Empty9 p.m. Tuesday, July 17
The "winner" in this new GSN series, "Without Prejudice," takes home $25,000. That might seem like chump change compared with the $1 million or $2 million or even $10 million prizes on other televised competitions. But at least this one, if not a must-see rouser, has some tricky and diverting elements at its core.
This is a spinoff of a British series that also has played in other countries. It's done by 12 Yard Prods., with executive producers David Young, Michael Beale and Andrew Culpin.
Hosted by therapist-journalist Robi Ludwig, the question is not what a panel of five diverse people will do with the money, but which of them is, simply, better liked by another panel of five diverse people. We're first introduced to the five "contestants" with 15-second statements on their name and home. Then the "judges" comment on who they like or don't like on this thin evidence. One judge, of Polynesian extraction, says he doesn't like a black contestant simply because he's black. Fireworks ensue.
In different rounds, we get more personal information, like a contestant's attitude on gun control. One by one, the contestants are eliminated until the final two, one of whom gets the bucks.
The interest here is that both panels are full of "regular" people trying to articulate their thoughts in difficult and sometimes delicate matters. The banter is mostly congenial, but we see some spurts of deep prejudices. In the end, the outspoken Polynesian judge, having learned more about the black contestant, ends up awarding the prize money. It's a nice moment.