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Quiz Shows. Introduction. What is a quiz show?. A quiz show has contestants. The contestants have to use their knowledge to answer questions. There is a winner. They aren’t game shows. Quiz show or game show?.

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quiz shows

Quiz Shows


what is a quiz show
What is a quiz show?
  • A quiz show has contestants.
  • The contestants have to use their knowledge to answer questions.
  • There is a winner.
  • They aren’t game shows.
quiz show or game show
Quiz show or game show?
  • Quiz shows use contestants’ knowledge. The contestants have this knowledge before they go on the show.
  • Game shows use contestants’ skills and abilities, to do something on the show.
quiz show or game show1
Quiz show or game show?
  • Who wants to be a millionaire?
  • QI
  • Deal or No Deal?
  • All Star Mr. and Mrs.
  • Are you smarter than a ten year old?
  • Countdown
  • X Factor
  • Weakest Link
did you get it right
Did you get it right?


  • Millionaire
  • QI
  • Smarter than a ten year old.
  • All Star Mr and Mrs.
  • Weakest Link


  • Deal or No Deal.
  • X Factor
  • Countdown
  • Can you explain why each one is a quiz show or a game show?
what does a quiz show need
What does a quiz show need?
  • A host
  • Contestants
  • Questions and rules to establish winners and losers
  • A format (the order in which things happen)
  • Something entertaining, so the audience will watch
  • Something unique, to make it different to other quiz shows.
choose a quiz show you know or watch an episode
Choose a quiz show you know, or watch an episode.

Describe the following –

  • Who is the host?
  • Who are the contestants?
  • What is the set like?
  • What sort of questions are there?
  • What is the format?
  • What makes it entertaining?
  • What makes it unique?
highbrow or lowbrow
Highbrow or lowbrow?
  • Quiz shows often have different approaches.
  • Some are ‘highbrow.’ They expect contestants to have advanced knowledge, that you might gain through a lot of study or university education.
  • Some are ‘lowbrow,’ or ‘popular,’ and contestants need knowledge that you might gain in everyday life, often including knowledge about TV shows, sports, or celebrities.
  • Some shows are in between!
put these in order
Put these in order…

Put these shows in order from highbrow (number 1) to lowbrow (number 6).

  • They think it’s all over…
  • QI
  • Mastermind
  • University Challenge
  • Millionaire
  • All Star Mr and Mrs
  • Weakest link
  • Quiz shows, like any other TV or radio show, are aimed at a specific group of people. Not everyone likes the same type of thing, so programme makers try to make their programme suit a smaller group of people – the target audience.
  • The programme could be aimed at a certain age group: children, teenagers, young people, middle aged people, the elderly. Or it might be aimed at a type of person: football fans, the family, students, young men and so on.
what sort of audience are you
What sort of audience are you?

Profile yourself:

  • Age;
  • Gender:
  • Interests:

Are there any quiz shows aimed at you, or people like you?

who do you think is the target audience for these shows
Who do you think is the target audience for these shows?
  • Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
  • QI
  • Are you smarter than a ten year old?
  • All Star Mr and Mrs
  • The Weakest Link
  • Mastermind
  • Never Mind the Buzzcocks
  • University Challenge
why do people like quiz shows
Why do people like quiz shows?

Blumler and Katz suggested people use the media to satisfy their needs. This is called The Four Needs theory. It has four main parts –

  • Escape and diversion from everyday life
  • Surveillance and information
  • Personal relationships
  • Personal identity
the four needs
The Four Needs

1.Quizzes provide an escape from everyday life; the audience get involved and try to guess the answers, they get carried away with the drama and the excitement and forget about their worries for a while.

2. Surveillance: Quizzes provide information about the world; the audience can learn things, and find out the answers to questions.

the four needs1
The Four Needs

3. Personal relationships: the audience can chat about the questions and the quiz; they can compete or work together; it provides an opportunity for social interaction.

4. Personal identity: audience members can compare themselves with the contestants and see how their knowledge or memory compares; they can imagine they are the contestant.

why do you watch quiz shows
Why do you watch quiz shows?

Decide which of Blumler and Katz’s Four Needs you most want to satisfy when you watch quizzes, or other kinds of TV.

  • Escape / diversion from everyday life
  • Surveillance and information
  • Personal relationships
  • Personal identity

The choice of host is very important for quiz shows. The host is often the link between shows, and the person the audience most closely identifies with and recognises. The contestants change from week-to-week but the host usually stays the same.

Hosts are often chosen because they are already famous. Each host will convey certain ideas to the audience and attract a certain group of people to watch the show.


Choose three adjectives to describe each of these people, to sum up their appeal.

  • Steven Fry – clever, witty, upper-class.
  • Fern Britten –
  • Fern Cotton -
  • Chris Tarrant –
  • Chris Moyles -
  • Jimmy Carr –
hybrid genres
Hybrid Genres
  • A lot of shows are hybrids – a mixture of different types or genres.
  • This can make shows more unique or more entertaining.
  • Shows can mix elements of quiz and game shows, or quiz and comedy, or quiz and reality TV, or quiz and…just about anything!
what are these shows hybrids of
What are these shows hybrids of?
  • Never Mind the Buzzcocks =

Quiz show (questions and answers about song lyrics etc)

+ game show (performing songs)

+ comedy (the host’s script, comedians on the panel)

+ music (knowledge of bands, musicians on the panel, music played)

  • 8 out of 10 cats
  • Have I Got News For You

Choose a hybrid show you know well.

  • Describe what different elements it has, and explain how each one links to a different genre.
  • Quiz shows are different to game shows.
  • Quiz shows can be highbrow or popular.
  • Each host has a different appeal to the target audience.
  • Each quiz show appeals to different target audiences.
  • The audience ‘use’ quiz shows to satisfy different needs.
  • Quiz shows can be hybrids, using aspects of other genres and types of programme.

Explain what TV quiz shows are. Remember to include details about:

How they differ from other genre

How they can appeal to a range of audience types

What we learn about the show from how the host and contestants are represented

How they have common features (set, host, format, theme tune etc) and how they differ from each other.

Remember to include examples of TV shows in your explanation.

You have 30 mins. To complete this task.