Show Discussion: Pick Me!

By | October 18, 2015

pickmeWeekdays, 3pm,

Contestants often in wacky costumes vie for the attention of Stephen Mulhern so they can take part in a game of knowledge and bluff to win cash prizes and/or some nice prizes. One of the three panellists will have the correct answer on their podium, the others must make something up on the spot with possible hilarious consequences. Who’s got the prize and who’s telling lies? Not quite sure what’s in it for the panellists yet. I think the pitch is somewhere between Would I Lie to You and Family Feud with Steve Harvey, we’ll see.

It’s quite unusual to see Mulhern mid-afternoon these days (but then it was just as weird Vernon Kay doing 1000 Heartbeats), will ITV’s insistence that Mulhern is A Thing help it or hurt it?

This show’s of interest because it’s What The Banker Did Next and Friend of the Bar Paul B is involved, and it would be nice for this to have a positive outcome for once etc.

36 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Pick Me!

  1. Paul B

    That promo is from the pilot, so not really spoilers.

    My input fairly limited. Helped exec the pilot and assembled most of the questions for the first ten records. Still, I genuinely think it’s good, and hopefully you know me well enough by now to know I don’t say that about every one. Hope you like it.

    1. jon

      Paul B – I think you should have given some input… it’s absolutely dreadful. Unless of course you’re just saying you didn’t give input because you realise that?

  2. Mart With A Y Not An I

    This is exactly the sort of programme John Logie Baird had in mind as he legged it down the patient office in 1925.

  3. Whoknows

    Honestly haven’t got a clue what’s happening.

    Hate the costumes.

  4. Brig Bother Post author

    I’ve got no real idea what to make of that. It is quite different and very unexpected at three o clock but I’m not sure how that’s going to translate into viewers, coming off the back of Judge Rinder loads of people are going to see that opening and go ‘nah, not for me’. I know the aim was to throwback to eighties fun but it felt a bit Spanish nineties daytime.

    Buy some Steadicams for goodness sake.

    The game is OK, but the only time I thought it was quite compelling was when it was played to a decently competent level – I was totally convinced by the Italian juice – and whilst it’s nice to see the word ‘gamble’ back in the lexicon the prizes are, well, a bit crap and not worth gambling for. Interested to see what sort of percentage go for it. It wasn’t as funny as I was hoping and expecting. I did think the questions were decently pitched.

    Impressed the endgame ekes out to fifteen minutes as an hour of the main game would be too much, it’s already pushing it. I absolutely approve of loose productions, but as a show it feels too light.

    The twitter bit was a bit crap.

    Really interested to see the viewer trend, can see a quick spike followed by quick tail off, gut says one series wonder but I’m prepared to be wrong. It feels like it should be in a different slot.

  5. Andrew Hain

    Now since the first full episode has completely aired, it is time for Andrew ‘Kesh’ Sullivan to provide me with the complete format rundown. Kesh is great at doing all that so props to you, man!

    1. Nico W.

      Andrew, I love you for asking for Kesh’s rundown. As I can’t see it that easily myself I love reading these rundowns! Thank you for asking and thank you Kesh for telling us everything we need to know 🙂

      1. Andrew 'Kesh' Sullivan

        Finally, a rundown that I CAN do! 😀 I have it recorded on my Freesat HD box and will give my rundown as I watch it.

        First impressions are that it’s us Brits trying to do a show like Let’s Make A Deal. The audience members are dressed up in ridiculous outfits, all vying for host Stephen Mulhern’s attention. He picks 3 audience members to stand behind podiums marked A, B and C. He then picks one more audience member to play for a prize (for example, the first prize was a 5-night stay in a hotel in Cornwall), which is hidden behind one of the 3 podiums. To determine which of the 3 podium players has the prize, they will each be asked one question. If they are the one with the prize, the correct answer will appear on their screen, if not, they won’t get any help and will have to make an answer up. The idea is to be as convincing as possible, because whichever of them gets picked, they get £1,000 whether they have the prize or not. As an example, I’ll run down the first game.

        Q1 – Ringo Starr claims to have taken the world’s first WHAT? This went to Podium A, a Marilyn Monroe lookalike, who said Selfie.

        Q2 – Rapper Orville Burrell is better known as WHAT? This went to Podium B, an Elvis lookalike, who said Jay-Z.

        Q3 – The UK’s rarest wild flower is an orchid known as a Lady’s WHAT? This was left to Podium C, a builder, who said Bloom.

        The audience member playing for the prize, dressed as an American footballer, went for Podium A and was correct. He won the trip to Cornwall and the Marilyn Monroe lookalike won £1,000. They both leave the set and the remaining 2 question’s answers are revealed. Stephen then goes back to the audience to find someone to fill the empty podium, reveals the next prize (a tandem bungee jump, for example), picks a new player and the game repeats.

        Should they NOT get the prize, they get a Pick Me t-shirt and the Podium player that was picked can risk the £1,000 they won, if they want to, by picking which of the other 2 has the prize. If they get it right, they win the £1,000 and the prize, but lose the £1,000 if they’re wrong.

        After 5 games, a hooter goes off. All the players who have took part then stand up and the audience decides, by cheering, which one will play for a star prize in Pick Of The Day. The picked player then chooses 3 people out of the remaining players who took part to be their prize panel. The game plays like before, but unlike previous games, none of the podium players know which one of them has the prize as Stephen is given 3 identical envelopes with the prize being in one of them. Instead of the podium players giving an answer, they will instead give a question. If the picked player gets the question correct, they get to open the envelope, but it remains sealed if wrong. After all 3 questions have been asked, the answers are revealed on the podium player’s screens. On this episode, the player only managed to get 1 of the 3 questions correct, BUT the envelope that was opened DID contain the prize, which was a holiday to Madeira.

        Overall, it’s not a bad show. It’s very lively like Let’s Make A Deal, and they even use the same ‘Ding!’ sound effect from The Price Is Right for a correct answer, which makes it more like the UK trying to capture the feel of a US show. Although, I DO feel that the Pick Of The Day bit takes up the last 15-20 minutes of the show, which does drag a bit compared to how quickly they got through 5 games.

    1. Gordon Donaldson

      I wonder what Roy makes of the job Stephen,s doing on his old programme

      As for Pick Me it self I think Hugill,s got it dead RIIIIIIIGHT quite good show

  6. crisean

    Brave commission..and hats off to them. No one knows if something will stick…but you must must try things in tv now that the medium is no longer considered that cool.

  7. Wrong Guess!

    What happens if one of the podium players, who hasn’t been given the right answer/prize, gives the right answer to their question and the person being picked also knows the answer and picks that too?

  8. Chris M. Dickson

    I enjoyed this; it felt rather summer-y, which is most welcome at this time of year.

    At times I felt “mmm, it could do with a bit more variety”, but the prizes keep being different, in a good way, and there’s plenty of turnover of players, so that definitely keeps things moving. It’s fun to have old-fashioned interesting prizes back on screen and I like the thought that the show is OK with some of the contestants not being interested in the various prizes and thus choosing to sit out for a round, or not to gamble even if they know the right answer.

    At times I felt “Not quite sure Stephen Mulhern is right for this”, idly wondering about Harry Hill, or maybe even Chris Evans from twenty years ago, but he grew on me through being Big Star Little Star good-time Stephen rather than Catchphrase series one piss-taking Stephen.

    At times I felt “needs to be even more all-singing, all-dancing”, but it gets away with it. Not sure whether adding AuA-style characters (even if only one or two a show, who might a round of three questions themed around their gimmick) and associated variety would overegg the pudding or not.

    These are all minor blemishes. There’s really not enough to be appointment TV there, but it’s easily good enough as it is that I’d be very happy for this to be on in the background.

    Very much liked the way one of the contestants played the game today, which may be about as well as it is possible to play the rather slight game; wonder if that episode was selected to be first as a result of that?

    1. Garreth Waites

      Just watched it on the itv player. Erm, anything to be said of bringing back The People Versus?

      1. Andrew 'Kesh' Sullivan

        I’d certainly want that! Thing was, they didn’t know what to do with The People Versus, really, so that’s why we ended up with 2 different versions. That being said, Pick Me got through 18 questions in an hour, whereas TPV would get through that in the space of about 10 minutes if it was the Kaye Adams version. As much as I preferred the presentation of Kirsty Young’s version, that one REALLY dragged! If it DID come back, though, I would have just one request – NO SODDING BONG GAME!!!

        1. MrCT2U

          I loved the Bong Game!!

          Played the Bong Game a few times on the radio over the last 15 years and done pretty well and only once did I get greedy and I lost out on £780+ – NOT GOOD!!

      2. MrCT2U

        Yeah I would defo bring something like The People Versus back especially as I won £161 on the Daytime Version!!.

  9. Tom F

    Yeah, I agree with a lot of what’s been said above. Would probably watch it if I were near a TV that time of day, but that’s the best I can say for it.

    The curious thing is it reminds me hugely of Sky1’s Sell Me the Answer (with Gethin Jones, remember??) which I used to watch repeats of at lunchtime during the holidays: cheap, middle of the day, crowd participation, player having to decide who to trust, and a watchable result. It’s uncanny.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Good old Sell Me The Answer. Gethin might have been an interesting choice for this actually, although probably lacks a necessary dryness.

  10. MrCT2U

    My opinion on Pick Me. Well it’s different compared to the usual stable of ITV Daytime quiz/game shows but I see no harm in the format and kudos has to go to ITV for commissioning the show.

    The show does have that “Lets make a deal” feel to the show and I do like the quiz style poker element to the show and Stephen Mulhern for me is one of those marmite type of hosts but I think he carried the show off very well. I know a couple of people who appear on the show and they said it was a lot of fun to do but time will tell whether the viewing public echo their sentiments.

  11. Brig Bother Post author

    No-one shouting about how well this did, so I’m presuming average or below average. If it’s doing a million by the end of the run then that’s probably quite good.

    I know more than anybody Twitter and DS aren’t everything, but I noticed quite an interesting disconnect between “people who make television” and “people who watch it” regarding this.

  12. Nico W.

    I’ve just seen some bits on youtube so I can’t judge the entire show. But what I’ve seen looks fun and very french imho. The bits I’ve seen combined with Kesh’s rundown make it seem like a great 30 minute slot show, although you would probably hurry a little, but with all the costumes and everything it looks like you wouldn’t mind it that much. I like the idea behind this thing and will try to watch an entire episode in the next couple of days! Although Stephen Mulhern was best at finger tips, I’m not a big fan of him hosting tbh.

  13. Brig Bother Post author

    The issue is, I think, the idea is basically fine (like a less classy Let’s Make A Deal obv) but during the first minute or so you’re wondering if it’s a spoof and then Stephen Mulhern comes on and it turns out it isn’t. You just can’t do this – if viewers think you’re wasting their time they’ll just turn over – they did and they have. You have to *very quickly look* like you’re going to be worth watching, ESPECIALLY in your opening episodes.

  14. Chris M. Dickson

    Remember when ITV used to run high-energy things like Supermarket Sweep and Keynotes and Cross Wi… er, Talkabout at 9:25? I wonder if this sort of end-of-the-pier fun might be able to re-establish that as a game show slot, or is Jeremy Kyle untouchable?

  15. John R

    I didn’t hate it, but then I whacked an episode of LMAD on YouTube to remind myself of how much I enjoyed that during my holiday last year across the pond. I came to the conclusion I would make the effort to wake up for LMAD (I seem to remember it aired at something crazy like 10am!) but not this if it were in the same slot.

    Take away the fancy costumes idea inspired by LMAD and you’ve essentially got a basic bluffing game – fine but repetitive. The final was also a bit odd with no gamble or benefits available to the 3 contestants having to come back down, though I need more thought on how that could be changed. Talking of gambles, no surprise most of the contestants decided to just keep their £1,000 as the prizes on offer didn’t seem worth much more anyway!

    I know this show isn’t trying to be LMAD but on that you have an awesome presenter, one of his best friends as the in studio commentator, models etc who all get involved in the show and gel – plus a room full of excitable Americans of course. You’ve got variety in the scenarios (I’ve got this comic book, BUT YOU COULD OPEN THE BIG BOX, could a ZONK be hiding behind CURTAIN B or it might be a $5000 home entertainment system, are you sure you want to open the box? I’ll give you $1500 not to! etc etc)

    On Pick Me you’ve got Steve Mulhern, Roy Walker doing a voiceover and some excited but just not quite the same Brits plus some standard prizes and a fairly linear format. Just doesn’t get me as excited basically, which is a shame.

    P.S. Glenn could we have Series 3 of The Mole, cheers.

  16. Brig Bother Post author

    510k for ep 2, apparently. Let’s hope it continues to do better than 15-1.

    It’s not bouncing back (I’ll take anyone’s money on that) but I think there are some interesting things to note about how this has played out, lots of positive retweets from everyone on the production team on Monday (and lots of other TV people saying how great it is), by Tuesday even the official Pick Me Twitter seems to struggle to be bothered. I love this sort of thing as a case study so if nothing else thanks for this opportunity.

  17. Brig Bother Post author

    Just another interesting (or not) thing, because of the nature of the game the host is limited to how he can react to stupid answers, if the intention is Family Feud style virals, you can’t get them because the host can’t really riff off it. And if one of the answers is plainly stupid then there’s no tension in part two of a round if it gets that far.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Today’s show feature’s Mulhern getting increasingly fed up with a player giving obvious rubbish answers. Ah! Members of the public being funny.

      1. Chris M. Dickson

        The first was a crazy bluff, but it was properly funny, and a reasonably tricky question to bluff on would surely be relatively likely to generate a crazy bluff; after that, I thought he calmed right down. I’m not convinced it’s the worst tactic in the world – a half-way sensible answer sells itself very effectively if you’ve been clearly playing for laughs all the way along.

        A player who decided to give a plausible incorrect answer when they’d been supplied a less plausible correct one would make the game fall over; presumably they would stop the tape and threaten the miscreant with kneecapping and/or reshooting the whole show without them if they were to “improve” the show via such improper gameplay – but surely it would be in a player’s interest to give the correct answer if they had it!

        I have enjoyed both (!!) episodes of this that I’ve seen; while play along value isn’t everything, there’s not just the play along value of the questions, there’s the fun of working out what your costume would be if you were to be a contestant. (I’m presuming that Stephen actually has no proper choice as to which contestants to pick and that there’s a Price Is Right-style beauty contest orchestrated by the producers and/or researchers to pick the players in advance.) Have any of the other episodes had a contestant bluff with the correct answer yet?

        1. Chris M. Dickson

          Also, if Stephen does have autonomy as to which contestants to pick, and if there is a second series of the show, do you suppose a Mr. Chips costume would be a nailed on winner or a nailed on loser?


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