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October 31, 2014

Another network game show in the works

by Julia Ward, posted Dec 8th 2006 3:41PM
Wanna Bet?Count 'em off. There's Deal or No Deal and Show Me the Money. Identity starts on NBC next week. CBS is developing a kiddie genius quiz show and a revamp of Name That Tune. Howie's outing was no fluke. Game shows are back on network TV in a big way. The latest game show-related announcement comes from ABC. The network has teamed up with the Weakest Leak production team to translate Germany's Wetten das...? (Wanna Bet?) to US television.

Wetten das...? has dominated German airwaves for two decades. The broadcast is part musical variety show and part game show. In the game show portion, a person says that they can do some wacky stunt. Celebrity guests than take bets on whether or not the person can actually accomplish the stunt. If the celebrity loses the bet, than he or she has do something equally wacky.

The US version may minimize the musical numbers, and nix the celebs - replacing them with contestants betting real money on whether or not someone can pull off the stunt. This ups the cash prize possibilities for the show. The producers have said that they wish to emphasize the gambling and let the "variety" element come for the stunts themselves. I hope that the guests devise their own stunts without the help of the show's producers. The last thing we need on TV is more people ingesting monkey penises for money.

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And of course there's the bets. It's actually nothing like the antics of Fear Factor or similar shows, but most of them would be more suited to be a part of the Guiness Book of Records.

December 16 2006 at 6:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Preach

"Wetten Dass?" is not only the most popular show in Germany, but throughout europe, being broadcast to Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Luxemburg. In germany alone it averages between 16 and 25 mio viewers per show. And just take a look at a few of the celebrities that guested on the show, to see how big it is: Michael Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tina Turner, Mariah Carey, Michail Gorbatschow, Hugh Grant, Phil Collins, Sting, Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline, Kevin Costner, Roman Polanski, Gerard Depardieu, Will Smith, Dustin Hoffman... The list could be continued for ages, since everyone dies to get in to the show (no wonder, there's no better way to advertise your movie, cd, show than that).

And of course there's the bets. It's actually nothing like the antics of Fear Factor or similar shows, but most of them would be more suited to be a part of the Guiness Book of Records.

There has been a guy who jumped out of a balloon with a parachute, only to land back in the balloon about 6000 feet further down. Or two guys who changed the wheels of a car by leaning the car to one side, changing two tires, leaning to the other side, changing two tires - all while the car was driving! Or a kid who could identify any episode of his favorite audioplay-series (at that point there had been 100 episodes) by playing a random part of a random episode backwards. Or a man parking a 10 ton truck on 4 beermugs, without breaking them. If the US-version manages to get equally amazing bets it should do pretty good ratings-wise.

There are already a few localized versions of the show in China, Italy, Poland, the UK, the Netherlands and Spain (but they're all small fish compared to the ratings juggernaut that is the german-language version)

December 08 2006 at 6:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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