Power of 10
Empty8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7
It doesn't really matter that the game part of the new CBS primetime game show "Power of 10" is essentially a solo-player offshoot of "Family Feud." What counts here is that Drew Carey is hosting it, and he has such an easygoing, affable, charming vibe that he could be fronting a Pick-Up Sticks championship and it would feel instantly comfortable. It's why CBS shelled out big bucks to have him replace Bob Barker on "The Price Is Right," and it's why this show also goes down easily.
The concept -- which allows Carey plenty of time to riff and wisecrack -- challenges a single player to guess, within a certain number of points, the percentage of Americans who supported various personal behavior issues and beliefs in surveys. For instance, one question in the Tuesday kickoff is, "What percentage of Americans believe that Vin Diesel invented the diesel engine?" (Disturbingly, it's 25%.) Another: "What percentage of Americans say they have a better relationship with their parents as adults than they did as children?" (It's a whopping 89%.)
The game isn't terribly challenging, and the money part of it accrues rapidly. The first answer wins the contestant $1,000, and it multiplies 10-fold with each answer until hitting $10 million a mere five questions in. But trust me that virtually no one is going to risk $1 million to go for $10 million because it would require the individual to correctly pinpoint the precise percentage of a given poll with zero leeway.
Carey is fortunate in the debut to have an animated player who does well, a 19-year-old pre-med student from New Jersey who winds up at the center of a genuinely magical moment -- and whose divorced parents sit in different parts of the audience. Carey looks to be having himself a good ol' time onstage, and his lighthearted enthusiasm proves infectious. Carey: "How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?" Answer: "One. That's not funny."