Davies Delight -
It is a
time of great trepidation with regard to game shows. It
seems like every game show is a carbon copy of another.
Million dollar prizes, dark lights, spooky music and
"helps" are everywhere. And yet, one man dares to be
different. One man is producing game shows that rely on
good games, good contestants and good hosts.
realize that Chain Reaction is on the Davies CV,
but I think much of the reason for that show's suckitude
is laid at the feet of the contestant coordinators, who
were not able to find contestants that were able to play
the game, much less put together intelligible guesses.
So we'll call that a wash. That leaves the recently
completed World Series of Pop Culture and the
forthcoming Grand Slam.
World Series of Pop Culture brought together
sixteen trios, each vying for a $250,000 cash prize and
title of champion. The show oozed atmosphere: from the
team uniforms that competitors wore (ranging from robes
to baseball shirts) to the dark lights and tense music.
The two-week series had the feel of a sports playoff;
especially when one semi-final match-up had eight
tie-breaking rounds to determine the survivor. No helps,
no money tree, just stacks of questions and a reader who
brought the audience to stitches with his readings of
rap lyrics. I hope that VH1 will show this series the
respect it deserves, and keep it as a yearly summer
that, we go to Grand Slam, the American debut of a
British quiz show. Sixteen former game show winners
compete in a tournament for $100,000 and the title of
Grand Slam Champion. Rutter, Jennings, McKee, Carpenter,
Pawlowicz...all names known to the game show world, and
all will be competing in the series. The two last slots
do leave me a bit puzzled: Amy Kelly, who won $20,500 on
GSN's Lingo, and the 15th slot (facing
Ken Jennings in the first round) goes to one of the
members of the team that won the World Series of Pop
selection of Kelly makes a bit of sense; she appeared on
a GSN show and is the biggest money winner, but that's
only because she managed to be on a team that won a
$41,000 cash jackpot. The Pop Culture champion, while
coming from a Davies production, makes less sense, since
he will be well-versed in only one topic; the other
contestants have experience in several different
formats. I think Rutter and Jennings will have easy
first rounds, but that's just as well as having those
two bounced early on would make for a boring final.
mistake; if Grand Slam is patterned after the British
version (where Countdown and various quiz show
winners competed to answer questions in words and
language, math problems, general knowledge, and a brutal
final round where questions could come from any previous
topic) then we're in for a treat.
Travis Eberle is just happy that Pat Kiernan is being
brought in to read the questions for Grand Slam. Drop
him a line at email@example.com to have Travis bust
some mad rhymes your way.