TV bosses are usually fairly reluctant to publicly criticise other broadcaster’s programmes in public – and they’re even less inclined to have a pop at one of their own.
But ITV’s maverick programmes chief Kevin Lygo defied the convention at the Edinburgh Television Festival earlier today, dubbing gameshow 500 Questions “derivative.”
The series fronted by Giles Coren recently started on ITV but looks to have got a thumbs down from the boss.
“It is a show which has been around a while, it is on series two in America. I think it was an attempt where people looked back on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? from the glory days of ITV. And lots of people have tried to copy it just to show how difficult it was to get it right in the first place. And I think this was another one of those.
“And it looked a bit derivative to me to be quite honest. It smelt and felt a bit like that. And I watched it when I came in [to the ITV job, replacing Peter Fincham] and I found it hard to follow. But it was worth a go and I think Giles was good.”
In the show, contestants choose a category and have five seconds to answer a question correctly. If they get three wrong answers in a row, they’re kicked off the show and the baton passes to the next contestant. Whoever is still standing at the end of the programme gets to keep the money while everyone else gets nothing.
Asked if he would recommisson 500 Questions Lygo said: “Let’s wait until it all goes out.”
It doesn’t sound promising, does it?