Thursday, October 11, 2007

The password is, "Don't screw this up"

• CBS launches another game show.

If you've been wondering what classic game show format will get butchered next, CBS today announced the answer: Password, Password Plus and Super Password. The network has ordered six one-hour episodes of Million Dollar Password from FremantleMedia North America with Regis Philbin hosting the midseason revival of the Goodson-Todman classic.

"With new twists, higher stakes, a $1 million grand prize and the one-and-only Regis Philbin at the helm, we're confident viewers will tune in to rediscover the format that helped to define the game show genre as we know it," said Cecile Frot-Coutaz, head of FremantleMedia North America, in a news release.

Here's hoping viewers won't be nauseated by what they see. Password is brilliant in its deceptive simplicity; it doesn't need to be dressed up in a big money format with unneeded new twists. The show will at least stick with the classic set-up of two teams, each with one celebrity and one civilian. CBS says the winning team "will then have to decide whether or not to keep their earnings or move on to a tension-building final round, where one word can potentially win a $1 million grand prize."

That suggests another tired variation of the money tree is in the offing.

"I'm thrilled to be part of this great show that I remember so well from a few years ago," Philbin said in the news release. "It was a very classy production and Allen Ludden was so terrific. I hope I can continue that tradition on Million Dollar Password."

Surely the great Reege wouldn't get involved with a crap version of a classic.

My favorite of the old Password shows was Super Password, a Bert Convy-hosted staple of NBC's excellent daytime game show blocks, running from 1984 to 1989. It is currently a fixture on the schedule of GSN, formerly Game Show Network.

When it comes to old favorites, the hardest password to accept is often "change." Skepticism aside, I'll be tuning in, hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

No comments: