The Master (Australian quiz show)
|Presented by||Mark Beretta|
|Starring||Martin Flood (The Master)|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||7|
|Location(s)||Global Television Studios, South Melbourne|
|Running time||60 minutes (including commercials)|
|Original network||Seven Network|
|Picture format||576i (SDTV)|
|Original release||16 August 2006 – 16 January 2007|
The Master was an Australian quiz show that aired on the Seven Network on Wednesday 16 August 2006 and was cancelled after its premiere episode. The remaining episodes aired over the non-ratings period in 2006 and 2007. Hosted by Mark Beretta, the show had a potential prize of a million dollars.
Five players fought out a series of rounds involving general knowledge questions. This was both against each other and the clock, all under the eyes of the Master - Martin Flood - who sat in a chair watching to find the contestants' weaknesses. The player who won earned the right to face the Master for his title and for the prize of one million dollars.
The five played against each other in a series of general knowledge rounds, winning $100 for each correct answer in general knowledge rounds and $200 in "Master's Choice" rounds (where Flood chose the category). Each round lasted for 90 seconds. If a contestant answered incorrectly, he or she was locked out from answering the next question. Players with the lowest score were gradually eliminated until three remained. If at the end of a round, two contestants were on the same score, the Master would choose which contestant to eliminate. After two contestants have been eliminated, there is a round where the three remaining contestants were each subjected to a round of questions on their "preferred category" called the "mean minute". In this round, correct answers worth $100 and incorrect answers result in a deduction of $200. After the "mean minute" round there is another general knowledge round and the contestant with the highest score at the end of that final round won the right to play against the Master. Each eliminated contestant took home what he or she earned in the general knowledge rounds.
The winner was given $50,000 to "bet" on their best-of-five questions game with the Master. The contestant could bet either $10,000, $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 or the entire $50,000. If the contestant risked any amount below $50,000, the Master will choose the category of questions to be asked and if the contestant is successful they would win ten times the amount staked. If the contestant bet the entire $50,000 they selected the category of questions and played for $1 million and the chance to become the new Master. If they, however, risked the entire $50,000 and failed, they also lost all the money they had won in the previous rounds, walking away empty-handed. This meant that if a contestant risked less than $50,000, they played for either $100,000, $200,000, $300,000, or $400,000.
In the first episode, the first contestant to be eliminated from the show was customer service officer Ainsley Rayner. Having heard that she would be eliminated in this way (by the Master), she screamed "Damn you master!" which was edited out of the broadcast. The winner of the show was a contestant named Michelle who won $42,300, after betting $10,000 but lost in the best-of-five game and also winning $2,300 in the general knowledge rounds.
Seven boss David Leckie ordered it off air when it rated just 744,000 capital city viewers. The remaining six episodes already recorded aired on Monday at 7.30pm, during the summer non-ratings period. The second episode which screened on 12 December (non-ratings period) rated slightly higher at 839,000 capital city viewers, and the third episode attracted 826,000.