There has been large amounts of discussion that GSN may not be bringing The Chase back for a fifth season because it is "too expensive", despite huge and still rising ratings.
How can we make The Chase cheaper? You start from the start, which is the Cash Builder Round.
We can change the Cash Builder Round in one of three ways. The best way would be cutting the round from one minute to 45 seconds and still keep the questions at $5,000 a piece. Less questions would be covered in less time. This would cut cash amounts in Cash Builder by 25% on average. Therefore, the cash earnings in the total game should be down about 25%.
The second way would be to cut the value of each correct answer to $2,000, expand the Cash Builder Round to two minutes and have Brooke say the questions slightly slower to make it sound like it's not a race (and not The Final Chase either). Why more time? If it is one minute at $2,000, it's almost too cheap. At 1:30 or 2:00, a contestant could build up a good deal of money that still does not match what today's contestants get. This would cut cash amounts in Cash Builder by 20% on average. Personally, this is my least favorite way to reboot The Chase, but it is just an idea to throw out there.
A third way, possibly better and less dragged out than that the second, would be instead of a time limit, limit the number of questions to ten at $5,000 a piece. Then, the max is $50,000 and super rare a contestant would get all ten correct. With no time limit, contestants should still have to answer the open-ended question in three to five seconds after Brooke states it. This would most likely cut cash amounts here by 50% or more.
On top of less money from the Cash Builder Round, that means less money in later rounds. When getting to "The Chase" round, Mark Labbett should offer contestants less money for the option closer to him (six away from the bank). For example, the offer from Labbett should not exceed double the amount earned. You earn $25,000 in Cash Builder? You should be offered no more than $50,000 to get another step closer to Labbett.
A very easy way to make The Chase cheaper is to have zero celebrity episodes. It costs money to get the celebrities there and they each walk away with at least $5,000 for charity no matter what. The Chase does not do that with the everyday contestants. That has to get cut.
I would prefer if the following did not happen, but a simple way is changing sets. The current set for The Chase is very spacey. The set is not too important on The Chase, so if GSN really needs to cut costs, find a cheaper space. I will add one detail that needs to stay is the audience.
What The Chase cannot do is cast worse and dumber contestants. That's not okay. But, instead of having a strong team of three, spread the best contestants out over multiple episodes. Then put one really good contestant per episode with two weaker ones. However, the two weaker ones casted should still be smarter than the average American. This can be an exception for themed episodes like "All Brothers" or "New York Firefighters".
GSN should not cut budget from The Chase in stupid ways like dumbing down the show or contestants. The above ideas are responsible that fans of the current version would like.