Contestants are pit against a colossal, spinning 40-foot wheel that holds large sums of cash prizes in its rotation. Throughout the game, players answer trivia questions – where the correct answer adds more cash in the wheel’s wedges and the incorrect answer adds more dangerous wedges that could instantly bring their total back to zero.
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The Crystal Maze was a British game show, produced by Chatsworth Television and shown on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom between 15 February 1990 and 10 August 1995. There was one series per year, with the first four series presented by Richard O’Brien and the final two by Ed Tudor-Pole. Each show was one hour long, including adverts.
The show was originally intended to be a British remake of the French programme Fort Boyard, devised by Jacques Antoine. However, the unavailability of the French show’s set led British producer Malcolm Heyworth to reinvent the show, using themed zones as a means to keep the show visually fresh.
The series is set in “The Crystal Maze”, which features four different “zones” set in various periods of time and space. A team of six contestants take part in a series of challenges in order to win “time crystals”. Each crystal gives the team five seconds of time inside “The Crystal Dome”, the centrepiece of the maze where the contestants take part in their final challenge.
The maze cost £250,000 to build and was the size of two football pitches. At its height the show was the most watched on Channel 4, regularly attracting between 4 and 6 million viewers. In 2006 and again in 2010, the show was voted “greatest UK game show of all time” by readers of UKGameshows.com. This site describes the programme as “a highly-ambitious, high-risk show that paid off handsomely.”
The American version of this unscripted cooking series pits celebrity duos against each other as they cook and critique each other’s food, in Hollywood homes. The teams will take turns hosting intimate dinner parties with a menu designed to impress their rival competitors and two professional chef judges.
The show looks at whether a partner can be found based solely on the naked body and animal magnetism. Two singletons join host Anna Richardson as they seek to choose a date from a selection of six naked people, who will be revealed to them one body part at a time. They then get dressed and head off on a date, to see if there is any chemistry when the clothes come on.
Two teams, each with one contestant and two Impractical Jokers, will compete against each other by attempting to rate hilarious and miserable real-life events on a scale of 1-100 based on the “Misery Index,” a ranking system created by a team of therapists.