from the production company that made Deal or No Deal
, which ran on ABC
and was hosted by a subdued Jimmy Kimmel. An unaired qualifying round
determined how much money a player would be playing for, and according to Kimmel this involved twelve numbers and opening an envelope.
Unlike most game shows, the prize was awarded as monthly payments over a length of time on a Time Ladder, ranging from 1 month to "Set for Life
" (40 years). The highest amount seen in the show's run was $4,625/month and its subsequent top prize of $2,220,000.
The actual game involves pulling glowing rods (actually referred to as "sticks", but...
) out of pedestals one at a time. There were 15 of them — 11 white, four red
. The player had to draw as many white rods as possible, as each one moved the player up a level on their Time Ladder. This had to be done whilst trying to avoid the remaining red rods, since drawing all four reds meant you "died"
and won nothing.
You see, there was also the spouse or friend of the player ("Guardian Angel") seated in a Sound Proof Booth
watching the game. Said chamber also contained a Big Red Button
which caused the game to secretly stop after any turn. The mechanic was a double-edged sword as, while it saved a few players who had a bad game, it also ruined good games by halting things prematurely.
Unfortunately, it ran for just seven episodes in America during Summer 2007.
This show provides examples of:
- Catch Phrase / Four Is Death: "Four reds and you're dead!"
- Instant Mystery, Just Delete Scene: Each game began with a round that determined the player's monthly check value, which Kimmel stated involved twelve numbers and opening an envelope, but this never aired. According to this post, the American qualifying game was the same as the British one, just with higher values. The geniuses at Endemol thought viewers would prefer to see fake suspense and other crap, plus chopping out the first one-third of each game allowed for multiple contestants per show and straddling, like Deal.
- The British version did air said round, at least: the couple chose a base amount from £100-£200, then played a version of the main game with eight white and three red rods; white rods increased the bank by the chosen amount, with reds decreasing it. Couples could stop anytime after the fourth white rod, but picking all three reds ended the game right there. What was gained in truthfulness, they lost in tediousness.
- Luck-Based Mission: You may as well call it The $1,000,000 Straw Draw, and that's not counting the whole Guardian Angel mechanic.
- Power Glows: The glowing-stick technology manages to look more high-tech than Deal.
- Transatlantic Equivalent: The original British version was For The Rest Of Your Life