Adam Scott has gone from sardonic sitcom star in Parks and Recreation to broken-hearted husband in Big Little Lies but his latest challenge is hosting ABC gameshow Don’t – a world that includes eating ghost peppers on a treadmill under a blazing heat lamp.
Scott has lifted the lid on the format, which is exec produced by Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds, ahead of Mipcom, where Banijay Rights, the international arm of producer Banijay Studios North America is looking to close international format deals.
In the show, contestants have the opportunity to team with their family and friends for the chance to win a cash prize of up to $100,000 by tackling tasks each with the simple rule of “Don’t.” In each episode of the comedic physical game show, members of the four-person team will strive to accomplish various challenges — such as “Don’t laugh,” “Don’t blink” or “Don’t look back” — as they work together to build their bank.
He told Deadline that the scale of the show was one of the attractions. “The big idea of the show, challenging people to refrain from doing stuff, caught my ear. It sounded weird and funny with tons of potential,” he said.
Scott (left) said that growing up he was a big fan of classic gameshows including Match Game, Newlywed Game and Love Connection. He added that Don’t essentially “fuses” Wipeout and America’s Funniest Home Videos. “I feel in my heart of hearts that watching people do embarrassing things with a high degree of difficulty for money is universal.”
It marks Scott’s first move into the non-scripted format as well as Reynolds first take producing a gameshow. He said that he didn’t know Reynolds before but called him a “terrific” producer. “He is passionate about trying something a bit different for a gameshow. He and his team were a dream to work with,” he said. “Honestly I have a whole new respect for those guys—it’s not easy and they make it look so, which is essential. All I can hope for is that I don’t make it look like hard labor.”
The Ghosted alum claimed that he’d excel at the spicy food challenge but wouldn’t be good at keeping his eyes open. “I feel I would excel at Don’t Drink, our spicy food challenge—eating a ghost pepper while walking on a treadmill under a blazing heat lamp? Sure, why not. Actually, never mind, that sounds awful. I know for certain I’d be terrible at Don’t Blink, my ability to keep my eyes open has been steadily slipping away for years,” he joked.
Don’t, which is executive produced by Reynolds, David Goldberg, Caroline Baumgard, David Hurwitz and Maximum Effort’s George Dewey, is Banijay Rights’ big non-scripted launch at Mipcom, which kicks off this weekend in Cannes.
Banijay Rights CEO Tim Mutimer told Deadline that it’s a “fascinating” concept and was confident that it would work globally. The company is working with its own international production companies as well as producers in markets where it doesn’t have bases to get global remakes away.
“Packaging gameshows with talent, it raises the bar,” he said. “What Adam Scott brings is a level of sophistication and humor. Adam and Ryan [Reynolds] are big forces so they’re only going to get involved in things that intrigue them and push the boundaries. That helps us because when our production companies pitch it in other territories to their broadcasters, they think about what talent can they attach. Having that template in the States helps pitch it to talent globally.”