EXCLUSIVE: Sony is bringing back British gameshow Can’t Touch This – two years after the original series was cancelled by the BBC.
The Hollywood studio has piloted a new version of the show, which was originally created by Sony’s Northern Irish indie Stellify Media and is taking it out to international broadcasters at Mipcom.
The show is a comedic, interactive gameshow in which contestants have to overcome hilarious obstacles and challenges including bungee ropes, bubble wrap and slippery slopes, all guaranteed to make things difficult until finally they must take a huge leap of faith and touch the star prize – a brand new car.
It originally aired on BBC in a primetime Saturday night slot in March 2016 with Zoe Ball and Ashley Banjo hosting. However, it failed to rate and was not renewed after its first season.
Sarah Edwards, Creative Director and SVP Unscripted Entertainment at Sony Pictures Television, told Deadline that the original concept was one of the studio’s most popular sizzle tapes but that something was lost when it aired on the BBC.
“We had a lot of interest internationally as a result of the taster tape but in the end the show became something different. It was such a different show, people thought it was something different. It was originally a very funny, colorful show,” she said.
Edwards said that the original, which she describes as Wipeout-meets-Walmart, was funnier and that it became more of a big-budget physical assault format when it aired. “We wanted to bring it back to the original sizzle. We kept coming back to it and in the end because we really believed in it.”
The pilot was filmed in Mexico with Sony-owned Teleset and Edwards said that the focus was now on scoring Latin American commissions before taking it to the rest of the world. The idea is to be able to film two episodes per day and make it more affordable for linear broadcasters.
Edwards added that it has considered setting up a production hub to film various versions. “We’ve certainly though about hubbing it in Mexico, which we did for Raid The Cage, and other areas as well. We’re focusing on Lat Am right now but we’d also look it in other territories. We want to find a clever, economical way to get this to buyers,” she said.