EXCLUSIVE: After bringing Cash Cab back to the cable TV airwaves, Discovery and Group Nine Media, the social video powerhouse it invested $100 million in last year, are rolling out digital companion series Cash Lift.
The new show, which is set in a hotel elevator instead of a taxi, will roll out on the Discovery Go digital platform and Facebook Watch, where Group Nine ranks as the leading publisher. The series is the first collaboration between Discovery and Group Nine on a digital series that complements an existing linear show.
The five-episode series is based on Cash Cab, the viewer favorite which ran from 2005 to 2012 and then returned this month to the Discovery Channel lineup.
Hosted by comedians Alex Weber and Zainab Johnson, Cash Lift surprises hotel guests by turning an elevator into the set of a trivia game show. After they choose a floor, guests-turned-contestants must answer as many questions as they can in order to win cash. The more questions they answer correctly, the higher the elevator moves. But if they get one question wrong, they’ll lose it all and head back down to the lobby.
“After the success we had working with Group Nine Studios on Shark Week, we were excited to see what our next collaboration would be,” said Fred Graver, Discovery’s SVP of original content and social. “I am thrilled that we were able to work together to create Cash Lift and have the chance to expand the popularity of Cash Cab on a new platform and introduce the series’ concept to a new generation of viewers.”
Suzanne Kolb, chief brand officer at Group Nine Media, said the two companies’ team-up for a Shark Week show on Snapchat established a template for working together. She called Cash Lift “fun, engaging, complementary IP” and added, “we can’t wait to continue developing new IP for them.”
Group Nine Media formed in late 2016 by merging The Dodo, Thrillist, NowThis and Seeker, with a $100 million investment from Discovery.