Where in the world could you find exclusive bargains like these? Right
here at Shopper's Paradise! I'm Rossi Morreale, and this is more than a
game show; it's...
Temptation: The New Sale of the Century
AIR DATES: September 10, 2007 to May 23, 2008
CREATOR: Al Howard (based upon "Sale of the Century")
PACKAGER: FremantleMedia North America, 20th Television
HOST: Rossi Morreale
WATCH IT HERE:
If you grew up a game show fan in the 80s, you HAVE to remember "$ale of
the Century", the revamp of a 1969-73 Reg Grundy Production starring Jim
Perry. It was on NBC for six seasons and even had a syndie version for
just under two years. But one problem with the network show was that it
started to change when it came to the end of each show. It started with
champions taking money earned during their run and purchasing awesome
prizes for greatly reduced prices, then it morphed into a matching game
for a prize and finally into this ridiculous word association round for
cash and a car. When FremantleMedia (the successor to Goodson-Todman)
got the rights to the show, they decided to a) put it on syndication, b)
change the name to "Temptation" and - most importantly - c) return to
the original SotC "buying bargains with money earned" format. One
problem, the few prizes available started at bargain prices of around
$100 and went all the way up to $600 so...they had to make making money
easier. Understandable, but it kind of wrecked the ebb-and-flow of the
HOW WAS IT PLAYED?
Three contestants (including a returning champion if they haven't bought
a prize on the previous show) start the show with $20 in "Temptation
Dollars" and play two rounds of various games to earn more to be used -
if they win - at Shopper's Paradise at the end of the show.
The game starts with a Speed Round: 30 seconds of pop culture questions.
Buzzing in and giving a right answer earns $5, while getting the
question wrong deducts $5 from the score. The leader after the Speed
Round is offered an "Instant Bargain", a triple-digit prize for under
$10. The leader can hit the buzzer at any time to take the prize but, if
they don't take the bargain right away, the host can tempt them by
lowering the price or offering cash in addition. A five-second "shop
clock" is used as a final chance for the bargain. After that comes the
"Fame Game", where the contestants try to name a famous person, place or
thing. A "Wheel of Fortune"-style puzzle is filled in a little at a time
as the clues are read. First to buzz-in with the right answer gets $15.
The round starts with a NEW game: "Knock-Off". Similar to "Wipeout",
twelve possible answers and a category are show. Each contestant in turn
tries to pick one of the answers that match the category. If they do,
they earn money between $2 and $15. If they choose one of the three
answers that are wrong, they're eliminated from the rest of the game.
This followed by another "Instant Bargain" for a bigger prize for
between $10 and $15. Then a second Speed Round is played with two
possible answers and still worth +/-$5. After that is "Instant Cash",
which is played just like the 80s version except using wallets instead
of boxes. The leader has to give up their lead and have their score
match second place for a 1-in-3 shot at a jackpot that starts at $500
and goes up by that amount every time it's not hit up to a maximum of
$5000. A final Speed Round is played with questions worth +/-$10.
Whoever is ahead at the end of that round is the champion and gets to go
to Shopper's Paradise with the money they've accumulated (including, if
they are the returning champion, the money earned from previous shows).
If there is a tie, one more $10 question is asked. Whoever gets it right
wins. If they're wrong, the opponent gets the $10 and wins.
BONUS ROUND ("SHOPPER'S PARADISE")
The champion is shown the five "bargains" up for sale. They then play
"Super Knockoff" to try to earn more money. THIS time, six of the twelve
possible answers are right and will earn between $25 and $100 for a
total of $250. The champion can stop at any time because, if they pick a
wrong answer, they lose all they won in the round. If they have enough,
they may purchase one prize from the five available. They may also
decide to hang on to the money and play again on the next show knowing
that, if they lose, they leave with only the money accumulated and any
cash and/or prizes they got in the "Instant"s.
They did try to make it for a younger generation with the host, I'll
admit. Rossi Morreale was a college football player who only had one
other hosting job after this (a season of "Halloween Wars" on the Food
Network) and he looked ALMOST like a clone of Mark McGrath from Sugar
Ray (who would host "Don't Forget the Lyrics" a few years later). He
used the youth to his advantage, but he treated the show like he had
been doing it for years. Shame he decided to go into the event hosting
business; I could see him hosting any number of shows.
The set sort of had a throwback to older game shows. "Shopper's
Paradise" was visible throughout the show - unlike its predecessor - so
the contestants not only knew for what they were playing but ALSO how
much each would cost from the onset. And, yeah, the revolving door Rossi
came through did SEEM a bit corny at first...but can't say it wasn't
I was SO glad they returned to the old format when it came to the end
game. This was the whole purpose of SotC, IMAO. And the fact that they
only had five prizes made it easier for when they changed them every
week (or TWICE a week in some markets).
WHAT DIDN'T WORK?
I guess my only issues with this are based on having watched SotC for
six years and expecting this to be the same. Y'know, $5 questions
occasionally broken up by Fame Games and Instant Bargains, MAYBE a speed
round at the end? I guess I understood that they only had five prizes in
the "Shopper's Paradise" instead of the nearly-dozen in the 80s version.
But, in the 80s, a $75 win was considered VERY high. Here, they were all
but GIVING the money away. And, while that's understandable given the
prices, watching a game where everyone gets up to $100 at the same
time...kinda dulls the excitement.
And I'm sorry but cribbing games from "Wheel of Fortune" and "Wipeout"
was NOT the best idea the TPiR guys ever came up with. Between the three
speed rounds and the "Instant"s, Fame Game and Knockoff brought the game
to a virtual standstill. Oh, sure, Fame Game did that in the 80s...but
only to a certain point. Seeing the contestants' faces as they tried to
work out the clues helped matters in the 80s. Here, it was just a matter
of waiting for the right number of letters to be shown. And Knockoff?
Just a poor...knock-off, if you will, of "Wipeout" in an attempt to keep
WOULD IT WORK TODAY?
They did right to bring back the "bargains" at the show's end...but
everything else kinda made the show unwatchable. If you couldn't get
enough money for the cheapest prizes just by answering questions fast
and avoiding the "temptation" of the "Instant"s, you DESERVED to just
come back and try again. Again, maybe it's just my 80s nostalgia kicking
in but, if they ever remade this again, they should stick closer to the
original or the 80s formats. We're fine watching to see if the champion
can earn the $60 more needed for the car, thanks. We don't need you
handing the champ over $100 a show and saying, "Go nuts."
NEXT TIME: No
celebs, no "boxes", no mustaches or lips...no connection at ALL to the
Chris Wolvie is always tempted by the fruit of another...bakery
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