Paranoia was a Game Show that ran on what was then Fox Family three times a week from April 14 to May 7, 2000, and was unique due to its allowing one in-studio contestant (on a fancy blue-screen set) to compete against others live via satellite, on the phone, or on the internet.
With a mathematical possibility of up to $1,500,000 as the top prize, the studio contestant tried to defend his/her bank (which began at $10,000) by answering 10 multiple-choice questions (hey, that's a little familiar). Correct answers kept the bank intact, while incorrect answers deducted $1,000. Additionally following every question, the studio contestant had to "challenge" at least one of the three contestants that were live via satellite to see if they answered correctly; a correct answer paid that remote player $1,000 out of the studio contestant's bank, but a wrong answer earned a strike. A remote player who earned two strikes was out of the game. The studio contestant could swap out a remote player or eliminate them altogether...for a price ($1,000 and $3,000, respectively). Surviving 10 rounds, or knocking out all three remote players, awarded the studio player whatever money was left in the bank.
Additionally, five players each on the show's Web site and phone lines were chosen per question to play for $50 from the "interactive jackpot" of $5,000 (and some interactive players would also be chosen at the end of the show to play for an eMachines computer in the same way). Any money remaining in this pot would also be added to the studio player's bank at the end of the game (if they make it that far) for the bonus round, where the contestant picked a bonus question from one of ten categories. Nine questions multiplied the winnings by 10 for a correct answer, while the remaining question multiplied it by 100.
Game Show Tropes in use:
- Audience Participation: Multi-platform audience participation, too!
- Bonus Round: One more question in one of 10 categories, 15 seconds to answer. Answering correctly multiplied banked winnings by 10, while one category multiplied it by 100 instead.
- Home Participation Sweepstakes: The interactive parts were one giant play-at-home component, although some viewers may view eMachines computers of that era as an Undesirable Prize,
- Lifelines: Either swap out a remote player for a different one on deck, or give one the /kick. Unlike most lifelines, these were not free the swap cost $1,000, the kick $3,000. Later, the victims were given these fees as consolation prizes, essentially making the lifelines into forced bribes.
- Who Wants to Be "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?": Mathematical possibility of a $1,500,000 top prize? Questions? Glitzy early-2000s CGI blue screen set? Lifelines? Yep, we got it all!
Other tropes in use include:
- Freudian Slip: Prior to this, Peter had been hosting various interactive game shows over on GSN; during this show's first ep, he started to say "We'll be back to Paranoia here on the Game Sho-" before catching himself.