NBC has given a 10-episode order to QuizUp, a game show based on the popular trivia app. The format was developed in-house at sibling Universal Television in partnership with Plain Vanilla Corp., the Iceland-based game studio that created the mobile game. It will be shopped by NBCU International Formats at MIPCOM next week.
Created by Jeff Apploff (Don’t Forget The Lyrics) and Wes Kauble (The Newlywed Game), the TV game show will keep the multi-player format of the trivia app. In-studio contestants will try to win eight trivia battles against viewers who play in real-time from home on their mobile devices. If the in-studio contestant wins all eight rounds against eight different at-home competitors, they can win up to $1 million. Any of the at-home players who win their battle will walk away with the money allocated to that round.
To qualify for a spot as an in-studio or at-home contestant on the show, candidates will have to successfully pass a trivia quiz that would be generated anew every week. Branded as NBC QuizUp, it will be linked through the main QuizUp app, which has more than 75 million users and has reached No. 1 in App Store rankings in 128 countries, according to NBC. Even if they don’t qualify or don’t take the mobile quiz, viewers at home will be able to play along while watching (live or on DVR), with each question and answer synchronized with the broadcast via the QuizUp app.
“This series will turn the most popular trivia app in the world into a fun television event where everyone can play and anyone can win,” said NBC’s president of alternative programming Paul Telegdy. “It doesn’t get more interactive than that!”
Networks so far have been unsuccessful in trying to crack the interactive reality series format with such entries as NBC’s Million Second Quiz and ABC’s Rising Star. The producers of QuizUp are looking to avoid some of the pitfalls of previous attempts. For starters, while the other shows had to develop a brand new app — an elaborate and expensive process — and get it distributed to as many viewers as possible within a short window of time so they can participate, QuizUp relies on an already established and widely distributed app. Additionally, QuizUp is much simpler in terms of production compared to the big-budget Million Second Quiz and Rising Star — it is a traditional in-studio game show. That would make the QuizUp format suitable for international buyers of any caliber as NBC is looking to duplicate the success of another in-house-created simple, non-expensive game show format, Hollywood Game Night, which has been sold in over 50 countries.
“This show can be formatted and produced around the world on a weekly basis at a lower cost,” Telegdy said.
There is no airdate yet for QuizUp on NBC but I hear the network is eyeing a weekly air pattern, with the show considered a candidate to open a night as family entertainment. Apploff is executive producing.