“Last night so many of you were playing along on your MSQ apps that you actually crashed the system,” Ryan Seacrest raved at the top of tonight’s Million Second Quiz — the new game show that was supposed to showcase NBC’s social TV cutting-edge-ness but instead embarrassed the network in its premiere one night earlier. “The good news is you made us the No. 1 free app on iTunes,” the host added. Wild applause from the live audience. “But wait, there’s more good news,” said Seacrest, who is maybe the only live-TV host who could pull off that gag with a straight face after last night’s debacle. “They tell me it’s actually fixed — I hope so,” he added, hedging his bets. An NBC exec told Deadline tonight they’d decided to have Seacrest address the snafu at the top of the second show because, “We want to be as transparent with the audience, especially when breaking new ground on network TV with second-screen applications.”
“Breaking new ground” is what NBC did when its app crashed about halfway through the East Coast premiere Monday night. The network had hoped to get the app back up in time for the premiere’s West Coast feed, but that never happened. The app — with which viewers were supposed to not only play along with the live show but continue to play round-the-clock in hope of qualifying to become a contestant on the broadcast competition — did not return until late this morning.
One night earlier, Seacrest found himself host of not just the show but also of NBC’s apologizing: “Apologies to those who experienced app issues during play along. We are working to resolve for a smooth, fun experience tomorrow night! #MSQ,” Seacrest tweeted after the app crashed. “Good news: we flooded the #msq app with players! Bad news; we crashed the system!!! More soon,” he tweeted again, about two hours later. This morning, Variety reported the third-most-popular search for MSQ on Twitter was “MSQ server error”.
Tonight, the NBC exec told Deadline the network has expanded its capacity by about 1,200% on its servers in hope of preventing a rerun of last night’s snafu. “Don’t forget you at home, you can play along. Download the MSQ app on your mobile device, and we might bring you to New York City to play along,” Seacrest said a couple minutes into tonight’s East Coast broadcast, holding up both hands to show double crossed fingers.