Wipeout (2008 game show)

Infobox Television
show_name = Wipeout

size =
caption =
format = Game show
country = USA
runtime = approx. 43 minutes
presenter = John Anderson
John Henson
Jill Wagner
channel = ABC
picture_format = 480i NTSC
first_aired = June 24, 2008
last_aired = present
num_seasons = 1
num_episodes = 11
location = Los Angeles (county), CA
executive_producer= Matt Kunitz
director = J. Rupert Thompson
co_exec = Scott Larsen
Shye Sutherland
company = Endemol USA
Pulse Creative
website = http://abc.go.com/primetime/wipeout/index?pn=index
imdb_id = 1156535
"Wipeout" is a game-show series that premiered on June 24, 2008 on ABC. Each week, 24 contestants go head to head through the world's largest obstacle course to win the title of Wipeout Champion and a $50,000 grand prize. The challenges change each week; common obstacles include the "Sucker Punch" and "Big Balls" (the show's trademark obstacles), the "Sweeper", the "Dizzy Dummy" (which alternates with the "Dreadmill"), and the "Wipeout Zone". The concept of the show has been compared to many Japanese game shows including "Sasuke" and "Takeshi's Castle" which had become increasingly popular through YouTube clips.cite web |title=American TV not crazy, just Japanese |url=http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/TV/06/24/apontv.japanese.gameshow.ap/index.html |publisher=CNN.com/entertainment |accessdate=2008-06-24] cite web |title=Will Americans fall for Japanese-style game shows? |url=http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/articles/2008/06/24/will_americans_fall_for_japanese_style_game_shows/?page=1 |publisher=The Boston Globe |accessdate=2008-06-28] cite web |title=Wipeout and I Survived a Japanese Game Show Tonight |url=http://www.huliq.com/62671/wipeout-and-i-survived-japanese-game-show-tonight |publisher=Huliq News |accessdate=2008-06-28] "Wipeout" creator and executive producer Matt Kunitz, who also executive produced NBC's "Fear Factor", states "Wipeout" is "90 percent "Fear Factor"- inspired, 10 percent Japanese game show." Kunitz claimed, in the Los Angeles Times, that "Wipeout" was born from a desire to do a funny stunt series. He wanted to sell the show as "Fear Factor" meets "America's Funniest Home Videos".cite web |title=Just call Matt Kunitz the king of reality TV |url=http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/tv/la-et-channel14-2008jul14,0,4671579.story |publisher=The Los Angeles Times |accessdate=2008-07-14]

"Wipeout" is hosted by John Henson (E! Entertainment's "Talk Soup") and John Anderson (ESPN's "SportsCenter"). Jill Wagner co-hosts. The executive producer is Matt Kunitz ("Fear Factor"), and the co-executive producers are Scott Larsen and Shye Sutherland. The series producer is Trice Barto. Distribution of the show is handled by Endemol USA.

The show is taped on a ranch just outside the city of Santa Clarita, California.

On its premiere night, "Wipeout" scored the highest premiere rating of any new show in Summer 2008, beating competing veteran summer shows "Hell's Kitchen" and "America's Got Talent".cite web |title=Wipeout scores top Tuesday ratings |url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3if15c9c648a5fa48d2b9e29f95cd82efd |publisher=Hollywood Reporter |accessdate=2008-06-25] As the season progressed, Nielsen Media Research put it at the top of the 18-49 demographic, slightly outpaced by "America's Got Talent".

On August 6, 2008, "Wipeout" was officially renewed for a second season. [http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117990149.html?categoryid=14&cs=1 ABC renews 'Wipeout' - Entertainment News, TV News, Media - Variety ] ]

Leading Japanese broadcaster TBS has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against ABC, charging that the 2008 summer hit "Wipeout" is "a blatant copycat" of several of its classic Japanese competition game shows. Among the charges are that ABC bought search terms such as "MXC" on Google to help drive traffic to the official "Wipeout" page, and that specific obstacles in "Wipeout" were knock-offs of challenges in the Japanese game shows. [citeweb|url=http://www.sanspo.com/geino/news/081007/gnj0810071200020-n1.htm|title=「風雲!たけし城」酷似!TBSが米ABCを提訴|date=2008-10-07|accessdate=2008-10-07|language=Japanese]


Round One - "The Qualifier"

In the first round of the competition, 24 (32 in Episode 9 only) contestants attempt to qualify for the next round by passing a four-part obstacle course. Only the twelve with the fastest times move on. The course consists of four distinct parts, the second and third of which are constant. If the contestant fails to pass a particular obstacle, they only have to swim or crawl through mud or water to the next one.

Contestants first go down a ramp to a line of floating platforms (technically not an obstacle but many contestants fall into the water here). The first part of the course usually consists of two sections of stacked items which the contestants must cross, occasionally separated by an additional obstacle. Though the items vary (donuts, rectangles, etc.), they fall over easily, dumping contestants into mud or water. (In Episode 9, the ramp was replaced by a water slide with lots of pillars (The Human Pinball).)

The next obstacle is the "Sucker Punch," a wall covered in boxing gloves which punch out at random intervals to knock the contestants into a mud pit. This obstacle has only been successfully completed four times in aired episodes so far (by Episode 4's Gwenisha Robinson, Episode 6's Jessica Bertoni, Episode 9's Katie Mayfield, and Episode 10's Sam Mohan). For Episode 8, the boxing gloves are replaced by shoes and the obstacle is so named, "Butt Kicker".

The third part of the course, and the show's hallmark obstacle, are the "Big Balls", four gigantic inflated rubber balls placed in a line on steel supports over a pool of water, which the contestants must cross. In aired episodes so far, only five contestants (Episode 3's Ariel Tweto and Episode 5's Ben Kronberg and Jeremy Olson and episode 9's Nick Ballard and Katie Mayfield) have managed to successfully cross all four balls.

The final part challenges the contestants to land on a distant platform, a giant ball, or huge, stacked inner tubes containing foam in them by pole vaulting or a rope swing (or one of their variants) from a raised, leveled, platform. Failing to complete this correctly usually results in the contestant swimming to either the platform they were to land on in the first place, or another platform further away from the intended goal; often the latter is used when the goal involves landing on the rubber ball. Time stops once judges declare that the contestant is in the proper position (usually standing) on the goal.

Round Two - "The Sweeper"

In the second round, the twelve (16 in Episode 9 only) remaining contestants stand on ten-foot-high cushioned pedestals and try to jump over a rotating horizontal hurdle that increases in speed and height with each rotation. The precise details of the challenge vary slightly in each episode, usually adding an additional obstacle or handicap, such as making the contestants wear sacks, throw dodge balls, or attaching things to the sweeper arm (a ring, foam swimming pool noodles, smoking artificial crows). The first six contestants to be knocked off their pedestals and into the water (8 in Episode 9 only) are eliminated, and the last contestant standing receives a $1,000 bonus. In the ninth episode, there was no bonus for the last one standing.

Round Three - "Road to the Final 4"

The six (8 in Episode 9 only) remaining contestants participate in a unique stunt that varies with each show. The top four finalists move on to compete for $50,000.

One challenge is the Dizzy Dummy, where the contestants are strapped to a spinning cylinder for a short period then released to cross one of two sets of obstacles over a pool of water. The first contestant to cross the obstacle will advance, and the contestants are forced to go back to the beginning of the obstacle if they fall off. Once a contestant has crossed the obstacle, the remaining contestants must return to the Dizzy Dummy again, which spins for a longer period each time until four contestants manage to pass (On episode 5, the contestants had to eat a Mexican lunch before the challenge to make the challenge more difficult). So far, there has been only one instance that a contestant, in this case third week contestant Jarran Joshu, had gotten so dizzy that he vomited. Joshu immediately withdrew as a result.

An alternative to the Dizzy Dummy is the Dreadmill. The Dreadmill is a large treadmill with various obstacles for the contestants to overcome: doors, tennis balls, inflatable fish, a giant wrecking ball, traffic pylons while wearing "goofy goggles", etc. If contestants fall off, they are either done with their turn or forced to start over, depending on the objective.

Episode 9 featured the Cookie Cutter, where the contestants rode on the end of a spinning platform, attempting to get through 4 cut-out poses (in a method similar to Brain Wall) in the shortest amount of time possible.

Round Four - "The Wipeout Zone"

At night, the final four contestants play separately on a large obstacle course called the Wipeout Zone. Though slight variations are used in each episode, each contestant must slide down a long ramp (Killer Surf), swim to and then travel up an uphill ramp with large barrels rolling down it that are released at regular intervals (Barrel Run), cross a narrow climbing wall to the other side (Water Wall), leap onto a large spinning wheel with foam pillars and then leap off onto the opposite platform (Spinner), then finally cross a series of trampolines set at different heights and distances to the final platform (Launch Pads). In Episode 9, The Triple Threat replaced the Barrel Run and Water Wall. Contestants had to cross three triangles which acted like seesaws. If the triangles rotate, the contestants fall into the water. Also, the Water Beam replaced the Launch Pads. The objective is to cross a narrow beam while having seawater pour down on them. Whoever completes the course in the fastest time is crowned "Wipeout Champion" and takes home $50,000. The winner might celebrate either with Jill Wagner or on the final platform by shouting usually "YES!". Jill Wagner would usually tell the winner who is standing on the final platform that he/she has won the game. So far, there has not been a female Wipeout champion.

After the competition is finished, John Henson closes out the show with the phrase "Good night... and big balls," a spoof of Edward R. Murrow's catchphrase "Good night and good luck."

Episode list

Episode 1

=Episode 3=

=Episode 6=

Note: This episode was the pilot episode. It was known as a special edition episode.

=Episode 10=

*Scandinavia and the Middle East have signed on to produce their local versions. [ [http://www.c21media.net/resources/detail.asp?area=74&article=43598 C21Media: ] ]
*The original American series airs in Canada on the Global Television Network. [ [http://www.canada.com/globaltv/globalshows/wipeout/index.html GlobalTV.com | Wipeout ] ]
*The original American series airs in New Zealand on TV3. [http://www.tv3.co.nz/TVShows/Reality/WIPEOUT/tabid/799/Default.aspx?showid=16987]

ee also

*"American Gladiators"
*"American Gladiators (2008 TV series)"
*"Dog Eat Dog (US game show)"
*"Fear Factor"
*"Ninja Warrior" (AKA "Sasuke")
*"Takeshi's Castle"


External links

* [http://wipeout.synthasite.com/ Wipeout Club]
* [http://wipeoutforums.proboards56.com/ Wipeout Forums]
* [http://abc.go.com/primetime/wipeout/index?pn=mb&cat=111870/ ABC Wipeout Forum]

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