Wednesday, 3 June 2009

TV Watch - a new show is born

Divided - ITV 1 Weekdays 5pm - 6pm

It seems like an awfully long time since I wrote about any brand new quiz show, and indeed we have to go back to the 21st March when I put in my two penn'orth about BBC2's "A Question of Genius". Quite by chance tonight I happened to catch ITVs new show "Divided". Forgive me for making the obvious pun, but 'divided' is exactly what I am sure the audience's opinion of this show will be.

If you haven't seen it, well, it does have its good points. I'm pleased to say that there is some serious cash on offer- I make it that the maximum possible would be a quarter of a million pounds. That's serious spondulicks, and proof perhaps that the DOND syndrome hasn't taken as much of a stranglehold on the genre as I had feared. That's the good news. However the bad news is that each of three players will only get a share of the money, and the moment you start getting any questions wrong - and get them wrong they do - your money gets slashed in half.

You see , being as this is ITV it has to be a quiz show with a DIFFERENCE. The difference is this. Three players play as a team. They are asked rounds of questions, for rising amounts of cash. Ah, but the catch is that they all have to agree on the answer . Each time they get an answer wrong the money is halved. Three wrong answers, and to paraphrase Anne Robinson, they leave with nothing. Then there's the final part of the game. Once they have either answered all the questions, or decided to stop, then they have to decide how the money is divided up. The money in tonight's show, for example, was offered to them in three chunks - one in slightly over £6000, the second about £1700, and the third about £900. Now, there's a hell of a lot of difference between £6000 and £900. Lets be honest, however badly you'd played, and however little you'd contributed to the team, you'd be a mug to take the smallest amount. Wouldn't you ?

Each player has fifteen seconds to say which share they feel they should get, and then lock in which share they want. If they all pick a different amount, then that's what they get. If two or more want the same amount, then they get to argue and shout at each other about it for 100 seconds. However for each second that passes the money drops by 1%. So after 100 seconds, the arguments stop, because there is no money left in the pot to actually argue about.

I felt that the questions were OK, but as with Millionaire et al there is nothing like enough of them for an hour long show. To be honest, I can't help feeling that at an hour the show overstays its welcome by at least fifteen minutes. But at least the nasty bit at the end is fairly short and sweet. So you never know, it may catch on. But then again, do you remember Chris Tarrant's "The Great Pretender" ? No, I didn't think so. I rest my case.

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