Super Mario Challenge
The Children's Channel, September to 20 December 1991
Children played the Super Mario games. Round one was a straight "complete a level in the fastest time", round two took points into account, and round three awarded extra points for skills such as picking up coins and having lives left at the end. The series ran on weeknights for three months with a championship structure in which the original Super Mario Brothers was played in the first round, Super Mario Brothers II in the second and Super Mario Brothers III in the finals.
Why manic US magician John Lenahan was employed to present the whole shabang is not explained. But the truth is out there... somewhere.
To make it more challenging for the contestants and add variety for the viewers, they didn't just start from the beginning but used later levels of each game. Unfortunately, there was no "cheat" to allow the producers to jump to the later levels, so two expert players were employed to "set up" the games by playing them up to the required point.