Power of 10 is a high-stakes game show with a top prize of $10 million. The game is fast-paced and fun, and the highlight of each show are the questions asked of the contestants. All of the questions are based on poll answers from the American public, and consist of funny, edgy, and sometimes controversial subject matter. The show is addictive, and host Drew Carey shines with his ad-lib remarks and jokes.
With all of this going for it, why was Power of 10 unceremoniously canceled less than halfway through its second season?
One of the main problems CBS encountered was the time slot. Power of 10 was up against both American Idol on FOX, and Deal or No Deal on NBC. Both shows have an almost rabid following, and any program that goes up against them is not going to do well in the ratings.
A simple solution would have been to move Power of 10 to a new night and/or time, but for whatever reason, the network chose not to do that.
The game shows that have returned so far this year have had lots of buzz. We've seen television ads, heard radio spots, seen print ads and billboards, and noticed promotional banners on the web. Power of 10 arrived back on the scene with very little fanfare.
During this season's premiere, the show opened just as it always did during the first season. There was no dialogue or anything to suggest that it was the first episode of a brand new season. Many viewers didn't even know it was back.
While the concept of Power of 10 is solid, season two was a carbon copy of the first season. There were no new twists or gimmicks, no changes to the game, and no added extras that might have given the show a boost. Even though I personally prefer to see a game show stick to its original concept, small changes could have been made to increase the hype and draw in new viewers.
Things like set changes, special guests, and themed episodes can go a long way towards adding a fresh spin to an otherwise standard format. Many other shows have celebrity editions, where the famous contestants play the game for charity. This could be done easily on a show like Power of 10.
Power of 10 boasts that contestants can win up to ten million dollars, which is true. But, with the prize ladder the way it is now, many contestants actually walk away with nothing. There are no guaranteed prizes, and no money is awarded in the first round where two contestants face off against each other to see who will go on to play the game.
It can be tedious to watch as three contestants in a row, all in one hour-long program, end up winning absolutely nothing. No one has ever quit the game and walked away with a mere $10,000. If a contestant gets past that question, they always push ahead to get to the $100,000 mark – and this is usually where they end up losing their money. Even a small safety net, like being able to keep the $1,000 for getting the first question right, would be helpful.
Alternatively, contestants could be awarded a small amount of money for winning points in the first round. Bonuses could be awarded for guessing an exact percentage. There are many ways that contestants could earn at least a little bit of cash for their time spent playing the game.
The Good News:
The good news is that CBS has not abandoned the show completely. While there are currently no plans to air the rest of the episodes from this season, it's rumored that the network will bring the show back this summer, with brand new, fresh episodes. Drew Carey will return as host, and maybe, just maybe, they'll add something new to the show to draw more eyeballs to the screen.