Show Me the Telly was a game show where a team of three contestants (referred to as the "TV Lovers") competed against a team of three television personalities (referred to as the "TV Legends").
The game was played in four rounds. In the first three rounds, the Lovers attempted to earn time for the final round, with 60 seconds to start. The final round was played for a daily prize of £3,000. In order to win the time, however, they had to correctly answer more questions in each segment than the Legends; ties were broken in the Legends' favour.
Round 1: Switch OnEdit
Bacon asked the teams a question on the buzzer to determine who would go first. The teams would then be shown a board of six programmes. They would take in turns choosing one. The teams were shown a clip from that programme, and were asked three questions that may or may not relate to that clip. Each player played one programme. At the end of the round (when both teams were each asked a total of nine questions), if the Lovers had correctly answered more questions than the Legends, they received ten seconds.
Round 2: Interactive ViewingEdit
This round had three parts, each worth five seconds, if the Lovers scored more correct answers than the Legends.
Part 1: OptionsEdit
The teams were shown a board of six options (all relating to a specific television category). Each player, in turn, chose an option, and attempted to give the correct answer. The team to give the most correct answers out of three won the round.
Part 2: ClipsEdit
Each team was shown a clip (usually a set of vox pops, or a clip from a programme) and a question associated with it (for the former, the team had to guess what the public was talking about; and for the latter, they simply had to predict the outcome). To win the five seconds, the Lovers had to correctly answer their question, while the Legends incorrectly answered their question. To heighten the suspense, the teams weren't told if they had answered their questions right or wrong until they both had played.
Part 3: Five out of NineEdit
Each team was shown the name of a programme, character, or actor, along with nine possible answers to a question relating to it. In a manner similar to Wipeout the members of the team would take in turns choosing answers, hoping to choose the five right answers. Choosing an incorrect answer meant they were frozen out for the rest of the question. They kept playing until they chose the five correct answers, or all three of them each chose an incorrect answer.
At the end of each part, a clip from one of the featured shows or stars would be shown to the home viewers.
Round 3: Close UpEdit
This was a head-to-head quiz game where each Lover played against one of the Legends. Each of the Legends had a subject relating to their common television role. One of the Lovers chose a Legend and competed against them. Bacon asked a total of seven questions on the buzzer; the first four questions were about the subject in general, and for the last three questions, a clip was shown, and the questions dealt with the featured programme/personality. Afterwards, whoever correctly answered the most questions was the winner. For each Lover who correctly answered more questions than the Legend they were facing, they received five seconds. Each Lover and each Legend could only play once in this round.
Final Round: Screen TimeEdit
This was the only part of the game were the Lovers did not compete against the Legends. As mentioned, they were playing against the clock. One of the Lovers was nominated by the captain to sit in the "telly chair" in front of the main screen. That contestant had the total time they earned in the first three rounds (the maximum of which was 100 seconds), to answer a sequence of eight questions, and then a final question, called the "Prime Time Question," in order to win the £3,000. On the main eight questions, the contestant had three "lifelines" (much like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?). The lifelines on this show were as follows:
- Record – This allowed the contestant to skip over to the next question, but would have to return to it before they could play the Prime Time question. This lifeline could be used any question, but only once per question; once they reached the end of the sequence, they had to play the recorded questions right then and there.
- Live Pause – This stopped the clock long enough for the contestant to confer with the other Lovers on the current question, but only once.
- Delete – This allowed the contestant to remove one (and only one) question from the sequence. This lifeline was often used alongside Record, so that they could decide which question was the most troublesome.
When the contestant attempted the Prime Time question, any unused lifelines were revoked. At the end of the game, Bacon would run through the questions not answered correctly in this round.