The latest revival of the classic game show Password debuted Sunday night. Two contestants took home lots of money and CBS attracted lots of viewers.
Million Dollar Password bears a resemblance to the earlier incarnation of Password but draws from other game shows as well; most noticeably Regis Philbin’s earlier show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Favorite parts of the game like “Alphabetics” have been replaced by multiple rounds of speedy guessing. Unlike many other game shows currently in primetime, the competition moves along very quickly and the home viewers likely enjoy playing along.
Upcoming celebrity guests include Monique Coleman, Susie Essman, country singer Sara Evans, Damien Fahey, skateboarder Tony Hawk, Rosie O’Donnell, former Miss USA Shanna Moakler, Steve Schirripa, and Steven Weber.
Betty White, who has a long history with Password, will appear on a special Thursday night episode on June 12th. Of her experience on the show, White told Tavis Smiley, “It’s not your old-fashioned Password… Password was a little, intimate, two people here and two people here and Allan Ludden in the middle. This one has an enormous stage with a million lights and music and special effects and all. But, it’s the same game. It’s a wonderful game.”
The newest version seems to be a hit with viewers. Million Dollar Password won its timeslot, attracted 10.7 million viewers, and helped CBS win the night. The debut built on the 60 Minutes audience but, like the venerable news show, its audience skewed older. Million Dollar Password won in the 18-49 demographic but averaged a weak 2.2 rating. The network may be pleased with the overall numbers but the 18-49 ratings will have to improve for the show to have a long-term future.
Six episodes of Million Dollar Password have been produced thus far. Will the network order more or will this be the most short-lived version of the classic game show? Is it worth watching? As good as the earlier versions?