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Six degrees of separation

Become rich,it's just a phone call or two away.
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Each contestant must have initial contactees, maximum five. Once the contestant is in the *hot* seat the presenter anounces the *target* who might be anyone, a well known actor or sports person or whatever. The two criteria for the target are prominency, and an unlisted phone number.

The contestant's goal is to reach the target using the least amount of calls [maximum six] to win the jackpot. The less calls made the more money won. With cameras set up in the target's home it gives him/her an oportunity to promote his/her latest film, book, sport, lifestyle or product,therefore there shouldn't be a shortage of volunteers. Presenter: "Your target tonight is Alice Cooper".

Contestant: "O.K. i'll ring George".

Presenter: "O.K. why George"

Contestant: "His girlfriend works in the record industry"

Contestant: "George, Alice Cooper's the target, what's your girlfriend's number?"

George: "It's 555....."

Contestant rings number.[This is all done in the backgound similar to *phone-a-friend* on the other game show]. Meanwhile cue Alice sitting at home doing what he normaly does whilst promoting his latest album.

Back to the studio.

Contestant :" Hello Kathy, it's me Fred, George's mate i'm on six degrees of separation, I have to ring Alice Cooper, can you help me?".

Kathy: "Maybe, this guy Mike, who works for Trash records comes in often, his number is 555...."

Contestant rings number.

Contestant: " Hello is this Mike?....My name's Fred,a friend of Kathy and i'm trying to get hold of Alice Cooper, you woudn't hapen to know his phone number would you?" Mike: "No idea , he is contracted to Warner Bros. the best guy to talk to there is .....

And that's the general structure of the show. If the contestant fails,the prize jackpots until won. Another jackpot [meta jackpot] much larger than the normal jackpot is given to the first contestant to reach the target in two or fewer calls [either he/she knows the number, or his/her first contact knows], extremely rare, hence the large amount...millions.

cromagnon, Mar 24 2004

six degrees of seperation http://en.wikipedia...ll_world_phenomenon
some background [cromagnon, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Email version http://www.newscien...s.jsp?id=ns99994037
Columbia University tried this as an experiment, but not a game show. (WTAGIPBAN) [krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

ansaphone messages http://www.jvsplace.co.uk/messidx.htm
[po, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Dialing for dollars Philly http://www.angelfir.../tv2/bpofp/dfd.html
For [Worldgineer]. [oxen crossing, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

[link]






       I think I like this. Time lapsed I hope.   

       I like it. Who knows? Maybe my phone will ring.
dpsyplc, Mar 24 2004
  

       [two fries] good point,maybe two minutes per call.
cromagnon, Mar 24 2004
  

       i like it
seedy em, Mar 25 2004
  

       A very good concept, indeed. One of the best I've ever come across in terms of what I think would be appealing to producers and the general viewing public alike. Seems to me it would be valid in the UK and USA, no?
bristolz, Mar 25 2004
  

       would be perfectly valid in both countries I think [bris]. The only trouble I can envisage is that 6 degrees may take you across country borders, time zones and language barriers. Not sure about how that would work on TV.
jonthegeologist, Mar 25 2004
  

       I sense a small glitch: To get the realy big prize you have to know, or know someone who knows, the celebrity. This means that those people 'closest' to celebs will win the most money - they're probably already basking in their reflected glory! (and don't really deserve a prize)
Jinbish, Mar 25 2004
  

       And special prizes for those who can't find a single person to take their phone call?+
theircompetitor, Mar 25 2004
  

       Or none of them answers.
FarmerJohn, Mar 25 2004
  

       The geologist has a point, this might not be suitable for a "live" show. But it is still very doable. Many game shows are heavily edited before broadcast. For instance on the US version of Millionaire, the contestants are allowed as long as they like to talk through each question before answering. I've read that some have taken as long as 20 minutes in the studio. All of this is cut out for broadcast.
krelnik, Mar 25 2004
  

       "Hello, George? Yeah, Alice Cooper here. Listen, I've been selected as the target for the show you're in. Yeah, how about if I give you my number and we'll split the jackpot 50-50?"   

       Suppose one of the suggested contacts fails to connect to anyone. Can you go back one level and try a second suggestion from that person?
egbert, Mar 25 2004
  

       Watching people make phone calls does not sound like must-see television to me. I also doubt the goals would be achieved often enough to make the show interesting.
waugsqueke, Mar 25 2004
  

       I'd find it more interesting if the target was just a stranger -- not a celebrity.
phundug, Mar 25 2004
  

       I like that. Stop someone on the street, and ask if they have an unlisted number. Once you find one, they are the target.
Worldgineer, Mar 25 2004
  

       [waugs] has a good point - watching people make phone calls on TV may have the appeal of a PBS telethon - *but* this may be perfect for a (( radio )) game show. [+]
1st2know, Mar 25 2004
  

       Again, another reason not to do it live. With time between the calling and airdate, you could send camera crews out to the people who were called and do a short profile on that person and how they connect to the chain. This footage could be edited into the final show betwixt the phone calls. It could be made quite entertaining with the right direction.
krelnik, Mar 25 2004
  

       Very Interesting Idea ++
nomadic_wonderer, Mar 25 2004
  

       I have a funny feeling [po] would get calls every other night.
RayfordSteele, Mar 25 2004
  

       Perhaps to minimize the language problem [j.t.g.] the 'target' must reside in the same country as the show. While not altogether eliminating the problem,it might reduce it. Then again, with that prerequisite the whole concept of 'six degrees' goes out the window.Possibly then, keep it national, and accept the fact that it's 'watered down'. Or possibly the contestant has the option to 'buy' an interpreter using time as currency.   

       [jinbish] the 'target' might be a golf pro. or a nobel laureate.   

       [bristolz] Possibly any country that hosts 'Who wants to be a millionaire' is a legitimate candidate.   

       [theircompetitor][f.j.][egbert], Each contestant picked from the audience has his/her 'phone book' of five initial contacts. Warning them of possible incoming on the day of the show might be the go. If the first call fails to connect they can call another number from their 'book of five', a failed call counts as one deducted from their six. They can do anything with their six calls. Regardless of dead ends, when they leave the show they at least made six calls. If it's obviously come to a dead end after five calls for Fred, he can ring his ex-wife and offload some frustration. [egbert] Alice Cooper can't possibly know the identity of the contestant because the show is live, or at least delayed for the sake of editing.   

       [phundug][worldengineer][1st2know] Yes, a random 'target' seems to keep with the 'spirit' of the 'six degrees'thing more closely than using well-known people. The only reason for featuring a well-known, was to reduce the amount of information the contestant had to impart in the phone coversation, name,age,sex,location,occupation,etc. given to him by the presenter. [krelnik] Possibly too expensive to feature every link. Maybe bring the links of a successful contestant to the studio the following week to start the show.
cromagnon, Mar 25 2004
  

       [waugsqueke] I think the chance of seeing someone win money attracts viewers, and there might be some tension in this, especially when the contestant seems to be 'getting close'.
cromagnon, Mar 26 2004
  

       Any of us could test this out right now. Pick any celebrity at random, and try to get their phone number, only using the telephone, and your personal phone list. Good luck.
oxen crossing, Mar 26 2004
  

       After reading your anno,[oxen crossing] I think there might be a flaw. Would anyone divulge an unlisted number to someone claiming to have got your number from a friend or associate of yours?
cromagnon, Mar 26 2004
  

       I'm not sure that this would quite work as set out. As others have said, interest in watching somebody make a load of telephone calls would probably wane fairly quickly. But there's definitely a good idea in there somewhere, just waiting to be teased out of its hiding place, so a croissant from me.

(aside) If I was a contestant then I'd definitely have Directory Enquiries as one of my five numbers.
DrBob, Mar 26 2004
  

       so no-one knows Alice Cooper's number then?   

       I'll swap John Prescott's - any offers?
po, Mar 26 2004
  

       602-253-7337
waugsqueke, Mar 26 2004
  

       I left a message on the ansaphone, waugs.
po, Mar 26 2004
  

       //Would anyone divulge an unlisted number to someone claiming to have got your number from a friend or associate of yours?//   

       What about asking them to call the target and have them call you back? As the target is part of the game, could communication with the target on the contestant's behalf be considered a win?   

       On the subject of watching boring phone calls, I really think good direction and editing could make or break this, as could selection of target. Also, if the producers go into this with the idea to tape significantly more contestants than they put on the show, they can select the best attempts from the pool (all contestants would still get their relevant prize, aired or not?).
oxen crossing, Mar 26 2004
  

       Anyone remember "dialing for dollars" in the 60's? We all sat breathless listening to the phone ring, once, twice, three rings....that was then.
dentworth, Mar 26 2004
  

       4 from the bottom, 350 dollars?
oxen crossing, Mar 26 2004
  

       Wasn't that just a San Francisco thing? And it kept going past the 60's - I remember watching it in the early 80's.
Worldgineer, Mar 26 2004
  

       Evidently not just SF. [link] (sorry about the noise in here, delete at will)
oxen crossing, Mar 26 2004
  

       //What about asking them to call the target and have them call you back? As the target is part of the game, could communication with the target on the contestant's behalf be considered a win?//[oxen crossing]   

       Yes,in fact that might make it better for the contestant. When the contestant gets the call[using your scenario] they're more-or-less on 'common ground'. The caller *knows* what's going on. Also when the contestant hangs up, the 'link' has two minutes to get a result. If his first fails to answer he can try another. If it's a complete failure and there's enough time left,as a last resort he can ring back the contestant,but this is a wasted call,yet the contestant is still 'live'. If he fails on all counts that's it.   

       //On the subject of watching boring phone calls, I really think good direction and editing could make or break this, as could selection of target. Also, if the producers go into this with the idea to tape significantly more contestants than they put on the show, they can select the best attempts from the pool (all contestants would still get their relevant prize, aired or not?).//[oxen crossing]   

       I think the use of taped multiple contestants, resulting in more prize winners per screened show might break the budget. Also if the show becomes the best attempts only, it might lose some escence.
cromagnon, Mar 27 2004
  
      
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