Fieri thinks that the most difficult challenge on the show is one called "Ping Tac Toe," in which contestants have to bounce colored ping pong balls into drinking glasses and try to make a line, a la Tic Tac Toe. He explained that they're basically "playing Tic Tac Toe against themselves." He had his kids at a couple of the tapings (actually, Fieri used the word "filming," which should interest "Doug" in the comment section of this post), and during the breaks his kids (aged 13 and 4) wanted to try out the games. The Fieri's also did some of the tasks with friends on New Year's Eve, and have several suggestions for new ones if the show carries over into further seasons.
Interestingly, TV Guide Canada asked about the comparisons to The Cube, and Fieri said that he has never seen The Cube. He said that he knew about the comparisons, and that he intentionally didn't watch any clips of the UK show so as not to cloud his vision or creativity while hosting Minute to Win It. He added that there is a lot of "sharing" of styles, both domestically and internationally, as far as game shows are concerned. He's right - we had both The Singing Bee and Don't Forget the Lyrics at the same time not long ago, and both are still around in one form or another.
A couple of other random notes: Fieri had a lot of creative input into the show, and the audience was quite involved while filming was taking place. One audience member told him that she had attended over 25 game show recordings, and had never been so sucked into the game as she was with this one. So, that's a good sign. Finally, Fieri is happy with the time slot, since this is a family show, and he forsees children going to school the next day and talking about the games and how the contestants fared.
Overall, I do think that this will be a fun show. Even though the format is quite similar to The Cube, I don't see any reason why both programs can't be successful. Though we've been seeing some rather unconventional promotion techniques (just check the comments in any blog post regarding the show to see what I mean), this game show does appear to be able to stand on its own. The host is solid, the format is good, and it sounds like we'll see some contestants who really push the envelope and fare well.
Minute to Win It premieres March 14th from 7-9pm Eastern, on NBC.
Photo courtesy NBC