Monday, October 12, 2015

Making 'The Chase' cheaper-but still good

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. 



  1. I haven't kept track of Mark's total win/loss count as far as the final chase is concerned, but if he's able to retain a high win streak as he has done in the past, then it doesn't matter how much money GSN offers in the cash builder or regular chase rounds -- they don't have to pay out a single cent if Mark wins the final chase at the end.

    This is probably one of the few cases where most of the network's money is spent on production, as opposed to most game shows, where the majority is spent on giving out cash/prizes to the contestants.

    I do agree that the celebrity episodes should be cut.

    As far as the set is concerned, it might be cheaper to reconstruct the set over here, instead of paying to fly the contestants out to the U.K. set for filming, but maybe it's too late into its run for GSN to do this now; they've should've done it in Season 1 or 2.

    One thing I would say though... I don't think viewers would like to see any sort of cash amount reduction in any of the early rounds. The show's already cheap as it is, since it's essentially a forced "All or Nothing" gamble at the end of each episode, and further reduction of the prize amounts at the beginning would just result in people complaining how much cheaper it's gotten. Remember what happened with 1 VS 100 and Pyramid? Everyone complained because when you set a certain standard with a particular show, and then later on make it cheaper, no one is happy, and the ratings usually suffer as a result. Even syndie 5th Grader and Deal suffered from the prize amount reductions.

    It's strange though, because one would think ITV would be splitting some of the production expenses with GSN. Just pure speculation, but maybe ITV wants a bigger slice of the pie, especially since it would be a 5th season, and GSN is hesitant to pay out... or maybe I'm just overthinking things here...

  2. Oh, come on! Please don't cancel The Chase after 4 seasons. I love that show. What season five needs is something new. Like having 4 contestants instead of 3 and having some new chasers if Mark wants to take a rest from chasing. If GSN won't renew The Chase for a fifth season, Maybe, another network should give it a go. Like CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, USA Network or Syndication. Anyone agree?

    1. It can happen. I don't know about USA though, they haven't done any game shows in a while. Syndication could work. Have it as a weekend show.

    2. "Like CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, USA Network or Syndication. Anyone agree?"

      With its success on GSN and overseas, one of the big four would pick up The Chase. I do not think it would be USA.

    3. Thanks, guys for agreeing with me. Which channel do you think should pick The Chase up for a fifth season if GSN doesn't renew it? You can read the British version and an Australian version of The Chase on Wikipedia if you want to know what I meant about having more chasers and 4 contestants instead of 3.
      P.S. What's wrong with USA? Does it matter?

    4. I would like to see CBS pick it up. They have not had a game show on their lineup since 2009. That was Million Dollar Password. Sadly, they got rid of the show, but kept Big Brother. Makes sense doesn't it? Fox wouldn't work because 5th Grader and BOOM! bombed big time. NBC would be nice. They have a hit in Hollywood Game Night. ABC is also great, seeing how 500 Questions was renewed. With To Tell The Truth returning and a second season of Celebrity Family Feud, (it hasn't been officially renewed but it should be) The Chase would fit in well.

    5. "What's wrong with USA? Does it matter?"

      I just do not see USA picking it up or losing the bid to one of the major networks. I also do not see The Chase doing well on USA compared to GSN or the major four.

    6. Well, Adam. Let's just hope that ABC renews Celebrity Family Feud for a third season.