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Series / You Deserve It

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Short-lived 2011 ABC Game Show where a contestant played a quiz to win up to $435,000 for a beneficiary of their choice. There were five rounds, each with a certain amount of money on offer ($10,000-$25,000-$50,000-$100,000-$250,000). To bank money, the contestant had to correctly guess the subject of a Who, What, or Where puzzle. While a single clue was given for free, it was extremely vague; revealing any other clues required the player to choose from one of nine hidden dollar amounts, which was deducted from the money at stake for the round.


Answering correctly banked the remaining money for that question, while answering incorrectly simply banked nothing. At the conclusion of each game was a rather melodramatic moment where the contestant's beneficiary learned that one of their friends had won them a (hopefully) large amount of money just for them, since, well, they deserved it.

You Deserve It debuted among controversy, as ABC chose to put it in primetime rather than Million Dollar Mind Game, which the network had put on Sunday afternoons and left to die against NFL games. The run, consisting of six episodes, aired from November 21-December 26, 2011.

On a side note, the show's title rather transparently shows the current mindset of some game show producers in regard to contestants — namely, that potential players have to have a reason why they deserve the money offered by the show. Remember when nearly every producer was more concerned with whether potential contestants could play the game well? Yeah, us too.


Game Show Tropes in use:

  • All or Nothing: Averted for the total winnings. Unless a contestant was stupid enough to get all five questions wrong, there was no way to walk away with nothing if you at least knew something. (Which was good, considering the contestants weren't actually playing for themselves.)
  • Mystery Box: Each round's prize money was divided into nine shares of ascending amounts, hidden behind nine numbered virtual rectangles. To reveal a clue, the player chose a number and hoped it was low-valued, since the revealed amounts were deducted from the round's prize.
  • Personnel:


This show provides examples of:

  • Game-Breaking Bug: An eagle-eyed viewer noticed that the total amount for the round animates down to $0 after the values are listed, but the amounts taken away each time were the same order the money amounts were placed behind the numbers.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The "buying clues" part of the game required knowledge and a little bit of luck.
  • Melodrama: It's the game show parallel to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, sans the Product Placement and Ty Pennington.
  • Pilot: In a rare example, it aired...and in a feat only known to be duplicated by ABC's You Don't Know Jack in 2001, it was also the Grand Finale. Differences included putting the numbered boxes on a second screen, the money ladder being $10,000-$25,000-$50,000-$75,000-$100,000, and answering a question wrong resulted in the round being replayed and the top amount removed.
  • Shout-Out: A contestant waiting anxiously for an answer on the pilot quipped that it "felt like a rose ceremony." Even contestants know padding sucks.


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