06Apr2012
“The Chase” Being Piloted for Fox in America Thumbnail

“The Chase” Being Piloted for Fox in America

We’ve teased it on Facebook and Twitter over the past few hours.  For American fans of the ITV game show The Chase, we’ve got some very good news.  Our sources are telling us that an American version of the popular quiz format is going into production.  This is just a pilot and not going to series yet, but it’s a step in the right direction.  The same sources are telling us that this is going to Fox.  Our sources have never been wrong yet and there’s no reason to doubt them on this one.  No information on host, Chaser(s), or format have been made public yet but we’re hunting it down.

For those unfamiliar with The Chase, a team of four goes head to head in a series of rounds against The Chaser, a quiz expert.  If the player can make it back home by answering questions correctly before getting caught, money is added to the prize pool.  However, if the player gets caught, he or she is knocked out of the game.  At the end of the main game the remaining team will try to outrun The Chaser one final time for an equal share of the prize pot.  Get caught, though, and they leave with nothing.

I’ve been praising the show for a while and, pound for pound, taking in all elements of what makes television good, The Chase is probably the best quiz show on television anywhere today so I’m glad to see it show up here.  Fox does game shows very well…probably better than any other network.  Again, there are bound to be some changes but I trust Fox with the genre and ITV Studios generally does a good job.  Looking forward to see what else comes of this.

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Alex Davis

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Alex Davis is an award winning writer and producer based out of Pittsburgh, PA, who works out of New York, Los Angeles, and London. Alex is the head writer and editor for BuzzerBlog and is the president and head of development of 5Hole Productions, specializing in unscripted formats for television and internet play.

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Discussion

50 responses to "“The Chase” Being Piloted for Fox in America"

  • Razer says:

    I said it on Facebook before and it’s worth saying again. If any of the big four were to pick this up, Fox is the best option.
    Your other options are, in no particular order:
    – CBS, the network of gameshow inaction (and reality show inaction, but that’s another story), where pilots of The Cube and Secret Fortune, two top notch formats, have been done, and nothing has come of them.
    – ABC, also known as “the network that screwed the best non-UK imported format in a long time” (you know exactly what I’m talking about), who also has failed to do anything with their pilot of The Exit List… yet.
    – NBC, which managed to completely bungle Who’s Still Standing, and is most known for running Deal or No Deal until the wheels fell off.

    Fox, on the other hand, has made some key mistakes (bungling Million Pound Drop so badly it hurt, for one), but the show will get a fair shake, for sure. So I’m definitely looking forward to this.

    • Poochy.EXE says:

      I actually think CBS would be a better home for The Chase. FOX is known for shunting shows all over their schedule to the point where even die-hard fans can’t figure out when their favorite show airs. CBS may repeatedly sit on a show and do nothing, but (a) keep in mind that FOX initially did the same with The Cube without even recording a pilot, and (b) if a show does make it to air on CBS, they usually treat it very well. Just look at Let’s Make a Deal.

      • Razer says:

        Perhaps it’s my personal annoyance with CBS that’s making me unable to see them go any further than picking it up and sitting on it, but that’s all I think would happen. It looks a lot like CBS puts their scripted entertainment WAY ahead of unscripted, as far as pickup priority goes. Probably with good reason- they have some of the biggest scripted shows on television and what reality TV they do have fills in the small gaps. I don’t see a gameshow being picked up on CBS unless they are forced to cancel more shows than they planned (the CSI franchise all going out at once, for example).

      • Scott says:

        From what I’ve seen, here’s my personal breakdown of the major networks:

        CBS hasn’t aired a new primetime game show since 2009 when Million Dollar Password ended its second season. Since then, CBS has been sitting on the floor, refusing to get any of their already-piloted primetime game shows on the schedule. The Cube was axed. Secret Fortune’s producers are waiting for CBS to open up a spot on their schedule for them, but CBS is refusing to do anything about it. All of this points to CBS not likely picking up any game shows for primetime in the near, or far, future. (And no, I do not consider The Amazing Race or Survivor to be “game” shows.)

        NBC always likes trying out new game shows, but they either hire the wrong people to produce them (cough*minute-to-win-it-producers*cough), or they air the game show so often on their schedule, that it wears everyone out. Deal or No Deal is a perfect example of schedule abuse. Minute to Win It started out as a good game show, but then turned into a drama-filled hour of girls crying while wearing bikinis. Who’s Still Standing failed because of bad post-production editing, and the same bad producers. All in all, NBC likes giving game shows a chance, but they need to interfere less with the actual production and airing of them. Also, NBC killed the revival of Fear Factor and pulled a FOX on it, by not telling anyone why or how the show had been cancelled.

        FOX, as I’ve pointed out numerous times, likes cancelling any program that doesn’t get at least 10 million viewers on a per-episode basis. Million Dollar Money Drop is a prime example (5 million viewers on average), on top of the issues with that incorrect $800K question and the initial slow-pacing. FOX also likes cancelling programs without giving anyone advance notice, and they also like changing the time a program airs on their schedule without giving advance notice, making it difficult to keep track of when the show’s on. FOX cancelled Greed, The Rich List, The Moment of Truth, Our Little Genius (because of rigging the show), and they turned 5th Grader into a joke by bringing all those celebrities into their second season, which wasn’t necessary.

        FOX also cancelled Terra Nova, despite it averaging 7 million viewers, and despite FOX president Kevin Reilly claiming that the show was profitable for the network. The only programs FOX doesn’t cancel are the restaurant shows by Gordon Ramsey (Kitchen Nightmares, Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef) and the singing/dancing competitions (So You Think You Can Dance, American Idol, X Factor).

        All in all, these days, you can expect a game show on FOX to get axed before the first season is finished airing, unless it beats and maintains that magic 10-million mark that FOX seems to have their eyes set on, for primetime programs.

        Seeing game shows like Take Me Out and The Chase get picked up by FOX is not a good sign, as you can see from their track record, as I’ve listed above.

        ABC would be my choice for The Chase. At least they’re honest with telling viewers when a show is being cancelled. (The game show “Crash Course” lasted 3 episodes, but ABC did advertise the last episode as being the Season Finale, instead of pulling it from their schedule with no advance notice, like FOX always does.)

  • ScottNotSteve says:

    What other American shows has ITV Studios done in US? That would give us some comfort

    • Alex Davis says:

      They’ve done stuff like Hell’s Kitchen, Celebrity Fit Club, and Come Dine With Me. They do a good job and the guy in charge, Paul Buccieri, is a good producer. They’ve got a few very long running shows, and they have a history with Fox.

      • ScottNotSteve says:

        Thanks, Alex ! Yes, some comfort, and apparently a foray into the quiz genre. Hoping Fox will let them do their job and the show will be solid.

  • The Banker's Nephew says:

    I’m mainly just worried about the host and Chasers. I really think it would be best for everyone to just stick with the British gang, but knowing Fox they’ll get someone who’s either resoundingly average or immensely unlikable.

    • Razer says:

      Oh man, would it be awesome or what if Bradley Walsh made the jump? But I doubt that’ll be the case. I do think the best possible pick (a few people brought it up on Facebook) for a host would be Pat Kiernan- he just fits this kind of hosting/questioner role so well.

  • Collin says:

    They should do it with game show champions like Ken Jennings and John Carpenter, if they’d be up for it. I’m really excited either way; I love the British version.

  • ScottNotSteve says:

    Alex, are all the UK chasers celebs in their own right (i.e. Paul Sinha) or are any of them known for being quiz champs? Any idea or advice as to what direction to go to here in US? I would think Ken Jennings has established a separate celeb status of sorts (books, etc.), but not so much Brad Rutter, and there are some smart US celebs like NPH who would relish the challenge and bring eyes to sets in the process.

    • Alex Davis says:

      They’re all just quiz champs and they lucked out that Paul is both a talented comedian and personable, but very smart. They casted extremely well and that’ll be important. I think we can safely assume that Ken Jennings is going to have some part in this. If this is indeed a Fox primetime series, I’m wondering if they’ll even bother with more than one Chaser.

      • Josh says:

        I’ve actually thought about this and here’s my lineup

        A) Ken Jennings
        B) Brad Rutter
        C) Mark Labett (I doubt it but it’s a good thought)
        D) Annie Duke
        E) Jason Block

        • Arc says:

          I remember Annie Duke from 1v100 and her family has a reputation for being smart cookies — does she have rapid-fire style quiz experience?

  • QuartrGuy says:

    Come on Fox, make this happen, and for the love of Slifer, DON’T MESS IT UP!!
    I’d actually like to see Ken Jennings HOST the US version; he’s too much of a gentleman to be a Chaser.

  • This is wonderful news. I seriously hope they can import Mark Labbett for this version, because he is, without question, the best of the four current Chasers (no disrespect to the other three; they’re all good in their own right). There is nothing more entertaining that watching The Beast take on a bunch of contestants. His banter, insults, and snide remarks are pure gold. If a second UK chaser were to be imported, I’d go with Paul Sinha, simply because he too is highly entertaining (that comedic background of his really does help).

    • King Erroneous says:

      Having UK Chasers would seriously limit subject matter, don’t you think? But as to US quizzers with attitude, you need only go as far as Ogi Ogas.

  • MikeSant318 says:

    Pat Kiernan or Pat Finn (if still active) would do well as host, or maybe former Jeopardy Champ Brad Rutter (as host or Chaser); I can see the money taken as par with the UK version ($1000 per question in Quickfire), but don’t see it going any higher than $2000 or $2500 at that stage. As for Chasers, the aforementioned Messrs. Rutter, Jennings, and Ogas would be a formidable trio, and maybe import The Governess until an American woman can be found…

    • Andrew L. Budny says:

      Pat Finn is not in the hosting realm anymore, he is focusing more on his production company and producing shows like Scrabble Showdown on The Hub. Though he would be a good host, but I doubt it would happen.

  • JB says:

    I’d love Kiernan to host, or perhaps even Jimmy Fallon or Keith Olbermann…I’ve always thought either of them could do a great job hosting. Kenny Mayne was also a good host when he did 2 Minute Drill.

    As for chasers, how about Sarah Vowell or Craig Ferguson? They’re both smart, funny and quick-witted.

  • James E. Parten says:

    This IS good news!

    Granted, Fox has had a recent history of not doing their game shows well. And they were burned with “Our Little Genius” and “Million Dollar Money Drop”

    But I would have some suggestions for whomever will be producing this show.

    Get a host who can read the rapid-fire questions (both in the Cashbuilder and in the Final Chase), and be very personable in the process. It’s not enough to be a blow-dried hunk.

    Select Chasers for their quiz smarts first–the personalities will be developed. If you look at the UK show, you see how the personalities of the Beast, the Barrister, and the Governess have developed since they came on board.

    Were I the producer, I’d try to get Chases who could be along the lines of “intellectual wrestlers”–still bigger than life. And they would have to display varying degrees of attitude!

    It might be well to think outside the box in regards Chasers. Perhaps somebody from Fox News, or a failed Presidential candidate, or a financial maven with a sing-song voice (who has done game shows before) might make good Chasers. And if any of the UK Chasers want to make guest appearances as Chasers, that would be a good thing, too!

    And if you’ve got a service that selects contestants based on what they think advertisers want to see–advise them not to let the door knob hit them in the middle of the back on their way out! Prizes on “The Chase” will be modest by US game show standards–seldom will it be the sort of “life-changing” amount seen on WWTBAM? or “Minute To Win It” or other shows we could mention. Get a broad range of ages, races, personalities–people who come off as for-real. And if a contestant is an unemployed actor, let him identify himself (or herself) as such. There’s no dishonor in being an unemployed actor. (After all, most actors are unemployed most of the time anyway!)

    • Poochy.EXE says:

      “Perhaps somebody from Fox News” – That just made me chuckle as I imagined Sarah Palin as a Chaser. That could make a great SNL sketch.

      “Two reporters from what American newspaper led the investigation on the Watergate scandal?”
      “Uh… all of them!”

  • J.C. says:

    Firstly, out of curiosity, is the above clip from the same episode where that @$$hole tried to rip off the team by taking the -2,000 option (and after being caught, Labett told him to “get out”)?

    And secondly, my dream line up for the show.

    Host Possiblilities:
    MALE
    Didn’t think of him at first, but the mention of Keith Olbermann actually sounds like a good fit.
    Mark L. Wahlberg
    Craig Ferguson
    Jimmy Kimmel
    NPH
    Vernon Kay
    Jeff Probst
    Fred Roggin
    FEMALE
    Carrie Ann Inaba (Yes she was OK at best on 1 vs 100, but it was her first hosting gig, give her another shot)
    Julie Chen
    Erica Hill
    Ellen DeGeneres

    Chaser Possibilites:
    Importing Labbett and Hegerty would be a good idea, even if only on a guest basis. As far as American Chasers…a previous commenter suggested thinking outside the box, so I’ll give it a try…
    Olbermann
    Ferguson
    NPH
    I’ve said it before on a previous Chase post, they’ve got a barrister, why don’t we have a Judge…Judge Judy maybe?
    Rachel Maddow
    One of the two main Mythbusters (Savage or Hyneman)
    Oprah Winfrey
    Some people have brought up Jennings, Rutter, or Ogas, but if you think about it, pretty much anyone who competed on GSN’s Grand Slam could be good.
    And lastly, the British Chase has quiz/game show champs, why don’t we have a host as a Chaser…say Alex Trebek?

    • J.C. says:

      Maybe I should have hit Shift+Enter instead of just Enter on that post lol

      • ScottNotSteve says:

        Definitely outside the box, but my fear is that Olbermann won’t work with Fox, and many of the others are not Fox personalities. So, how about Hugh Laurie, just off of House? Seth Macfarlane (Family Guy creator / animator / balladeer); Harry Shearer (The impsons). These folks are very smart and have a comedy background…

    • Francis Chu says:

      JC No I think that was a different episode.

  • Ken in Hong Kong says:

    Is it OK if I don’t get too excited about it until a pilot actually appears on American TV? As much as I would like to see Bradley Walsh host it, I rather doubt that will happen. And I don’t think it’s fair to ask “the Beast” to take on American contestants when the questions would be filled with American culture/TV etc., which wouldn’t be fair to him. Ken Jennings? OK, but let’s hope there are more episodes AND more chasers.

    • Andrew L. Budny says:

      I am excited to see The Chase getting a shot here in the states. Hopefully Fox does the right thing by getting a decent host, strong chasers and not providing spoilers during the previews and commercial breaks, I see this lasting a few good years.

      Just let me know when they start casting so I can sign up to be a part of this ;)

      • Scott says:

        Don’t count on it Andrew. My hopes of FOX doing the right thing died a long time ago. They didn’t learn anything from cancelling Greed or their 4Kids Saturday morning block. And with what happened to The Rich List, Our Little Genius and Million Dollar Money Drop, along with their decision to pass on The Cube, shows that they still haven’t learned a single thing in the last 12 years.

  • Arc says:

    Is The Chase a daytime or evening show? I think part of what can go wrong when importing formats is that they change things up too much in an effort to “evening-ize”: adding time, raising the stakes.

  • Alex McMillan says:

    NPH/Craig Ferguson as host

    Chasers as:

    -Mark Labbett
    -Ogi Ogas
    -Ken Jennings
    -Michelle Kitt

    It could work :)

  • Coupon Boy says:

    It’s obvious Ken Jennings and/or Brad Rutter will be chasers, considering they’ve been pros on the USA’s Mastermind equivalent, Jeopardy. The question is who will join them? I think that all of the Chasers will be contestants from Who Wants to be a Millionaire and/or Jeopardy, considering FOX airs these programs in syndication in some markets. My picks for chasers would definitely be Kevin Olmstead, Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and Nancy Christy.

    • STI says:

      Having met the first two gentlemen of your list, I can say that I have a hard time seeing either of them as Chasers; neither of them strikes me as having the right temperament (Mr. Olmstead is a bit snarky, perhaps, but not actually mean).

  • Ken in Hong Kong says:

    I just saw Pat Kiernan for the first time on clips of “World Series of Pop Culture” and “Grand Slam.” For whatever my opinion is worth, he would do “The Chase” just fine.

  • Eric says:

    I’ll add 2 chasers in just because I’m surprised they haven’t been mentioned here. Robin Carroll (J! International ToC winner) and Andy Richter. Carroll might be a little too sweet, but there is something to killing with kindness and if Richter can maintain anything close to his Celeb J! appearance would be a slam dunk. (Heck, he might be a good host…)

  • Ken in Hong Kong says:

    The thing that makes Bradley Walsh such a good host of this show, in my opinion, is that he’s willing to step aside, like (dare I say it?) Bill Cullen. He’s quick with a laugh line (I believe he’s done standup comedy), but he lets the contestants and the chasers be the stars. I really like him, but there are plenty of Americans/Canadians who can do it equally well. Because I live in Hong Kong, I have to ask this of people who know Pat Kiernan’s work better than I do: I know he can get out of the way, and that’s great, but can he whip out the one-liners?

  • STI says:

    One thing about the host: whoever it is, s/he HAS to be able to get through a LOT of questions—the Final Chase can use about as many questions as an entire Jeopardy! game, in just four minutes of clock time! [Yes, the questions are shorter (imagine a Clue Crew question during the Final Chase—bwah-hah-hah :p), but it's still not easy.]

    One thing about the episode: is it just me, or did anyone else notice that they incorrectly credited the Chaser for saying “Chris Isaaks” instead of “Chris Isaak”?

  • Michael T. says:

    I have seen clips of this game show, and it has a lot of potential.

    I have discussed this with some friends a few weeks ago, since it was played on Game Show Temple LIVE!. If it were brought here in America, some of them said that Mark L. Walberg (Russian Roulette, Free 4 All, Temptation Island) should host The Chase here in America if it were brought over.

    FOX has done some pretty impressive shows as of late, and it is likely we may change some things on The Chase, but I would love to see our own version done, no matter what happens. The only question is: who would be our resident Chasers?

    • MikeSant318 says:

      Here’s one vote for a potential Chaserwho’s done work on FOX as a contestant before: Curtis Warren – the one-time Million-Dollar-Moment champ on Greed, who was also a champ on NBC’s 80s Sale of the Century, and Comedy Central’s Win Ben Stein’s Money…

  • J.C. says:

    I’d like to add a name to my host possibilities: Anderson Cooper. Reason: The clip they showed of him last night laughing at Dyngus Day (and in particular the “tap from a particular branch, look it up on youtube if you really wanna know) reminded me very much of Bradley Walsh’s incident with Fanny Chmelar.

    • MikeSant318 says:

      As a Buffalonian (though of Italian descent, but linked to Polish former in-laws), it’d be nice to see AC come around next Easter for a little “Wearing of the Dyngus”, as it were. Plus, it’s been a while since hosting ABC’s “The Mole” all those years ago…

  • CarShark says:

    I have to say that I’m not looking as forward to this incarnation as others, for many of the reasons previously stated.

    1) Long history of failure or inaction from each network.

    ABC screwed over Million Dollar Mind Game for You Deserve It. Since Millionaire, they’re game show efforts have been…lackluster, with the exception of Wipeout. I liked Downfall, but it never caught on. 101 Ways…and Take the Money and Run didn’t fare any better. But it speaks to something that’s irritated me. For ABC (and indeed, all the other networks), game shows are something to run when there’s nothing else on, whether it’s during the summer or during football, or during the holiday season. They set shows up to underperform, and then when they do, they just let them wither away.

    I just don’t see where people get this idea that FOX is ideal for any non-talent unscripted show. Sure, they’re probably the most adventurous, but FOX is notoriously fickle and impatient, probably more than any other network. Killing The Rich List after one episode. Then Money Drop’s falderol (which still leaves a bad taste in my mouth). They had a shot at The Cube, as well. Nothing has hit. Nothing even renewed.

    NBC needs unscripted help the most, and they’ve had decent success. Fear Factor’s revival did OK, except for the controversial episode they threw against the Whitney Houston memorial/Grammies. Who’s Still Standing was by no means impressive, but compared to what’s on now…it’s got a a better than 50/50 chance (IMO) to get renewed, which I didn’t think there was a chance of when it debuted at 1.7 18-49. But it, to its credit, held its water, never falling below 1.5 and averaging 1.62. They would be my personal choice for the best place to land. Expectations wouldn’t be too high, and with NBC’s shows in general not doing too brilliantly, it could easily get a second season.

    CBS has The Cube and Secret Fortune in limbo, and two proven daytime properties in LMAD and TPIR. Why are they spending likely $3-4 million an episode for A Gifted Man or the 86th season of CSI:NY when they could get similar ratings for a lower cost? Especially for Friday nights, when there’s already a ceiling on how many people in the demo you can realistically expect to watch. CBS has a strategy, and that is to become a sitcom and procedural syndication factory. Unless GSN were to come out and say, “If you produce 100 episodes, we will gladly buy the rights,” I don’t see this as a possibility.

    2) I worry that a grand prize totaling $40-50 thousand won’t be enough to attract the eyes of instant millionaire-obsessed viewers. To get comfortably into six-figures, we’re talking…what? $5000 a question? 10 or 15 times bank offers by the Chaser? That seems a bit excessive, to me.

    3) What is going to be the main factor in picking the Chasers? Knowledge? Attitude? Stage presence? Notoriety? It seems like its very easy to get wrong.

  • Momo says:

    Most of the names being mentioned whilst champion quizzers are far too clean cut and all American in the way that American TV loves its champions. i.e. Charles Van Doren. ITV have gone outside the box and whilst appointing top class quizzers have ignored the standard middle age man and gone for the menace of Sean, the severity of Anne and in the case of Mark, an orang utan in a suit.
    I think that Mark could cross over to the states but I think that Fox should be looking for bigger ‘characters’who don’t need to be the best players in the country but people who are larger than life

  • susan says:

    oh no not another poor american remake off the chase cant take anymore it will be ott and full big heads should leave are shows alone they already made a mess of theoffice shameless skins inbetweeners sherlock millionaire weakest link im a celebrity get me out of here its like us brits remaking the a team with hugh grant as hanibal it wouldnt work.

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