One of Australia’s most loved television programs hosted by arguably its most loved personality ever has seen its format gutted by the ravages of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Taping of the Channel 9 show, Moderately Well Off Hot Seat, the latest iteration of the Who Wants To Be a Millionaire/Millionaire Hot Seat franchise, has continued in Melbourne this week but viewers will see a markedly different program when the episodes are first screened in a month’s time and then as repeats each other month after that.
“For starters, each show has only three contestants,” a Nine public relations spokesperson explained exclusively to The Bug.
“That’s the maximum number of seats the studio could accommodate while obeying the new social distancing rules of at least 1.5 metres.
“And with only half the contestants, we thought it only fair that the starting point for each game was $500,000.
“That brings it back to a 30-minute show leading into the prime nightly news so the fastest finger segment has been axed. It was a fucking stupid idea anyway and our research showed most viewers didn’t tune in until about 5.25pm anyway.
“The station only cooked up that segment because it doesn’t own the rights to #MASH reruns.
“And Eddie [McGuire] is happy with the show only being 30 minutes. It cuts in half the chances that he’ll make some aside or contestant put-down – those little glimpses we unfortunately get to see every now and then – that shows what a nasty prick he really is in everyday life.
“Please don’t quote me on that.”