Previous #TheChase blogs:
It Should Be a Federal Crime For a Game Show Host to Not Reveal The Correct Answer of a Question They Brought into the Universe
The Chase Season Finale Featured One of the Most Electric Contestants in Game Show History
As the resident game show guy at DOL, I don't want to speak ill of a program that actively promotes "my brand."
But, honestly, I was incredibly disappointed last night during the return of The Chase on ABC. There's been a DRASTIC change for Season 2, and I'm not referring to a new time slot (Sundays at 9 PM/8 Central) or the "addition" of the OG chaser Mark Labbett, aka "The Beast."
I'm talking about how The Chase slashed its cash builder round value from $25,000 a question to $10,000.
I know COVID has affected everybody, but I think we're past that excuse; this is some John Henry bull shit. What's next "Who Wants to Be a Thousandaire?"
I don't know if this change is because they're expecting lower ratings for the summer season or they're trying to make up the difference for The Beast's salary as there are now four instead of three chasers, but as a game show aficionado, I'm disappointed to see that Cash Builder questions value went down by whopping 60% while the difficulty level remains the same.
I get, everything in life is a business, and it's all about the bottom line, blah, blah, blah, but how am I supposed to get fired up for a game show where the team is playing for like $120,000 to split three ways instead of well-over 300K?
It's like the Chris Rock bit in Killing Them Softly about relationships where women can't go backward in lifestyle and men can't go backward sexually. He says something like, "Once women date someone who takes them on vacation, every relationship from now on is gonna need a vacation."
The same goes for game shows.
You can't be giving out $25,000 an answer, then slap us in the face with this ashtray money bull shit and expect people not to care, especially when it's not like the questions are any easier. How would you react if you turned on Jeopardy tomorrow and Double Jeopardy questions weren't doubled in value, but were still twice as hard? Pyramid didn't go from $100,000 to $10,000 (although wtf was going on in the 80s?)
Beating Ken, Brad, James, or the Beast is an incredible accomplishment. Just last night, a team of three playing for a measly $175,000 (split three ways; even with Tabitha taking the lesser offer in here one on one battle) had a final score of 20 that Ken "The Professor" Jennings ran roughshod through. No team ever scored that high in the first season, and Ken made light work of them. He only got one question wrong, which the team was able to push back, and he still beat their score with 20 seconds remaining.
So, I went back into my DVR and looked at the results of every episode. The data below will show the Chaser, the number of people he played against, the amount they were playing for, how many questions there were, and if applicable, the amount of time left on the clock when the Chaser won.
Episode One: Ken lost to a team of two that split $145,000 (19 questions)
Episode Two: James beat a team of two splitting $200,000 (15 questions; 41 seconds left)
Episode Three: Brad beat one guy playing for $75,000 (13 questions; 16 seconds left)
Episode Four: James lost to a team of two that split $325,000 (19 questions)
Episode Five: Ken lost to a team of three that split $350,000 (16 questions)
Episode Six: Brad lost to a team of three that split $400,000 (16)
Episode Seven: James beat one guy playing for $200,000 (16 questions; 24 seconds left)
Episode Eight: Ken beat one guy playing for $250,000 (13 questions; 39 seconds left)
Episode Nine: Brad lost to a team of three that split $290,000 (19 questions)
In nine season one episodes, the Chaser went 4-5. Winning teams left with an average of $302,000 to split amongst themselves. I love this show and want it to be successful, but how are you going to create more buzz this way? Nobody is getting fired up at the prospect of three people splitting $130,000 (BEFORE taxes) after beating a quasi-computer in trivia. All I'm saying is given the difficulty of this show and the amount of competition this show faces, the last thing they should be doing is castrating the prize money. Either make the questions easier so this decrease makes sense, pay the contestants a fair wage, or cancel the show that we all know will eventually be canceled and brought back in three years anyway.