Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Classic Cloned: University Challenge (1962)

The GE College Bowl ended its original run in 1970, and was revived several years later for a brief time on Disney Channel. In the UK, however, the Bowl, which spawned high school-centric copycats around the country, including It's Academic and the local series, Answers Please, also managed to inspire the British series, University Challenge.

University Challenge first hit the air in 1962, produced by Granada Television, and ran for 25 years (1962-87), before being discontinued. The BBC acquired the series and brought it back on BBC 2 in 1994, where it continues today. Jeremy Paxman is the current moderator. The format is the same as College Bowl and its "clones", if you will, and is the kind of spirited cerebral competition that could still work here today.

From 2012, a pair of Cambridge universities square off.

The current season, or, series, as they refer to seasons in the UK, has ended, and University Challenge likely will return next season. Now, let's see if any American producer has the stones to bring back the College Bowl......

Rating: A.

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