Thanks to the snoozefest also known as the MTV Movie Awards, Sunday I missed the premiere episode of "Million Dollar Password", but I was able to watch the episode online and loved it. The show is a revamp of the original "Password" hosted by Allen Ludden. This time around the host is the ever affable 'Reeg' (Regis Philbin) who's become a staple of any good game show. As in the original show, contestants are paired up with a celebrity to try to win money, with the object of the game being to help your partner guess secret passwords from one-word clues that you've given. The players alternate betweeen giving and receiving one-word clues to guess passwords through four elimination rounds, ending with the contestant with the most passwords at the end of the fourth round moving on to the money round.
In the first episode, the two celebrities were Neil Patrick Harris (He was great--funny and smart! I wish he could be there every week) and Rachael Ray. Unlike the original, once in the money round contestants are playing against the clock (1 min 30 sec) for a shot at the grand prize of $1 Million. Once in the money round, the prize money builds like a ladder--sort of like "Who Wants to be a Millionaire"--the dollar levels are $10,000, $25,000 (this is a safety level that if you reach you can't go home with less than that), $50,000, $100,000, $250,000 and finally $1,000,000. If you don't get the five password in any level, you lose what you had accumulated and you're out of the game. As you climb the money ladder, the game gets harder--words get harder, the number of words you can get wrong decreases, any words you pass are gone for good and you are limited to three clues for each password. For $10,000 you have to get 5 out of 10 passwords, $25,000 it's 5 out of 9, and so on until you reach the $1,000,000 level when you have to get 5 out of 5.
If the first episode is any indication of what's to come, then I'm in. The show airs again next Sunday, June 8 at 8:00 pm ET, and the next two celebrities will be Rosie O'Donnell and Tony Hawk. For all the fans of the original "Password", the New York Post reported that Betty White, one of the regular players on the original and Ludden's widow, will be one of the celebrity players in the third episode of the show. Now that's must see TV!