Poll

Which format ruined Millionaire for you?

Clock Format
7 (28%)
Shuffle Format
11 (44%)
Neither, they were both fine
7 (28%)

Total Members Voted: 25

Author Topic: What ruined Millionaire?  (Read 1535 times)

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Offline tpirsuperfan99

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What ruined Millionaire?
« on: June 11, 2019, 11:43:16 PM »
Now that Millionaire is done airing new episodes, I would like to wonder what format do you think ruined Millionaire. I know they went back to the classic format, but the damage was already done.

Clock Format: This was obviously a budget saver right here. 45 seconds on the last  questions were not anywhere close to enough time to answer a question of that difficulty, they should have turned off the clock by that point. I also feel that the game was very rushed and tried to go too fast. They shouldnít have started the clock until all the choices were read, because that took about 3-5 seconds. But at least this format still had the classic Millionaire feel. The hot seat, the monitors, the dark set. The lifelines were still very good at this point with Ask the Audience, Phone a Friend, Double Dip, and Alaska the Expertl This format wasnít very good, but was miles better than the shuffle format.

Shuffle Format: This made me quit watching the show. The format didnít make any sense. What is the point of randomizing everything? It just seems ridiculous that a very difficult question could be worth $100 and an extremely easy question could be $25,000. Why could you only walk with half of the bank you earned as well, you worked hard to get their. The set was too bright, the music was terrible, and the drama was completely removed. The questions also got extremely difficult to the point where nobody was able to answer a $500,000 question correctly anymore. They completely changed the lifelines to terrible ones. Seriously, two Jump the Questions. You are basically asking to skip a question because you donít know it. Back in the old days, you were able to get some help, not chicken out on a question. Ask the Audience was also the weakest of the three original lifelines because most of the time the audience was absolutely useless by the end of the game. At least the other ones could have made things a bit easier. Thank god they realized that this format was terrible and tried to save the show.


What do you think was the worse of the two formats, or did you like both of them? I think it is very obvious what mine is.

Offline Ton80

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Re: What ruined Millionaire?
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2019, 12:10:53 AM »
I didn't care of any of the new formats, but I think a few things that killed it for me were there from the start.

1 - Over-saturation.  When it first started, you couldn't turn the TV on any night of the week without them airing the show.  That got old fast.

2 - Manufactured suspense.  It didn't matter how easy or hard the question was.  When it came time to reveal the correct answer, they just seems to linger a little too long on the pause.  It got annoying very quickly.  Worse was when they would break for commercial before revealing the correct answer. 

"For $50,000, was the correct answer 'C'?  Stay tuned and we'll find out right after this break!"

Just shoot me.

3 - The game play in general.  Watching a contestant talk to themselves for literally 5 or 6 MINUTES is the opposite of excitement.  There were times where they literally talked through a question from one commercial break to the next, without giving an answer.  That does not make for good television.

The show had a gimmicky formula to give away $1 Million, but it wasn't a good formula for long term success, in my opinion.
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Offline imhomerjay

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Re: What ruined Millionaire?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2019, 09:14:15 AM »
It ran for 20-ish years. Shows reach the end of their lifecycle. Thereís never a way or knowing what the path not taken would have meant, good or bad.

Another way to approach it from a more positive standpoint is what enabled a show in a syndication market in which so many programs expire much sooner, and with generally less favorable clearances than some others, to have such a nice long run?

Offline mechamind

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Re: What ruined Millionaire?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2019, 01:31:48 PM »
The shuffle format gameplay on its own wasn't what did it. It was the more difficult questions, abandonment of the well-known soundtrack, and just overall becoming a clone of the many Millionaire clones out there at the time.

The clock format was okay, though it could have been modified a little bit.

Offline whowouldeverhurtawhammy

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Re: What ruined Millionaire?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2019, 07:02:52 PM »
The format was one thing, but what really ruined it was the intense difficulty. The show is called "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?"; yet the production did everything they could to deliberately refuse to give away the million, by making the questions increasingly difficult and (even without the clock format) forcing contestants to not take too long, or be disqualified. These changes were a complete hindrance to the show, and only burned the show even further...

3 - The game play in general.  Watching a contestant talk to themselves for literally 5 or 6 MINUTES is the opposite of excitement.  There were times where they literally talked through a question from one commercial break to the next, without giving an answer.  That does not make for good television.

Irrelevant. If that really were a problem for the show, then those complaints should've been addressed when Regis Philbin hosted; not rectifying it with an off-camera time limit that gives you no time to think about difficult questions.
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Offline Reloaden

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Re: What ruined Millionaire?
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2019, 01:02:38 PM »
Millionaire was already tired way before the clock format started it been on the air way too long. The Clock format wasn't bad it added pressure. I would of done with the Uk version did cut the questions down to 12 and used to clock for the first 7 questions.

The Shuffle was terrible. I never understood the randomizing the questions and playing "Classic" Millionaire with the last 4 questions. The sound track and music cues changed. The show didn't feel the same anymore and the host changes didn't help. The so called "Original" format didn't work because it still felt like the shuffle format

Offline ThomHuge

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Re: What ruined Millionaire?
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2019, 02:11:34 PM »
Quote from: whowouldeverhurtawhammy
Irrelevant. If that really were a problem for the show, then those complaints should've been addressed when Regis Philbin hosted; not rectifying it with an off-camera time limit that gives you no time to think about difficult questions.

NOT irrelevant. Just because they didn't address it, it doesn't make it a nonissue. There may well have been contractual reasons that they couldn't deviate from the established format, or else their solutions were getting shot down by the network.

Offline therealcu2010

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Re: What ruined Millionaire?
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2019, 04:33:47 PM »
Where's the option for "neither, the show was ruined when it was first stripped for syndication"?

Seriously, I've said many times over the years that the show wasn't well suited for syndication. To me, the show started going downhill after the first syndicated season, when they started tinkering with the rules and lowered the second safe haven to $25,000 and made the game significantly more difficult, likely in response to the fact that the top prize was given away twice in its first year.  It took another six years for them to give away the million dollars- and even then it was the result of a gimmick tournament that basically forced a winner. Nobody legitimately won the game in 16 years, and correct me if I'm wrong, but since the start of the clock format, only three people even legitimately saw a million dollar question (and even then, one of them was the result of the dumb Jump lifeline of the Shuffle era, so that barely counts).

So yeah, the entire run had its issues.

The clock format wasn't as bad as many make it out to be, but it had problems beyond the clock. The Ask the Expert lifeline was usually worthless, especially when the "expert" was a celebrity, and the money tree in the second clock season made no sense whatsoever, particularly in the second tier... it was almost as if it was designed to get people to walk away early.

The shuffle format wasn't even recognizable at all. The host roulette certainly made it worse.

The last four years with Chris Harrison weren't terrible. Sure, the format was a bastardized version of the classic format, but at least they were making an attempt. There were still significant issues- the question writing was generally bad, the difficulty was all over the place, the shuffle era music felt way out of place, and the graphics overhaul during the final season made the show look and feel that much cheaper. A shame, because Chris Harrison was actually fantastic as a host, better than Meredith in my opinion.
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Offline pricefan18

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Re: What ruined Millionaire?
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2019, 05:03:57 PM »
Where's the option for "neither, the show was ruined when it was first stripped for syndication"?

Seriously, I've said many times over the years that the show wasn't well suited for syndication. To me, the show started going downhill after the first syndicated season, when they started tinkering with the rules and lowered the second safe haven to $25,000 and made the game significantly more difficult, likely in response to the fact that the top prize was given away twice in its first year.  It took another six years for them to give away the million dollars- and even then it was the result of a gimmick tournament that basically forced a winner. Nobody legitimately won the game in 16 years, and correct me if I'm wrong, but since the start of the clock format, only three people even legitimately saw a million dollar question (and even then, one of them was the result of the dumb Jump lifeline of the Shuffle era, so that barely counts).

I wonder, would they have been able to do better if they did something akin to what DOND did in Syndication, and lowered the top prize to say either $500,000 or $250,000 ($250k maybe would be more feasible)? I am not sure how they'd deal with the fact of having to change the title to reflect that, but.....maybe that'd have worked better long term?

Offline mechamind

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Re: What ruined Millionaire?
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2019, 05:13:39 PM »
since the start of the clock format, only three people even legitimately saw a million dollar question (and even then, one of them was the result of the dumb Jump lifeline of the Shuffle era, so that barely counts

There's Ken Basin's question on LBJ, and there's the jumping to a question on Nostradamus. I don't remember what the third one would be.

Online gamesurf

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Re: What ruined Millionaire?
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2019, 05:39:01 PM »
The clock was stupid. The whole fun of being a viewer is comparing your thought process to the contestant's. If the contestant and host aren't going to talk about their answer, you might as well just televise someone playing the computer game.

I actually preferred the shuffle format, believe it or not. It wasn't perfect, but it kept the heart of the show intact, and they badly needed to do something once every outcome became a predictable game of "Guess where the player will flame out today--$8,000, $16,000, or $25,000?"

But even with all its problems, the strengths of the show were enough to help it endure a lot of stupid decisions that should have killed it. The contestants were likable enough and the trivia was still enjoyable even when it didn't produce big winners. It settled for being a charming little trivia quiz at a time when most trivia quizzes are neither charming nor little.
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Offline whowouldeverhurtawhammy

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Re: What ruined Millionaire?
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2019, 06:46:41 PM »
NOT irrelevant. Just because they didn't address it, it doesn't make it a nonissue.

Then why was the issue not nipped when Regis hosted in 99-02? If you cannot handle contestants having the freedom of taking their time to come up with a solution, as the original format intended, then why have a show at all (when the changes wind up causing far less million dollar winners)?
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Offline ThomHuge

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Re: What ruined Millionaire?
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2019, 06:55:26 PM »
Then why was the issue not nipped when Regis hosted in 99-02? If you cannot handle contestants having the freedom of taking their time to come up with a solution, as the original format intended, then why have a show at all (when the changes wind up causing far less million dollar winners)?

...what part of my response did you not understand?

Just because they didn't address it, it doesn't make it a nonissue. There may well have been contractual reasons that they couldn't deviate from the established format, or else their solutions were getting shot down by the network.

Offline imhomerjay

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Re: What ruined Millionaire?
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2019, 08:26:38 PM »
I wonder, would they have been able to do better if they did something akin to what DOND did in Syndication, and lowered the top prize to say either $500,000 or $250,000 ($250k maybe would be more feasible)? I am not sure how they'd deal with the fact of having to change the title to reflect that, but.....maybe that'd have worked better long term?

Longer term? They had a darned long run. Iím not sure what more could be reasonably expected.

Offline Bluescreen_ODeff

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Re: What ruined Millionaire?
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2019, 05:39:00 PM »
Where's the option for "neither, the show was ruined when it was first stripped for syndication"?

I agree with this.  The only way they can legitimately say that contestants have a chance to win $1 million every weeknight was if it was next to impossible to do.  And even if you do, you get that money in installments. (Which is nice for tax purposes, but it doesn't feel like a million).  For example: Would you believe that the prize money of all three million dollar winners on the syndicated series still haven't been fully paid off?  Correct me if I'm wrong, but Kevin Smith and Nancy Christy are still owed $150,000 a piece ($37,500 a year for the remaining four years), and Sam Murray still has 11 years of payments coming, worth a total of $412,500. 

Also, anyone who won $500,000 in 2010 or later are still receiving $25,000 payments.

This is somewhat why the daytime Name That Tune with Tom Kennedy failed, even though the top prize was lowered to $25,000.  As Tom Kennedy said something along the lines of "You don't eat ice cream every day; eventually you'll get tired of it".
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