Author Topic: Meredith Vieira's 25 Words or Less -- Episode 9/16  (Read 1301 times)

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Offline tpir04

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Meredith Vieira's 25 Words or Less -- Episode 9/16
« on: September 16, 2019, 11:08:26 AM »
CAUTION: Spoilers present.

So, the Meredith-Vieira-hosted 25 Words or Less premiered today on CBS. (On WWJ-TV in Detroit, it was at 9:00 am, making a solid three-hour daytime game show block, with LMAD at 10:00 and TPIR at 11:00. Like old times, huh?) I'd like to discuss it.


First, the set. The background is made up of blinking blue LED light panels. The foreground is made up of an LCD screen front and center and two contestant areas on the sides (think Family Feud). There is a podium in front of the LCD screen, which has two removable touch screens, one for each team, so the clue givers can take it with them. The contestant area backdrops are brown, with shape outlines of parallelograms, squares and hexagons. The seating area for each team is a sofa, akin to Hollywood Game Night.

Second, the host. Meredith Vieira does a great job, as usual. She jokes around with the celebrities and contestants, but for the most part, she stays out of the way, except for occasional reminders of how many words are remaining.

There are two parts to the main game. There are two teams, each consisting of two celebrities and a contestant. One celebrity from each team comes forth and is shown a list of five words on their touchscreen and to the viewers at home. The two celebs will then take turns bidding on how many words they'll need to convey the list to their teammates (as in Name That Tune's Bid-a-Note). When one celeb refuses to bid any lower, the celebrity that won the bid has 45 seconds to convey the list to their teammates using as many words as they bid...and no more. The clue-giver cannot use their hands. If they succeed, that team gets 250 points. If they run out, either of time or of words, the other team gets 250. The process is repeated two more times, first with the civilian contestants, and finally with the other two celebrities.

In the next round, only the contestants are onstage, while the celebs are backstage in a soundproof booth. The contestants onstage will now "build" their own list to convey to their celebrity teammates. The host shows the contestants a list of three words, and invites the trailing contestant (who scored less points in the previous game) to pick their first word. Point values are as follows:

Easy word, colored green, worth 250 points,
Medium word, colored yellow, worth 500 points,
Hard word, colored red, worth 1000 points.

In each trio, there is one word of each level of difficulty, and no contestant can pick the same word. After each contestant has chosen a word, a new list will appear, and the other opponent (who is currently in the lead) will pick first. The process is repeated with three more trios of words, with the right to go first alternating accordingly, until both contestants have a list of five words. Then, the celebrities are brought onstage and the contestants will take turns describing their lists to their celebrity teammates. There is a base time of 45 seconds and 25 words for each contestant. For each word correctly identified, the corresponding point value will be scored. There is no need to guess all five words, but if that happens, they will earn an extra 1000 points. After each contestant has given their lists and the points tallied, then whoever has the most points will go on to the bonus round.

The bonus round is very straightforward. The contestant must convey ten words to their celebrity teammates, using 25 Words or Less, within 60 seconds. If they succeed, they'll win a cool $10,000.

I really like this series. It's somewhat of a Password/Pyramid hybrid, where you not only have to hurry, as you only have 45 seconds, but you must economize your words, to avoid wasting them. For example, one word was "Neptune". In Pyramid, it probably would've went like, "Okay, this is a planet, and it's blue, and it's between Uranus and Pluto." In 25 Words or Less, you can't do that. More desirable would be something like "Planet...between...Uranus...Pluto." Along with the fact that Meredith Vieira gets along so well with the players, in my opinion this is a great show, even if it's only a half hour, and I hope it sticks around a while!
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Offline 123123123

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Re: Meredith Vieira's 25 Words or Less -- Episode 9/16
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2019, 12:34:35 PM »
Wow, I had no idea a new game show was premiering. From what I read, it does sound interesting. I loved Meredith from the Millionaire days, so it's nice to see her hosting again.

Since it's the premiere (and I have even seen it yet), we don't really know how a 'typical' show would go. But there are a few things that I'm wondering about. First off,  how hectic was the describing phases? Were they more like the Pyramid main game (hectic, fast-paced) or the winners circle (more subdued, actual back and forth rather than yelling)? Also, what kinds of words were they using for each of the different difficulties in the second ground? Were they events, people, hard vocabulary?

Sorry to bombard you with these questions that you very well might not have answers to, but I truly am intrigued. I dont know if or when I'd be able to watch it, but it sounds like a game show I would be into. Thanks for bringing it up to all of us here.

Offline tpir04

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Re: Meredith Vieira's 25 Words or Less -- Episode 9/16
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2019, 01:52:47 PM »
Hey, no sweat. I love answering questions. (And asking them, too.) :)

The describing was quite subdued, yes. The contestants were able to communicate quite clearly with the celebrities..until time was running out. I might add that during the last five seconds, there was an audible ticking noise that most certainly made it much more tense.  I distinctly recall that a bonus round word was "Neptune". This was, I believe, the fourth word of ten, but the contestant passed on it, leaving it until the very end. When he got back to it, there were around twelve seconds and five words left. He said "Planet, far, Pluto, before" or something of that effect, alluding to the planet that comes before Pluto. The celebrities started rattling off the planets, and soon started to panic when they heard the loud ticking noise. Most of the time, especially in the front game, the list was finished with plenty of time and words left anyway, so the communication was much clearer.

The "easy" words were ones that could be conveyed using one word, or two at the most. (For example, if I said coooollllllld..." like Password players would, you would probably think "hot". As a matter of fact, this actually happened in the episode, except the contestant said, "Not cold but..." using more words than necessary.) "Medium" words almost certainly needed two or three words. "Hard" words needed at least three words, maybe four or more. In the episode, one was "Black Hole". The contestant said, "Solar...system...nothing." (This was an exception, as this particular player was an exceptionally good clue-giver, but I'd wager that won't be the standard. The types of words were mostly things or objects, whether concrete or abstract. Foods were popular, as were adjectives. No names of people were used.

Also, it just occurred to me that clue-givers used the word, "Blank" a lot, to denote a missing word. I'll bet it will soon become a common practice to move the head in a horizontal direction from one side to the other, sort of like drawing a line in the air. After all, Meredith only says that, "you cannot use your hands." She says nothing about the head!
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Offline Ccook

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Re: Meredith Vieira's 25 Words or Less -- Episode 9/16
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2019, 05:10:12 PM »
On an independent station here at 4 and 4:30 in the afternoon. Dandy word game and a nice diversion here from the afternoon news and talk/court shows elsewhere.
"The opposite of 'pro' is 'con,' that fact is clearly seen...if 'progress' means to move ahead, then what does 'Congress' mean?" --Nipsey Russell

Offline jude_este

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Re: Meredith Vieira's 25 Words or Less -- Episode 9/16
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2019, 06:24:27 PM »
It's on MyNetworkTV at 4:00 and 4:30 in the afternoon where I live. It's an alright word game that beats having a locally produced talk show and a tabloid news/courtroom show.

Also, am I hearing things or is the announcer Craig Ferguson?

Offline RJSchex

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Re: Meredith Vieira's 25 Words or Less -- Episode 9/16
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2019, 09:30:06 PM »
My review, on "Game Show Fever Chat" (Facebook):

"25 Words or Less"—"Password" coupled with "Name That Tune".

—Seen here on KUTP ("Fox 10 Xtra") at 4:00 and 4:30 PM.

Offline Superballer

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Re: Meredith Vieira's 25 Words or Less -- Episode 9/16
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2019, 10:17:46 PM »
In our area, it looks like it will be, somewhat fittingly, replacing Millionaire in the 12:30 time slot.  Sounds like it does have some potential, so I'll probably take a look at some point. 

Offline RJSchex

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Re: Meredith Vieira's 25 Words or Less -- Episode 9/16
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2019, 08:17:11 PM »
Rules question

In the event (has it ever happened?) that a clue giver inadvertently blurts out one of the words, what exactly is the penalty? (Situation similar to the "cuckoo" on Pyramid.)

Offline BillyGr

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Re: Meredith Vieira's 25 Words or Less -- Episode 9/16
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2019, 08:28:02 PM »
In our area, it looks like it will be, somewhat fittingly, replacing Millionaire in the 12:30 time slot.  Sounds like it does have some potential, so I'll probably take a look at some point. 

Same here in the Albany (NY) area on the NBC station.  Meredith might be getting a feeling of deja vu :)

Offline Teddy

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Re: Meredith Vieira's 25 Words or Less -- Episode 9/16
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2019, 08:42:41 PM »
Currently airing on WJZY Fox 46 at 1 and 1:30 PM. It'll be great to have Meredith back again!

Offline Richie

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Re: Meredith Vieira's 25 Words or Less -- Episode 9/16
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2019, 12:43:49 AM »
Rules question

In the event (has it ever happened?) that a clue giver inadvertently blurts out one of the words, what exactly is the penalty? (Situation similar to the "cuckoo" on Pyramid.)

The Friday episode, one of the cluegivers gave an illegal clue in the bonus round and the round ended there immediately.  The $10,000 was forfeited.

Offline pricefan18

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Re: Meredith Vieira's 25 Words or Less -- Episode 9/16
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2019, 02:04:33 AM »
Watching this on Youtube tonight and is it me or is the 3rd round flawed in the sense that it could be mathematically possible to get all 5 words as the opposition and still lose based on the point totals per word? I'd rather see a different structure there, like....say 1,000 points to the team that gets more words, and if both get all 5 than the winners are the team that did it faster? I feel that'd be simpler and honestly fairer for that round, what do you all think?

Offline tpir04

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Re: Meredith Vieira's 25 Words or Less -- Episode 9/16
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2019, 09:00:16 AM »
Watching this on Youtube tonight and is it me or is the 3rd round flawed in the sense that it could be mathematically possible to get all 5 words as the opposition and still lose based on the point totals per word? I'd rather see a different structure there, like....say 1,000 points to the team that gets more words, and if both get all 5 than the winners are the team that did it faster? I feel that'd be simpler and honestly fairer for that round, what do you all think?

I was watching an episode the other day (Tuesday?) wherein one team went into the second round with 500 vs. the other team's 250. The words each team selected I can't remember, but the first team scored all five netting 1000 extra and the trailing team was told they'd need all five just to tie. With this in mind, I'm sure it won't be long until one team finds it mathematically impossible to win given their list of words and their point values. I have not seen such a situation as of yet, but I'm curious as to how they'd handle it.

To answer your question, no, I don't think so. The current setup prevents players from simply going for the easy words, rendering the hard words useless. By utilizing hard words and putting higher point values on them, you get to see how confident the players really are. Additionally, choosing hard words puts the pressure on your opponent, forcing them to go for hard words that actually might be harder to describe than the ones you've selected, even though they're on the same level.
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Offline pricefan18

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Re: Meredith Vieira's 25 Words or Less -- Episode 9/16
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2019, 02:41:19 PM »
I was watching an episode the other day (Tuesday?) wherein one team went into the second round with 500 vs. the other team's 250. The words each team selected I can't remember, but the first team scored all five netting 1000 extra and the trailing team was told they'd need all five just to tie. With this in mind, I'm sure it won't be long until one team finds it mathematically impossible to win given their list of words and their point values. I have not seen such a situation as of yet, but I'm curious as to how they'd handle it.

To answer your question, no, I don't think so. The current setup prevents players from simply going for the easy words, rendering the hard words useless. By utilizing hard words and putting higher point values on them, you get to see how confident the players really are. Additionally, choosing hard words puts the pressure on your opponent, forcing them to go for hard words that actually might be harder to describe than the ones you've selected, even though they're on the same level.

Fair point. I think to your question, if they are to keep this...the best workaround to a scenario like we're discussing here is to have the team that otherwise would be unable to comeback potentially if they went second, go first. It's actually a pretty easy fix as I think about it here, and it wouldn't surprise me if that's what they'd really do if it came up.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2019, 02:43:36 PM by pricefan18 »

Offline tpir04

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Re: Meredith Vieira's 25 Words or Less -- Episode 9/16
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2019, 04:26:45 PM »
Well, IIRC, the trailing team gets to select first from the first set of words, with the right to go first alternating thereafter. Therefore, because there are five sets of words, the trailing team gets to pick first three times, and the leading team twice. This tends to balance things out...provided that the contestants are smart enough to strategize their selections.
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