not make an afternoon series. I also liked the studio, at first I thought it was huge, but it wasn’t that bad in the end.

  7. Mart with a Y not a I

    Ok. As an occasional hour long ‘hole in the schedule’ filler in this state, it wouldn’t the worst show Channel 4 could commission.
    But as a regualar 6+ part series (with the envitable champions of champions series ender) it would tire very quickly – unless it was hacked back to 45 mins – and you don’t get too many 45 min shows in peak time these days…

    However – loved the ‘Elgin Marbles’ in-joke in the sketch at the start (curiously credited as being made by Jamie Olivers ‘Fresh One’ Prods rather than the main show producers).

    Didn’t really like the set. Too dark, and found those Photographers light parasols in the background along with other lightbulbs in cages to distracting and the ones suspended off stage to give the jib camera something to swoop over was just lazy design.

    Also, iffy podium design to have 3 small red lights at the top which most of the time was either
    a) Covered by the hands of the contestants
    b) Difficult to see how many were lit, becuase they were in direct line with the overhead stage lighting. Wonder why they didn’t go with the three green neon lights as in the old version?

    Thought Adam did a reasonable job, and probably a good idea to have one of his co-hosts on his usual Channel 4 show to provide some matey banter – because there was scant humour elesewhere until the ‘question or nominate’ round.

    Loved the music, loved the opening graphics, and loved the fact that John M. Lewis has copyrighted both ’15 to 1′ and ‘Fifteen To One’ variants of the show title. Clever.

    Good revival of the show 8/10

  8. Brig Bother Post author

    Averaged 1.57m I’m informed, which I don’t think is too shabby.

    Edit: That breaks down into 1.38m and .19 on +1. Just over the minimum required for the hype and celebs and timeslot I reckon, but not much to shout about.

    1. Steven

      It’s higher than I expected given the slot it was in. That must be C4’s highest audience in that slot on a Friday for a while?

      Clearly 15 to 1 dented Peggy Mitchell’s return to EastEnders which, I gather from all the DS bickering, got a fairly so-so rating.

      As half-baked as most of it was, the 80’s Night seems to have done well for C4. Look forward to 90’s Night!

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Indeed. 8/10 CdC got 2.4m and Alan Carr about two, it was interesting that C4 Press and Remedy were quite quiet about the number this morning when they were very quick to retweet praise last night.

    2. David B

      I’d rate that audience figure as ‘nonplussed’.

      I have to agree with the comments on the production design – the set suited a Madonna photoshoot than a quiz, and the podia were terribly unclear.

  9. David

    I thought it was pretty good- loved the comedy bit at the beginning. Good remix of the theme tune as well. Didn’t like only 25 questions in the final though (and if more than one person had been in play then, I suspect the last 5 questions would have been worth double as well). 30 questions with 2 correct by someone before Q/N would have made more sense..

    You could do a primetime civilian version out of this- 5 qualifiers, make it to the final 3 you go to the grand final, winner of the qualifier gets something, winner of the final gets the combined total of their qualifier and final score multiplied by £100 and some exotic trip like an African Safari…

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I don’t think you could get a primetime hour out of civilians though, or rather an entertaining hour, just a quiz that seems rather ponderous. It certainly won’t be 30 or 45 minutes primetime, and currently there’s no real space in the daytime schedule for such a show either, with Countdown and Deal apparently contracted for the next year.

      I think I agree with the idea that occasional one-off specials is probably the most viable option.

  10. JamesW

    Just watching this back, perhaps it’s post birthday hangover, but it took me too long to work out why Adam Hills was using his middle initial in the publicity material (obvious joke is not obvious enough, evidently).

    Nice to see The Bank Job iPads being put to good use though – even if the pacing left a bit to be desired.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Ha ha, I spotted that pretty quickly but you’re one of few who seemed to have picked up on it. Subtle joke is subtle.

    2. Crimsonshade

      Not just in the publicity, but his name was also shown with the middle initial in the name-bar after the titles. And yes, I got the joke immediately too – though I thought of it as less of a joke and more of a cute homage.

  11. Andrew 'Kesh' Sullivan

    I watched it on +1, and I thought it was just OK. You know my feelings on celebs encroaching on game shows, but it was a bit of fun. I agree that the podia weren’t very clear as the contestants were leaning over them a lot and the light strips that represented the lives were so thin that you couldn’t see them very well, so I would agree that using the standard green neon lights would have been better.

    The questions were of a medium difficulty, not quite as tough as they were on the regular episodes and Adam Hills was OK as host.

    One thing I noticed was that when Alex went out, his monitor showed ‘£1,000’ with a comma and when Fern went out, her monitor showed ‘£5000’ without a comma.

    1. Crimsonshade

      So that wasn’t just my eyes – that mistake actually DID occur? Seemed very sloppy to me.

      1. Daniel Peake

        There was also an edit mistake within the first couple of minutes which showed Colin Jackson with just one life left. But this is a minor spoiler when you consider the editing in some big American series (I’m looking at you The Chase).

  12. Steve Williams

    I liked this, I think it was pitched pretty well between being a bit of fun and actually being a proper decent quiz, without excessive BANTER or piss-easy questions. I’m also thrilled Alex Brooker did so well because he’s one of my favourite people on telly because he’s clearly such a lovely bloke.

    Don’t really know how we can get a series out of it, a special every year would be the best we could do, probably. You certainly wouldn’t get the public involved.

    I know from Twitter it wasn’t just me who thought it was Laura on voice-over duties.

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  14. Paul

    I think from memory the final was recorded as 30 questions and then there was a technical problem so it was shortened to 25. The lights weren’t clear and the contestants were told not to cover them with their hands but still did. A good effort but a near 5 hour record didn’t help matters. The iPad technology wasn’t the smoothest either. All little niggles which can be ironed out later when the series is hopefully commissioned.

  15. Paul

    I think from memory the final was recorded as 30 questions and then there was a technical problem so it was shortened to 25. The lights weren’t clear and the contestants were told not to cover them with their hands but still did. A good effort but a near 5 hour record didn’t help matters. The iPad technology wasn’t the smoothest either. All little niggles which can be ironed out later when the series is hopefully commissioned.


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