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with Chris Wolvie
1 vs. 100
One Of A Kind Beats A "Full House"
The game is simple: either YOU'RE gonna win or THEY'RE gonna win! I'm Bob Saget and this is…

SHOW: 1 vs. 100
AIR DATES: October 13, 2006 to February 22, 2008 (NBC); November 15, 2010 to January 11, 2011 (GSN)
CREATOR: Endemol
HOST: Bob Saget (NBC); Carrie Ann Inaba (GSN)

Just like ABC tried to mix up their line-up of almost exclusively "Millionaire" with stuff like "You Don't Know Jack", as NBC was riding high on "Deal or No Deal" it was looking for ANOTHER million-dollar show to put on the air. They found one NOT in the UK like they did with "Deal"...but, rather, in the Netherlands. Endemol had been moderately successful in the US with shows like "Fear Factor", "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and "Wipeout" (the mock-Japanese physical show, not the Tomarken show I spoke of in Season 1). It had a decent hit in Dutch-land with "Eén tegen 100", which, when translated into the title of the US version, became "1 vs. 100". One of the biggest "contestant" pools ever assembled battled for up to a million bucks. And, as exciting as it was, it just didn't have the staying power of DonD. It was a fun ride but, much like a roller coaster, it ended too soon to be memorable to too many people...though it WAS enough to warrant a (very brief) revival on GSN.


As the host says, "the game is simple": a single contestant ("The One") faces off against 100 other contestants ("The Mob") to answer multiple-choice questions. Either the One leaves with money or, if the One misses a question, whoever is left in the Mob splits the money accumulated.

A question with three possible answers is shown. The Mob has 15 seconds to lock in their answers, then the One gets to answer. If the One answers the question right, they stay in the game and add to a bank based on how many of the Mob missed the question. In the first season, money was added for EACH Mob member eliminated, increasing with almost every question. In the second season (and the revival), money was added for each ten Mob members eliminated. In either case, should the One eliminate all 100 Mob members, they leave with one million dollars (or $50G or $100G in the GSN version). If the One misses a question at any time, the game ends and all the Mob members who got the last question right split the money in the bank equally AND get to stay for the next game; the eliminated Mob members are replaced. As such, at certain points in the show, the One is asked, "Do you want the money...or do you want the Mob?" At this point, the One can take the money and leave or risk it in continuing to knock out Mob members.

To help the One out, there are three "Help"s. With "Poll the Mob", the One is told by two Mob members who chose different answers WHY they answered the way they did (they do not have to give the truth as to why but they MUST tell the truth about which they picked). One of them is always the right answer so it also works like a "50:50" in "Millionaire" as it leaves one right and one wrong answer. In "Ask the Mob", the One chooses one of the answers and it is shown how many of the Mob chose that answer. Finally is "Trust the Mob"; choosing this Help means the One locks in with the most-popular answer given by the Mob (right or wrong). They can only use each Help once.

The Mob in the NBC version always seemed to have groups of people with the same occupation and, usually, a celebrity or two. In the first few episodes, Jeopardy! uber-champ Ken Jennings was among the Mob. Also appearing in the Mob were Oscar the Grouch, Wink Martindale, poker player Annie Duke and "Millionaire"'s first champ John Carpenter. For Christmas, along with "Santa" and five of his "elves", they had members based on the "Twelve Days of Christmas" carol: from 12 USC drum majors ("12 drummers drumming") to six pregnant mothers ("6 geese-a-laying") to Danny Bonaduce ("a 'Partiridge' in a pair tree"). There was also the "most Hated Mob in America", filled with IRS agents, DMV employees and telemarketers. There were Mobs exclusively made of kids, exclusively of males against a female One and exclusively of females against a MALE One (where the only $1M winner was crowned).

In the GSN revival, the Mob all showed up via webcam and rarely were there any rhyme or reason to the members.

Again, HATED to be one of the Mob who had to climb all the way to the top row of that set! But the Mob seemed very excited to play...sometimes even moreso than the One! And the set was futuristic without being TOO over-the-top. It must've been very intimidating for the One to see the two hundred eyes in the Mob glaring at them. Also, good idea to move the question screen from the side to the center of the Mob in the second season.

Bob Saget was a surprisingly good choice for the host. He was funny when he had to be and had that sweet, innocent face that hid a very not-so-innocent mind. Still, he kept the show as family-friendly as could be expected. And that smile stayed on almost the whole time. (Carrie Ann Inaba was OK in the GSN version.)

The concept was pretty unique, "Paranoia" nonwitstanding. It may not have been the first all-against-one game show but the fact that the questions got harder the more of the Mob that was eliminated made it comprable to "Millionaire" in its hey-day.

Changing the payout structure between seasons was, obviously, a way to prevent people from leaving with TOO much money. And that's a shame. I more-or-less stopped watching it when it had set amounts for every ten Mob members kicked out. And the idea FAILED, too, as the very first contestant of the new format won the million.

Much like "Weakest Link", it seemed NBC were getting hard-pressed to find contestants later on: most of a whole episode was given over to 100 former Mob members (mostly celebs) who played a "Last Man Standing" game with the winner getting $250,000. The winner was a lawyer who knew Larry King had had more wives than Henry VIII. As much as I enjoyed "The Weakest Link", the fact that half their season was celebrity show after celebrity show soured me to it. And the "Last Man Standing" ep made me worry this show was coming to that.


There is talk about reviving it just like "Deal or No Deal" on CNBC in I guess the obvious answer is "yes". But, just like "The Money List", the revival on GSN didn't last very the answer might be..."maybe"? I mean, *I* liked it a fair bit, even despite the scoring change. Maybe if the CNBC deal goes through, they could do an "April Fool's" swap of Saget and Mandel like GSN did way back when. With all the news about shootings in the world, maybe a FRIENDLY "Mob" is needed once again.

I'ma get exponential on yer ass...

Chris Wolvie wanted to do a netgames version of this...but Mob AI is not a picnic, believe me. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisWolvie and e-mail him at