Pointless (game show)

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Pointless
Pointless.jpg
Also known asPointless Celebrities
GenreQuiz show
FormatGame show
Created byEndemol UK
Directed byNick Harris
Julian Smith
Presented byAlexander Armstrong
StarringRichard Osman
Theme music composerMarc Sylvan
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Language(s)English
No. of series7 (Original series)
2 (Celebrity series)
No. of episodes300 (Original series)
18 (Celebrity series)
Production
Executive producer(s)Pam Cavannagh (BBC)
Tom Blakeson and David Flynn (both Brighter Pictures then Remarkable Television)
Producer(s)Michelle Woods
Editor(s)Hannah Barnes
Peter Elphick
David Horwell
Neil Hunter
Nick Parker
Location(s)BBC Television Centre
Camera setupMultiple-camera setup
Running time45 minutes
Production company(s)Brighter Pictures (2009)
Remarkable Television (2010–)
DistributorEndemol
Broadcast
Original channelBBC Two (2009–2011)
BBC One (2011–)
Picture format16:9
Audio formatStereo
Original run24 August 2009 (2009-08-24) – present
Chronology
Related shows101 Ways to Leave a Gameshow
A Question of Sport
Beat the Nation
Blankety Blank
Every Second Counts
Family Fortunes
High Stakes
It's Not What You Know
Odd One In
Odd One Out
Only Connect
Wipeout
External links
Website
 
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Pointless
Pointless.jpg
Also known asPointless Celebrities
GenreQuiz show
FormatGame show
Created byEndemol UK
Directed byNick Harris
Julian Smith
Presented byAlexander Armstrong
StarringRichard Osman
Theme music composerMarc Sylvan
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Language(s)English
No. of series7 (Original series)
2 (Celebrity series)
No. of episodes300 (Original series)
18 (Celebrity series)
Production
Executive producer(s)Pam Cavannagh (BBC)
Tom Blakeson and David Flynn (both Brighter Pictures then Remarkable Television)
Producer(s)Michelle Woods
Editor(s)Hannah Barnes
Peter Elphick
David Horwell
Neil Hunter
Nick Parker
Location(s)BBC Television Centre
Camera setupMultiple-camera setup
Running time45 minutes
Production company(s)Brighter Pictures (2009)
Remarkable Television (2010–)
DistributorEndemol
Broadcast
Original channelBBC Two (2009–2011)
BBC One (2011–)
Picture format16:9
Audio formatStereo
Original run24 August 2009 (2009-08-24) – present
Chronology
Related shows101 Ways to Leave a Gameshow
A Question of Sport
Beat the Nation
Blankety Blank
Every Second Counts
Family Fortunes
High Stakes
It's Not What You Know
Odd One In
Odd One Out
Only Connect
Wipeout
External links
Website

Pointless is a quiz show shown on BBC One, hosted by Alexander Armstrong, with Richard Osman as an assistant. It has been broadcast since 24 August 2009.[1]

Similar to Family Fortunes, contestants must give answers to a question which had previously been asked to one hundred members of the public. However, there are important differences:

The object of the game is to score as few points as possible by giving correct answers that the public have or have not given, ultimately scoring lower than other contestants. The contestants particularly try to look for answers that score no points, which are known as "Pointless" answers. Finding a Pointless Answer adds £250 to the jackpot in rounds prior to the Final, and finding a Pointless Answer in the Final wins the game.

Contents

Overview

Introduction

At the beginning of the show there are four teams (five in the first series) of two players. Any team which does not reach the final of the show on their first appearance is invited back for a second (and final) appearance on the next show.

Rules

The aim of the show is to get as few points as possible, by answering questions with lesser known correct answers.

Prior to the show, 100 people are each given 100 seconds to give as many answers as they can to the questions that will be asked to the teams during the show. The number of points given to the teams during the quiz is decided by how many of the 100 people have previously given the same answer.

Example:

Name a country beginning with the letter "C".

Correct answers that scored no points on the quiz are known as "Pointless" answers, and are the ones the teams should be aiming to get.

Adjudicator

The show's assistant is Richard Osman (Alexander's "Pointless friend"). In the course of the game, he gives information about the answers that crop up, as well as statistics at the end of each round on the most common and most obscure answers.[2]

Format

The format and gameplay changed slightly between series. The game consists of initial elimination rounds (three in the first series, two in subsequent series) to whittle the starting lineup down to the two teams who contest the head-to-head; the winning team of the head-to-head plays in the Final.

Elimination rounds

In the first rounds, the teams are given a subject (such as geography or sport). Each team chooses one player from their team to answer the question first. Then the question within the subject is revealed. The order of play starts with the person at the podium nearest to Alexander, then goes all the way to the farthest podium away from Alexander; this forms what is known as the 'first pass'. Then, the players at each podium switch to the second player, and the order is then reversed for the 'second pass', so it ends up with the person nearest to Alexander going last. During each of these rounds, teams may not confer.

Teams gain points depending on how many people answered the question with that answer. If the player gives an incorrect answer, they gain 100 points.

At the end of each round, the team with the highest score is eliminated from the game. In the event of a tie, the tied teams each give an extra answer each until the deadlock is broken and the team with the highest points eliminated, and the teams are allowed to confer in the tie-break.

Also, at the end of each round, Richard reveals all the "Pointless" answers, or lowest popular three if there aren't any "Pointless" answers, plus the top three answers, which would be worth the highest amount to any player.

There are three different formats of the elimination round which can be played: the first was introduced in the first series (and was the only version used in that run), with subsequent series introducing variant formats.

The original format saw open-ended questions: contestants would be given the question and a free choice of answer – no prompts or preset answers were shown. If the answer given by the contestant was adjudged to be correct under the terms of the question, the contestant would score according to the results of the poll; giving an answer not adjudged to be correct would result in 100 points being scored. In the first series, this game was played three times (as each of the elimination rounds), then in subsequent episodes this game was played no more than once.

The possible answers format, introduced as the new second-elimination-round format in series 2, sees the question given and then a board of potential answers (between six and eight, commonly seven) given to the contestants; each contestant in turn picks one of the answers shown and scores accordingly. Following the first pass, Richard reveals the value of the remaining answers. The other team members have a new set of answers to choose from. Each set of answers includes at least one Pointless Answer and at least one 100-point-scoring incorrect answer. Usually, the incorrect answer has some indirect link (often humorous) back to the question.

The third format, clues and answers, was introduced in series 3 and sees the teams given a two-part subject, such as "Famous Battles and their Countries", and then a list of names relating to part of the question – in this example, they would see a list of historical battles. The contestants would have to select an item from the list and give the corresponding other half of the answer (in this case, the country where the battle took place). All the options have a correct answer, and a more obscure answer will score fewer points. Giving an incorrect answer to any question scores the team 100 points. For example, when the question was The Battle of Hastings, the correct answer was England, scoring 92 points. After the first pass, all the correct answers and their scores were revealed, with a fresh board of names for the second pass. Unlike in "possible answers", there is no guarantee there will be a Pointless Answer on the board.

Another format, introduced in Series 5, provided the teams with two closely related categories (e.g. "Boy Bands" and "Rock Bands"). The first category would be played on the first pass (first player from each team playing), and the second category would be played on the second pass (the second player from each team playing). The questions were still played in an open-ended format and so far, this format has only been played in the first round.

The games which were played in each series were arranged as follows:

Whatever the format, the two teams remaining from the elimination rounds would go forward to the head-to-head round.

Head-to-head round

Series 1

The lowest scoring team overall is given a choice of two categories and picks one, they are allowed to confer. Each team takes it in turns to give as many correct answers as possible to the single question while still keeping their scores as low as possible. The round ends when one team goes above 100 points, after both teams have had the same number of turns. If both teams go above 100, then the team that is nearest to 100 goes through to the final.

Series 2 to Series 5

The format of the head-to-head changed from series 2 to a multi-question best-of-five (best-of-three from series 3).

The remaining two teams face off in a head-to-head battle. The team who acquired the fewest points in the first two rounds gets to go first.

A question is asked which has a minimum of 4 answers, then the teams get to confer and give one answer in turn. The scores for both answers are then revealed and the team with the lower score get a point and the opportunity to answer first on the next question. The first team to get three points (2 points from series 3) wins the Head to Head and enters the final.

Series 6

The head-to-head format kept its previous format of a multi-question best-of-three, but each question is in a "clues and answers" format. There are three kinds of question in this round:

After both contestants have submitted an answer, the scores are revealed, and the lowest scoring pair wins the point, as per normal.

Final

The aim of the Final is to get one "Pointless" answer to win the jackpot.

The team is given a choice of five categories (three in Series 1–5, and in these series, the categories stayed either for 5 days or until they were picked. Since Series 6, a new set is seen every day, although unpicked categories regularly reappear as selections, with Armstrong notably pointing out "Spanish Pop" and "Katie Price"). After choosing one, they get the question, and have 60 seconds to give three answers for that category. If any of them are "Pointless" answers then they win the jackpot. If not, then the jackpot is rolled over to the next show and £1,000 is added.

For reaching the final the team receives a glass "Pointless" trophy, regardless of what happens in the final. Any team that makes it through to the final cannot return for the next show, even if it is their first appearance.

Transmissions

Regular series

SeriesStart dateEnd dateEpisodesRecordedNotes
124 August 20096 October 200930No episode on 31 August and 10 September.
28 March 201016 April 201030No episode on 5 April.
330 August 201022 December 201050Series 3 took breaks from 16 & 20 September, 4 - 14 October, and 22 November - 21 December.
414 March 201126 August 201160Series 4 took breaks from 18 April - 1 July.
529 August 20116 February 201260Series 5 took breaks from 17 October - 30 December.
613 February 201228 August 201270Series 6 took breaks from 23 March, 2 - 27 April, 3 May, and 4 June - 10 August.
729 August 2012 ?70

Pointless Celebrities

SeriesStart dateEnd dateEpisodesRecordedNotes
14 July 20118 July 20115
225 February 201213[3]Series 2 took breaks from 10 March - 21 April, 12 May, 9 June, 23 June - present.
SeriesEpisodeTeam 1Team 2Team 3Team 4
1OneHelen Skelton and Barney HarwoodTina Hobley and Paul BradleyJulia Bradbury and John CravenAnton du Beke and Erin Boag
1TwoAnn Widdecombe and Craig Revel HorwoodJohn McCririck and his wife JennyEd Byrne and Lucy PorterAlex Jones and Matt Baker
1ThreeStuart Baggs and Joanna RileySuzanne Packer and Colin JacksonLembit Opik and his girlfriend Merily McGivernChris Hollins and Carol Kirkwood
1FourDenise Lewis and Tom O'ConnorSam Nixon and Mark RhodesEamonn Holmes and Charlotte HawkinsSarah Cawood and Michael Underwood
1FiveVanessa Feltz and Ben OfoeduRichard McCourt and Dominic WoodSusanna Reid and Charlie StaytDawn Porter and Russell Kane
2OneChristopher Biggins and Lesley JosephPenny Smith and Jon CulshawMichel Roux Jr and Monica GalettiJoe Swash and his mum Kiffy Swash
2TwoBill Oddie and Chris PackhamBrian Blessed and his daughter RosalindClaire Sweeney and Anthea TurnerBen-Ryan Davies and Georgia Henshaw
2ThreeEdith Bowman and Rick EdwardsEsther Rantzen and Rebecca WilcoxJohn Thomson and Paul RossJohn Virgo and Dennis Taylor
2FourThe Chuckle Brothers (Barry and Paul)Sherrie Hewson and Carol McGiffinArlene Phillips and her daughter Alana PhillipsIwan Thomas and Katharine Merry
2FiveAndrew Castle and his daughter Georgie CastleDavid Coulthard and Jake HumphreyLucy Speed and Shaun WilliamsonAldo Zilli and his wife Nikki Zilli
2SixJoe Pasquale and Dani HarmerRicky Norwood and Chucky VennLucy Siegle and Matt AllwrightFatima Whitbread and Sharron Davies
2SevenNeil Hamilton and Christine HamiltonAntony Costa and Liz McClarnonHelen Lederer and Harriet ThorpeRussell Grant and Carol Smilie
2EightAngellica Bell and Konnie HuqColin McAllister and Justin RyanLionel Blair and Angela RipponSteve Pemberton and Sam Stockman

Other countries

In summer 2011, the French public channel France 3 launched Pointless under the name Personne n'y avait pensé ! (Nobody had thought of that!) hosted by Cyril Féraud. It was broadcast from 16 July 2011 to 31 December 2011.

In August 2012, it is planned that the Schweizer Fernsehen will be adapting Pointless for Switzerland and will broadcast it on SF 1 for the German-languaged part of the country. The name of the show will be "Weniger ist mehr" ("Less is more"); the host will be Patrick Hässig.[4]

In summer 2012, the German public channel ARD will broadcast a German version called "Null gewinnt" ("Zero wins") as a replacement of "Gottschalk Live".[5]

References

External links