Weekend Replay: ITV2′s “Minute to Win It”
This past week ITV2 debuted their version of Minute to Win It, NBC’s now-cancelled stunt show. Our version had an interesting history. It started as a Millionaire clone in look and feel. Then after the first few episodes it developed its own voice and actually became enjoyable. And then something happened and the show went off the deep end this year (much like Deal or No Deal did towards the end of its run), and now it’s gone. ITV2 manages to fix a lot of the issues by ditching nearly everything from the original product and making it its own unique show. It ends up benefitting greatly because of it.
The new show involves two teams playing against each other in 60 second games. Each time they complete a stunt they score points and the most points at the end of the show wins. The winning team plays a cash builder round, where each point they score in 60 seconds scores them £1,000 in addition to a base £5,000. After that they are given one more challenge to complete in the 60 second time limit to win the bank. Completely new format and it works well. It carries a much more enjoyable competitive feel than a Millionaire clone. It has the competition feel of NBC’s best episodes, the Last Man Standing editions. It’s a welcome change.
Another change is the tone. The American version became a melodramatic overblown production, much like our Deal or No Deal. However, ITV2′s takes a more comedic, light hearted tone. The only catch is that it only works half the time, and most of this is due to the script host Darren McMullen is given. When he can be himself, he’s fine. When he’s forced to go off the prompter he sounds forced and borderline painfully unfunny. The celebrity captains work well for this, too. I know I’m probably going to get some negativity for thinking the UK version is better than the US, but it just is. They managed to correct a ton of tonal problems for us and create a show which stands upon itself, not on the shoulders of a look from 1999. You saw a clip of a game above. Here’s some more below.
One weird note: is it some sort of UK law for guys to wear low cut shirts? What was with that? Their shirts were lower cut than some of the ladies. That threw me off a bit.