Saturday, July 6, 2013

My 'Minute to Win It' review after four episodes

It's been four episodes, and thirty six more to go. Pretty doubtful that I, and many people here will get around to all forty of those episodes, seeing how they will be burned off at different times throughout the schedule. Besides the "Sneak preview" review, here is a slightly different take:

Timewasters: It makes no sense to have a stunt, introduce the family in the audience, have another stunt, surprise phone call, another stunt, surprise video, another stunt, story from contestants' past. It is a lot of time wasted. I do not mind (within reason) cutting to a commercial in the middle of a stunt. It keeps the audience watching. But the timewasters on Minute are just insane. Then...

Pacing of episodes: No improvement over the NBC version. On average, the GSN version has had eight stunts an episode, sometimes nine and once ten. Not one episode out of the first four where one couple has continued into the next episode.

The Money: This is not a complaint at all, believe me. The best part about Minute to Win It is seeing a couple win A) Guaranteed $1,000 after the first stunt; B) After five stunts guaranteed $10,000. For GSN, that is mad money after some shows like Catch 21 and Camouflage. The best part about GSN Minute is how much money is given away.

Team names: Unless I missed something from the NBC version, they actually have team names. That's a good step-up.

Actual stunts: A few new/changed stunts. Good to see. Too many are basically the same, but seriously, how many could they really think of? The actual stunts aren't horrible, and a little challenging.

Ratings: While the first four episodes have averaged 438,000 and 428,000 viewers, the 18-49 aka "Young" demo is huge for GSN. Some 18-49 demos for a 400K total episode of Minute were still bigger than the 800,000 to 900,000 viewers for American Bible Challenge. The fact that Minute to Win It is a weekly, and the (almost) absence of the Fieri version AND The Chase coming may help the show survive, and at least escape horrible ratings.

Even if the ratings stay around 400K+ an episode, it's good, but why keep producing a costly original when reruns of Harvey Feud and 5th Grader will do equally well or better?

We'll see what happens. Tuesdays, 8PM.


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