Weaver's Week 2001-05-15

Weaver's Week Index

15th May 2001

Iain Weaver reviews the latest happenings in UK Game Show Land.

Coming Attractions

It's the calm before the storm. GREED begins on Channel 5 on Friday, report here the next day. SURVIVOR kicks off on ITV on Monday the 21st, and BIG BROTHER follows the following weekend.

So, what promotion for these biggies?


First-mover advantage. Contestant calls ran heavily on 5 during March, the show is being promoted to death on the channel. Billboard posters in urban areas. Jerry Springer a known name. Format not well known, and could be tricky to pick up.

Friday at 8pm worked well for THE MOLE in the winter, but could be a death-trap now the weather has improved and the nights are lighter. Second episode airs Saturday 8pm - this show could be stripped across a week, rather than airing as a series.


Heavy promotion for the show, including break bumpers across ITV. I've not seen any press or billboard advertising, but a national newspaper claimed Sunday to have been leaked the winner's name. Format will not challenge.

ITV's already managed the media to turn POPSTARS into a huge hype, I think they'll do a similar trick for SURVIVOR.


Typically, just as last week's edition went to press, more details of BB2 emerged. The key points... log cabin look... pyramid structure in garden... en-suite bathroom.

The Grauniad reports we begin on Sunday May 25, (sic - May 25 is a Friday) highlights on 4 at 10pm. Very cleverly, this is opposite the main evening news on the two main channels, bulletins that will be full of electioneering for the first three weeks of the run. E4 will be pulling most of its programming, broadcasting live from the house from 11pm to 5:30pm daily; the digital-exclusive channel will also have its own BB show, hosted by Dermot O'Leary.

Promotional activity will be minimal, as the format is well known already.


Bit of a back-slapping documentary on BBC1 last Wednesday night, behind the scenes with Anne Robinson at the US launch of (T)WL. The programme included brief clips of German and Australian versions, and of the Leno interview.

Points of interest... In rehearsals, the crew achieved a game total of $86,500... Anne sees the questions in the dressing room, about 20 minutes before taping. This helps her to get her tongue round some of the more taxing pronunciations - like Berkshire... Voiceover artist (Paul Merton) stated of the first day's taping "Thirteen hours later, the show's in the can"... NBC's promo map of the UK misplaces London with Winchester. I know the capital *used* to be Winchester, but I would hope NBC has bought an atlas since the 9th century.

I'm *very* impressed with the promotional trailer, the man being blown away. The argument between Anne and the lawyer, Jill, really got nasty, and it's a shame so much got cut out. It appears that Anne trails the next show on NBC before saying goodbye. This was edited from the edition shown on the BBC. She does something similar on primetime here, but the trail is left in when (T)WL is repeated on BBC CHOICE. Even though it's palpably *wrong*.

After a brief break for sports, daytime THE WEAKEST LINK returns with renewed vigour this week. 5:15 on BBC2, 7 on CHOICE. 45 minutes would, I suppose, translate directly to a one hour format on US syndication.

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