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Series / Downfall

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Game Show hosted by wrestler Chris Jericho on ABC for a single season in 2010 as the Wipeout lead-out, whose main draw is that the contestant tries to save a series of prizes from going over the edge of a rather tall building on a Conveyor Belt o' Doom.

The contestant picked a category off a board, and had to correctly answer a certain number of clues from it. While the belt also contained nice bonus prizes, the box of money at the end of the line had to survive in order to move on to the next round, and the belt sped up for each question passed.


The contestant also got two uses of a "Panic Button", which stops the round, resets the belt, forfeits the prizes on the belt, and allows them to pick a new category, but also forces them to put a personal possession or a supporter on the belt, the latter allowing the two to confer on answers. Survival through all seven rounds awards $1,000,000.

While Jericho hinted on Twitter that more episodes were going to be filmed in the fall, this never happened. The show got canned, and said cans got sent over the same rooftop. It got replaced the following summer by 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show.

Not to be confused with the World War II film of the same name.


Game Show Tropes in use:

  • All or Nothing: While there are safety nets for cash, the banked prizes from previous rounds are lost if the contestant loses the game.
  • Deadly Game: This show could have been one (or at least play itself off as one), if only they didn't blatantly avert it and rub this fact it in the viewers' faces. The show tries to portray itself as being safe, not destroying real prizes, etc. Unfortunately, this takes away from the experience. A lot.
    • Of course, the aversion could have been averted itself had Jericho not told the contestant this information. A disclaimer before the show would have been sufficient.
    • To be fair, the first couple of episodes aired went light on the disclaimers. The network was slammed by viewers who thought they were destroying real prizes while the country was in the middle of a recession.
  • Eject the Loser: If you lost, you were sent over the edge on the belt (while your fall was controlled by a cable, of course.)
  • Lifelines: The Panic Button; it stops the round, resets the belt, and lets the contestant pick a new category. However, it forfeits the prizes remaining on the belt for that round (leaving the money only), and requires the player to place either a personal sacrifice, or a supporter on the belt in front of the money (each of these two scenarios could be used once). If a supporter was put on the belt, the two could confer over answers until they went over the edge.
  • Personnel:
    • Game Show Host: Chris Jericho.
    • Lovely Assistant: Jamie and Allee, who hooked up the safety harness and put up personal items on the belt.
  • Undesirable Prizes: ...can easily be sacrificed for more time by letting them drop. Of course, the fancier and more expensive prizes are closer to the front of the line, so if you want to win them you pretty much have no choice but to play the game quick...and play it well.
  • Who Wants to Be "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?": Money ladder? Check. $1,000,000 top prize? Check. Lifelines? Check. Crazy aerial camera shots? Check. Caffeinated women from the Deal or No Deal contestant pool? Check. (Naturally) Dark set with lots of LED mood lighting? Check.

This show provides examples of:

  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: The kind of reaction a lot of the prize destruction gets, it's almost like the audience isn't there for the actual game at all!
    • One contestant secretly stole a Santa Claus clock his wife received as a gift to use as his personal sacrifice. He actually hated the thing and thought it was creepy!
  • Catch Phrase: "START/STOP THE BELT!", "You're going down!"
  • Mascot: Clarance, the Crash Test Dummy.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: The show provides a good example of how the real-life Chris Jericho is a really nice guy who has a sense of humor and actual intelligence beyond what is normally shown on the WWE.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: The prizes on the belt were represented by stand-ins, and the show took liberties — a Ford Focus stood in for a Ford Escape, and non-tangible prizes had an object representing them (like, a giant disco ball to represent dance lessons)
  • Timed Mission: Essentially, although here there is no definitive timer, except for the conveyor belt, it too can be manipulated by variables in-game (such as how many passes you take)


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