In my last interview, you’ll remember I asked Rossi Morreale what went wrong with Temptation: The New $ale of the Century. Here’s what he said.
“[…]Unfortunately, a lot of it is perception. You loved the original and I don’t blame you. I did too, but there’s a reason it’s not still on the air. Times have changed and people got bored with it. So to bring a show back, you have to revamp it and change a few things or you’re just bringing back the exact thing that has already been cancelled. That wouldn’t be smart. So, all these creative people get together and see what was working in Australia and make a few American tweaks and hope for the best. No show that is successful in one country can move directly to another country and not be tweaked a little bit for the country’s audience. So they did what they thought would work and it didn’t. ”
What bothers me, although he is right, is this sentence. “No show that is successful in one country can move directly to another country and not be tweaked a little bit for the country’s audience.” This is certainly true in some cases. Take, for example, Winning Lines. Here’s what we got to see in America:
And this is what Stone Stanley based their format off of:
Yeah, so giving away a trip doesn’t sound nearly as exciting as a million dollars, but such money is overrated if the format is not good or is not executed correctly. It’s all about execution, and that is where Temptation failed. Of course, the Perry version, which I enjoy, had its own problems starting in 1987.
In 1989, however, the Australian version started using the “Winner’s Board” and used it until they left in 2002.
In some cases, shows which last less than a year over here do incredibly well over there. Case in point: Catch Phrase.
That version lasted 13 weeks in 1985. 2 days after it was cancelled in 1986, it was picked up again…. by ITV in the UK.
It lasted 18 years in Great Britain, with a spinoff. Meanwhile, starting in 1997, the Nine Network (home of Sale of the Century) picked up its own version hosted by former Wheel host John Burgess. It became Burgo’s Catch Phrase.
So far, all I’ve done is prove Rossi’s point. Here’s my main argument. Why couldn’t we have a port of Australia’s version? It was so superior to what we ended up with. There’s a reason why BuzzerBlog has a section entitled “The <Blanks> Are Better Than Us”. It’s because they are. Let’s take a recent example.
This is what we ended up with:
It makes you want to grab a nine-millimeter, point it at your TV, and fire, doesn’t it? It was all in the execution, and NBC is particularly guilty of this. I think the last decent game show they had was Scrabble, although I did enjoy The Singing Bee and 1 vs. 100.
What Rossi says is true, although I wish it wasn’t in the case of Temptation.