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The ends of Question rounds on quiz shows

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  • The ends of Question rounds on quiz shows

    I have been thinking about this for a while when I watch quiz shows on TV - when they have a timed Question round on a show of, let's say, a minute, 90 seconds or whatever, and at the end of the round, the buzzer goes and the host is in the middle of reading the question. Does the host finish the question, and allow the contestant to answer, or does he say "time's up, you cannot answer" or words to that effect?

    Mastermind famously allows the contestant to answer if the host is beaten by the buzzer, hence the "I've started so I'll Finish" catchphrase, and I think that is the fair thing to do because it allows the points total to get to its maximum possibility. The anniversary quiz Today's the Day also adopted that approach with host Martyn Lewis often saying something very similar to: "I've started so I'll Finish".

    On the other hand, the majority of quiz shows don't allow that - if the buzzer goes and the host is reading a question then hard luck it seems. Cue Anne Robinson on the Weakest Link saying: "I cannot complete the question", or Gordon Burns on the Krypton Factor, responding: "no need to answer that". As far as I remember, very few quiz shows use the Mastermind approach of allowing a contestant to answer after the buzzer has gone which I think is the fairest of the two options. At least with Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? one only gets a timed aspect on the Phone a Friend lifeline.

    I wonder why some quiz shows allow it and others don't? - why the difference between the shows, and did Mastermind actually invent this allowance to benefit a contestant's scoring? Or could it be something to do with the genre of show, the type of viewers who watch or even what channel they are on?
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

  • #2
    Re: The ends of Question rounds on quiz shows

    Originally posted by George 1978 View Post


    I wonder why some quiz shows allow it and others don't? - why the difference between the shows, and did Mastermind actually invent this allowance to benefit a contestant's scoring? Or could it be something to do with the genre of show, the type of viewers who watch or even what channel they are on?
    dont think it’s type of viewers, or channel but more to do with the pace of the quiz show. Look at The Chase or Weakest link ,fast paced, frantic and allowing a contestant breathing space after the buzzer would allow the contestant to relax albeit briefly.
    Millionaire on the other hand uses suspense for its quiz and no time limits for answers

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    • #3
      Re: The ends of Question rounds on quiz shows

      Why the difference between quiz shows? Because they're not all the same show, probably. If every quiz show had to conform to the same format, they'd only need to make one quiz show! Just call it The Quiz Show and put it out every day, then the programme commissioners could spend their money offering a real choice of other programmes. Only saying...

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      • #4
        Re: The ends of Question rounds on quiz shows

        Watching new series of Who wants to be a millionaire seems strange without the audience,the life lines have changed with 2 phone a friend 50/50 ask Jeremy as there is no audience to ask anymore and no handshaking.

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        • #5
          Re: The ends of Question rounds on quiz shows

          In Mastermind there is no money to be won. If large sums of cash is involved then there have to be strict guidelines.

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          • #6
            Re: The ends of Question rounds on quiz shows

            Originally posted by Moonraker View Post
            In Mastermind there is no money to be won. If large sums of cash is involved then there have to be strict guidelines.
            That is an excellent point - the shows that have no actual prize, the contestant is allowed to answer when the time is up, but are not when a prize such as cash, a car or holiday is up for grabs.

            On the other hand, the Krypton Factor didn't offer cash prizes (apart from the travel expenses of the contestants), but Gordon Burns still didn't let them answer when the time was up, and Krypton was very similar to Mastermind when it came to the type of viewer who would watch each week. Even the contestants had swivel chairs similar to Mastermind's.
            Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

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            • #7
              Re: The ends of Question rounds on quiz shows

              University Challenge doesn't finish the question, or let them answer when the gong rings.

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