NBC’s newest game show is unlike you’ve ever seen and likely, you’ll never see it after this summer’s run of the series. In what seems like a last ditch effort to come up with something new to compete with ABC’s slate of nostalgia game shows, Small Fortune must have sounded better on paper than in execution. Heck, the premise sounded intriguing enough, but the show lost its novelty in just a few short minutes.
Based a British import, Small Fortune features a team of three competitors who are given a series of tasks to complete for a chance of winning the $250,000 cash prize. These tasks involve playing within miniature set pieces which actually look pretty cool. Imagine a bigger brother playing with his sister’s Barbie Dream House and you kind of get the idea. Each game involves different scenes like “Teeny Sashimi” (a shrunken sushi conveyor belt with tiny chopsticks), the “Statue of Liberteeny (where the contestants much too a ring over the iconic symbol) and “The Waste Wing” (where the contestant tries to fling a piece of trash into tiny garbage bin). Win the challenge and they get the money. Lose it, and they don’t bank any money.
Now of course this whole set up is pretty silly, but so is The Masked Singer and that is still a lot of fun to watch. Small Fortune is about as much fun as it is to watch someone else play pinball. I’m sure the contestants are having fun, but after 30 minutes into this show, my family and I turned on Peacock to watch an episode of Murder She Wrote.
The producers of this show must really think that it is compelling TV and I can see where this show could a lot fun if they really kept things light-hearted and jokey which ABC managed to do with Holey Moley. Instead, the producers choose to make the show ultra serious with “thrilling” music. The show itself is 30 minutes too long. Cutting each episode down to a half hour would help a lot. Kids would love this show and as it is, it is pretty family-friendly, but NBC decided to air it running after America Ninja Warrior. Finally, this isn’t a show that you can play along with either.
The eight episodes of Small Fortune are hosted by Lil Ray Howery (Clearly NBC hired him for his name alone) and airs on Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC.
Main Image: Trae Patton/NBC
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.