EXCLUSIVE: Taskmaster, the quirky British game show, is taking another swing at the U.S. market with its own global streaming service.
The team behind the series, which is produced by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver producer Avalon Television, is launching Taskmaster SuperMax+.
The SVOD service launches today with a particular focus on the U.S. and Canada. The show’s YouTube channel has had over 3B impressions with around a third coming from North America.
It’s one of the first shows, rather than companies, to launch its own standalone subscription video platform.
It comes after a slightly damp squib of a launch in the U.S. in 2020 when The CW, which had acquired the original version of the show, pulled the show off the air after one episode. A U.S. remake of the show, hosted by Reggie Watts, aired for one season on Comedy Central in the U.S. in 2018.
The idea now is to drive fans online, where they will be able to see all seasons of the British show, all international versions and new unseen specials.
The show was created by Alex Horne and is hosted by The Inbetweeners star Greg Davies in the role of Taskmaster, who issues simple comedic and bizarre tasks to five regular contestants – usually comedians – with Alex Horne acting as the Taskmaster’s assistant. The tasks – usually performed in isolation, but occasionally in teams – are designed to encourage the players to think laterally and creatively.
Comedians taking place across the seasons include Romesh Ranganathan, Katherine Ryan, Al Murray, Lolly Adefope, Noel Fielding, Aisling Bea, Russell Howard and Rose Matafeo.
Taskmaster initially ran for nine seasons on UKTV’s Dave starting in 2015 before Channel 4 swooped in with a six-season order across three years. The UK is going into its 13th season this spring.
There have been local versions of the show in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Belgium, Spain and New Zealand and the British version has been broadcast in 94 countries.
Taskmaster SuperMax+ will launch with the first three seasons of the show on March 4. Season four will air from March 11, season 5 on March 18, season six on March 25, season seven on April, season eight on April 8 and season nine airing weekly from April 15.
Alex Horne said, “I’ve been told quite a few times that not everyone everywhere can watch Taskmaster. This is far from ideal and I’m sorry. However, there’s now something called Taskmaster SuperMax+, which is a worldwide streaming service with a great name where you’ll soon be able to watch all episodes ad-free; the complete global home for all things Taskmaster. Season 9 will premier here, for instance, so people in North America can finally see me dressed up as a mermaid.”