It’s an advert for Blankety Blank on Saturday

By | December 19, 2016

And goodness me, they appear to have filmed it on a set I would kindly describe as “travel size”. I can’t help but think that if you don’t look like you’re worth bothering with then you don’t get to act surprised if people don’t bother with you, but I quite like Blankety Blank, I quite like Walliams, I live in hope.


Meanwhile there’s a “preview” episode of NBC’s big hope and Lebron James produced The Wall on tonight which looks a bit like what Tipping Point would be like if there were just six drops an episode. For $12m.

Edit: And now Only Connect is moving to Fridays 8:30pm from Jan 6th. What?

23 thoughts on “It’s an advert for Blankety Blank on Saturday

  1. Clive of Legend

    Goodness me. Who do I write to at ITV to get them to stop using that awful sparkly wallpaper on all their primetime sets?

  2. Cheesebiscuits

    Any news on what will be replacing only connect. They’d better replace it with another quiz 🙂

    1. David B

      I asked the same question and @neilsmiles came back with the answer “An Island Parish”.

      For viewers in Northern Ireland, it’ll be on at 9.30pm.

      Oh, unless you’re in Wales, when it’s going to be on Saturdays now.


  3. Chris M. Dickson

    Louis Walsh doesn’t strike me as an obvious choice for the prime bottom-and-middle position, but the age of the panel gives a reasonably clear indication of what sort of demographic they’re going for. The average age of the panel is pretty darn high, even if you don’t consider The Chuckle Brothers to be a single entity with combined age 140 (or 141 if you’re reading this after Saturday – happy birthday, Barry).

  4. Gyro

    Well – I actually really enjoyed The Wall. It was pretty fast paced for an American show with plenty going on. They have obviously realised the balls dropping down the massive wall is the gimmick and they use it lots – ball drops happening constantly and not ages taken to agonise over where to drop them. The red balls also added some extra excitement. The ‘contract’ offer given to one player to leave with a guaranteed amount before the final
    drops rememinded me of the end to The Exit List.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I did actually quite enjoy this, much pacier and less mawkish than I anticipated, 11 questions, 25 ball drops and a big decision within the broadcast hour. Hardwick’s really good.

      My main issues are that the money flying about feels so large and so fast that the value of it feels rather abstract, and it doesn’t feel like they’ve been put through the ringer enough to be taking home the sorts of money they can and do. I don’t think many, if any, are going to refuse to rip the contract up which is going to make the end segment a bit moot quite quickly.

      The format:

      A couple play. In the first round, Freefall, they face five either/or questions. For each question the Wall is loaded with three balls, they must make a choice and press the panel with their answer before the first ball hits one of the money buckets in the bottom of the wall. Money amounts range from $1 to $25,000, generally increasing in value moving from left to right (alternate buckets are $1, $10, $100 with bigger money ($5k, $10k etc) between those). Correct answers add the total of the balls to the total, incorrect answers take them away. Provided they have a positive balance after question five they can play for the big money.

      In Round two one of the contestants is sent behind the wall to the isolation room where they can’t see or hear anything happening front of stage. The values on the Wall have changed, top money is $250k. The game begins with the front contestant playing two green balls into the Wall from three of the seven numbered slots atop the Wall. Because of how the buckets are distributed, you are more likely to hit the big money if you play from the higher slots. HOWEVER, they place these balls in the knowledge that at the end of the round two red balls will be played from the same spots. In between there are three questions, front player gets to see the three answers and decides which slot to load the ball in depending on their confidence – closer to the big money the more confident. Behind the wall the player then answers the question not being told if they’re right or not – the behind the wall contestant is in the dark about how they’re doing all the way though. If they’re right the ball drops and the money is added to the total, wrong and it’s taken away (apparently never dropping below zero). For question two the front of house player has the option of doubling up and putting two balls in the same slot, and for question three they can choose to triple up.

      After the break the values have changed again and now the top money is a million. The round will begin with front player playing four balls from four different slots into the wall, but acknowledges that red balls from the same slots will end the round. Three more questions with the same double and triple opportunities as before, but four answer options.

      So the front player now knows how much money is on The Wall, hopefully lots and lots. Unfortunately the behind the wall player has no idea but they have the option of taking a guaranteed sum of whatever they won in Round One plus $20k for each correct answer given (although they don’t know how much that is) or tearing up the contract and gamble that they’ve done well on The Wall. Cue emotional finale.

        1. Brig Bother Post author

          I imagine it will turn up on a dodgy streaming site sooner or later, otherwise the answer is the same it always is: use a VPN and go to NBC.

        2. Cheesebiscuits

          It’s on youtube if you’re quick. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s removed soon though

    2. Alex S

      I wasn’t so keen personally. It felt more like The Exit List but with a Plinko machine instead of an actual endgame. The pace was good, I will say, for this kind of show and Hardwick was a good front man.

      The first round especially felt very much like the production team had drilled into the contestants: You need to be stood at the front of the machine, screaming at the balls as if they’re somehow conscious. They practically sprinted around from their podium to yell at the balls.

      I’d much prefer a Tipping Point style endgame, with ‘Win’ and ‘Lose’ pockets at the bottom and playing to win a certain number of balls to attempt to win with.

      The Exit List’s biggest flaw in my opinion was the reveal at the end, which is the same issue here although slightly improved. The improvement is that until they announce whether they signed the contract, neither player knows the outcome. The problem is still that at that point, only one player knows how much they’ve won and the other one is still in the dark. There is no slick reveal to be done where both players realise at the same time.

      Nicely shot, nicely put together (even if they did spoil the ball going into the million pocket before every bloody ad break) but I found it pretty dull. The questions seemed inconsequential because the potential values were so high and so low that you could in theory get every question right, win about $12, and then get minus $4,750,000 in the mandatory red balls.

  5. Nico W.

    Speaking of old shows – here’s the Austrian 100,000 DM Show called Champion (which doesn’t make sense since they compete as duos and should win the title championS imho).

    I’ve only skipped through the games and the beginning seems like one big mess that tries to be exciting but fails because of it’s cheapness, though I liked it anyway. I’m not a big fan of host Peter Rapp, but he is alright in this show. And I like that all the contestants get to keep their winnings. Unfortunately, the final game is a bit boring for such a big show, should have gone with something more 100,000DM Show-esque.

  6. Nico W.

    And unrelated to any of this: Does anyone know an affordable set of buzzers where the others are locked out as soon as someone presses his buzzer? I tried building some, but it turns out soldering isn’t as easy as it looks…

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      If you can find an old set of USB Playstation Buzz buzzers, I expect there’s software somewhere you’d be able to utilize.

      1. JamesW

        Sounds like the sort of thing Cory ‘Pacdude’ Anotado would know. I know he was using Buzz kit for a while, but I don’t know what his latest Gameshow Gauntlet equipment is.

      2. Scott R

        This is exactly what I use on stage. The actual ‘lockout’ details are handled in software (you want to think ‘finite state machine’)

    2. Chris M. Dickson

      It may be worth considering trying to pick up an old Quizzard board game – e.g. there are quite a few second-hand on Amazon for about US$20 plus probably expensive shipping. Basic, but sufficient. Theoretically there are enough for six players but assume that some of the buttons will be wonky now they’re, what, 29 years old, and expect to get a set that works adequately reliably for a two-player lockout – maybe four if you’re lucky.

      Some versions of $ale of the Century include a set as well, though not all.

    3. Nico W.

      Thank you very much for your help, I’ll look at everything and even have some old Buzz buzzers left. Oh, I loved that game!


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