An Unfinished List... - November 8
As it turns out, the biggest game show
sensation to come from England since Millionaire?
and Weakest Link has aired exactly one episode,
and already it has been cancelled. I've seen reasons for
the cancellation ranging from "If people had watched the
World Series this year, they would have seen the ads for
Rich List and watched it," to the fact that it's
an overblown concept that is more suited for daytime
I'm certainly going to lean toward the
latter. It is true that this year's baseball
championship drew some of the poorest ratings for the
contest in years; it doesn't help that Rich List
is not compelling television.
As a board game aficionado, I have dozens
and dozens of games, and most game shows can be boiled
down to concepts that we've seen before in a board game.
In this case, it is a single round from the game
Ultimate Outburst. Teams bid on how many of the ten
items they can name in sixty seconds until one team
challenges the other to prove it. It works because the
bidding goes fast and furious, and the naming of items
only lasts a minute.
Perhaps the biggest flaw in Rich List
is the pacing. Instead of giving their bid and then
plotting strategy while their "soundproof pod" is turned
off, we have teams trying to figure out what they can
bid by naming items on the list before we even get to
that stage. So what could have been a great dramatic
moment on par with Bid-a-Note is flushed away when it
could have been great. Second is the list building
itself. After the bid is determined, we have the team
deciding whether an answer will indeed make the list.
And that takes up more time.
Both problems would be solved and the
show would be that much more exciting if teams were put
on a shot clock of some sort; ten seconds to bid or
challenge, and a certain amount of time to complete the
This would have been a neat show to fit
in with the other daytime programs on the big three
networks back in the 1980s, but with an overdeveloped
format and poor pacing, even $250,000 per show and "no
limit to what you can win" just won't make it anymore.
Travis Eberle can be reached at