The Power is off and the fore­cast is bleak

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv - Michael Sains­bury

WHEN the teams of bright and tal­ented peo­ple who run our in­creas­ingly bright and tal­ented free- to- air television net­works sit down at the end of each year, they think about next year’s shows.

Be­fore them are dozens of ideas: many good, many bad, some in­ter­est­ing, some not.

They come from their in­ter­nal pro­duc­tion teams and the in­de­pen­dent pro­duc­tion houses that pro­duce many of our best shows.

The de­ci­sions they make de­pend on a range of things, such as qual­ity, de­mo­graph­ics and cost.

They must bal­ance rev­enue po­ten­tial, spon­sor­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties and, in­creas­ingly, the prospect of resid­ual sales and in­ter­est on the in­ter­net.

One can only hope that this dread­ful show is cheap be­cause it takes only about five min­utes to re­alise how truly aw­ful it is.

Power of 10 is not a se­quel to the Bryce Courte­nay pot­boiler that starred a talk­ing chicken but a game show for­mat that is a throw­back to the wretched Fam­ily Feud , in which the con­tes­tant must guess the an­swer to a con­sumer poll.

What per­cent­age of men think they have manboobs was a choice ques­tion from the first episode. Hi­lar­i­ous. You get the drift.

Clearly it’s de­signed to repli­cate the suc­cess of Who Wants to be a Mil­lion­aire? and there are sim­i­lar­i­ties in that there is a po­ten­tial prize of $ 1 mil­lion, the con­tes­tant can have a fam­ily mem­ber or friend help in the stu­dio and the au­di­ence gets polled on its re­sponse, which can be a form of help.

For the first an­swer the win­ner gets $ 10, then 10 times $ 10, and on it goes, to the power of 10, un­til the prize reaches $ 1 mil­lion, ged­dit?

So, to the host, the slim lit­tle weather­man from Nine’s peren­ni­ally un­der­per­form­ing morn­ing show To­day , Steve Ja­cobs.

I’ll be nice: he’s in­of­fen­sive enough but un­der­whelm­ing.

Ac­tu­ally, it’s hard to tell if he has any fu­ture be­yond the high- pres­sure cell off the coast as he is trapped with this aw­ful for­mat and a fright­ful, ick­y­blue set.

Ja­cobs is per­haps most fa­mous, as far as it goes, for dress­ing up as singing budgie cum sexpot Kylie Minogue dur­ing his early, more imag­i­na­tive days on To­day .

Per­haps a way to boost the en­ter­tain­ment value of Power of 10 would be to poll the au­di­ence mem­bers each week and see who they would most like him to dress up as, then have him come out for the last set of ques­tions in drag.

At least with that other tired old re­vamp, Gla­di­a­tors , on Seven, there is some­thing to look at.

Stormy weather: Steve Ja­cobs is sunny but his show has cloudy pe­ri­ods

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