Format News: “Treasure Hunt”, “Truth or Consequences”, and “Cut the Rope”
It’s been incredibly busy around BuzzerBlog camp the past few days, and we’ve had a relatively slow news flow, but a few things of note came in recently. All are involving some formats that are attempting to make it to the small screen…two of which you’ve seen before. Three of which, though, to be honest, I can’t see us really seeing anywhere.
*Fresh off of Sony Picture’s deal with the game show version of the iOS app Draw Something, which is currently casting for CBS right now, the company has announced a television version of another app. The game, Cut the Rope, is a puzzle based game which sees players cutting ropes to feed the character Om Nom candy while avoiding traps. The game is developed by ZeptoLabs. Misha Lyalin, ZeptoLabs CSO, said, “Sony Pictures Television has an amazing track record in developing hugely successful game shows on television. We love the idea of our fans being able to see and engage with Om Nom on the television screen and this partnership with Sony Pictures Television will let fans do just that, bringing Cut the Rope to life in a brand new, interactive way.”
I’m genuinely confused about the conversion of apps into game shows. I can understand Draw Something, although that was a fad that died away very quickly and CBS is now just crossing their fingers that people still want to watch Pictionary on television. Draw Something left the zeitgeist as soon as it entered. However, there is a compelling game in there somewhere and if anyone can get it out it’s Embassy Row. I’m well aware that a Cut the Rope game show would be adjusted to be television friendly, but I just see it becoming another Wipeout style show, and we have more than enough of those. Good luck to everyone involved, though. If it gets anywhere at all I’ll be interested to see what happened.
*The Gurin Company, which currently produces the now-renewed Oh Sit! on The CW, is planning to bring two classic game show formats back. Phil Gurin and others are pitching Treasure Hunt and Truth or Consequences to networks. Truth or Consequences, famously hosted by former The Price is Right host Bob Barker, saw contestants attempting to answer questions (the Truth), but inevitably failing and having to complete a stunt on stage (the Consequence). The series ran from 1940 to 1978 and, despite several attempts since, has never connected enough to relaunch. Treasure Hunt is, essentially, a precursor to Deal or No Deal, asks contestants to select a box and either take a bribe or leave with that box.
I’ll repeat my usual mantra of “Revivals Do Not Work”, but beyond that these are two formats which are either outdated or obsolete no matter how you handle it. We’ve seen a million iterations of Truth or Consequences since, and the repeated attempts to get it anywhere to complete failure don’t leave me with much confidence, but I can see that one a lot more than Treasure Hunt. Treasure Hunt has been rendered completely irrelevant due to Deal or No Deal. You can love the original all you want but Deal and Treasure Hunt are the same exact show. Unless you get rid of the boxes, the bribes, and basically everything in the format, you’ve got the same show. They can’t co-exist and you won’t get away with it without people spotting it. Not only that but with yet another similar show coming to NBC soon, White Elephant, this seems like a too-little-too-late attempt to cash in on a trend, and that has, historically, never worked.
The only thing I think through the constant revivals which, again, 9 times out of 10 never work, and even with Cut the Rope is that there has to be some original idea out there that is better than any of these, since none of these are that good to begin with. It’s not that there aren’t good original concepts out there. I’ve seen dozens and dozens of them. They just never get noticed for some reason, and then we’re left with the millionth Deal or No Deal or Wipeout ripoff which fades away into oblivion shortly after.
TV Guide: http://www.tvguide.com/News/Truth-Consequences-Treasure-Hunt-Back-1054227.aspx
Digital Spy: http://www.digitalspy.com/gaming/news/a410232/cut-the-rope-tv-game-show-announced-by-sony-pictures.html