Every Hollywood screenwriter knows that the way to ratchet up tension is to introduce a ticking clock. And that’s just what ITV is doing with the next series of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire over here. Contestants will have just 15 seconds to answer the £500 and £1,000 questions. They’ll have 30 seconds to answer every question after that, including the £1 million jackpot. The US introduced a looming ticking clock in 2008. Other tweaks include a new feature called “Switch” where contestants can swap a question they don’t like for another. Will the Millionaire reboot help the show’s declining ratings? I dunno. I guess I’d better phone a friend.
FremantleMedia’s game show Hole in the Wall is back in a new family format on a new net, Cartoon Network. Cartoon has ordered 10 episodes of the show based on a Japanese format in which players must contort themselves to fit through cutouts in a large Styrofoam wall moving towards them. In Cartoon Network’s version, two teams of families will compete. Hole in the Wall was originally picked up by Fox where it had a brief run during the 2008-09 season.
After a 6 year legal maneuvering and a month-long trial, the $250 million case of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? producer Celador v. Disney over profits from the hit game show is now in the hands of the jury. Throughout the parade of witnesses, Celador seemed to prove that it earned less than it could have from the success of the show on ABC. The question is whether it was able to convince the jurors that it was the result of Disney-owned ABC and co-producer Buena Vista TV brokering sweetheart deals among themselves, thus allegedly cheating Celador out of millions — and not because it just made a bad deal.