Quiz Show – MPAA Rating PG-13
This film examines the quiz-show rigging scandals in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, with a focus on the NBC hit television show Twenty One.
1. Watch the film. If you have already seen the movie in the past, please watch it again so the salient points are fresh in your mind.
2. Write an opinion paper of approximately 600 words that addresses the questions asked below and explain your answers. Use your strongest and most persuasive arguments as if you were trying to convince me to agree with your point of view. There are no right or wrong answers. Your true opinions are what I am interested in reading.
3. Submit your assignment in PDF format on Canvas.
1. Do you believe NBC management engaged in behavior that was contrary to the shareholders’ best interest? Explain.
2. In perpetrating this “fraud” do you believe that station management was simply attempting to comply with the goal of a corporation which is to maximize shareholder value and should they be allowed to do so in this manner? Explain.
3. Do you believe that rigging the show to increase viewership is any different than what TV executives do to increase viewership of any other of their programming (think about today’s “reality” TV)? Explain.
4. How did you feel when you found out that Herb Stempel was not in fact a genius and was being fed the answers?
5. Who, if any, do you believe were the victims of this fraud and what was the cost? Explain.
6. What role do you believe government has in regulating entertainment for “truth” or “fairness?” Explain.
7. If someone offered you a large amount of money to be a contestant on a rigged TV show, would you do it? Explain.