CBS to Pilot Israeli Format “The Money Pump”; Now Casting? Thumbnail

CBS to Pilot Israeli Format “The Money Pump”; Now Casting?

UPDATE: CBS formally announced this today.  I just wanted to re-bump this story to the front since we broke the news way back on March 1st.  In case you missed it. Kevin Frazier of omg! Insider will host.

From March 1st: Part of this is an assumption and part isn’t.  What isn’t?  CBS is doing a pilot for the Israeli quiz show format The Money Pump.  For those that didn’t see us discuss it before, click here. Essentially a team of contestants answers questions as fast as they can by pressing choices on their monitors.  The longer they take, though, and the more money is drained from the Money Pump, which is just a big video screen.  To be frank it’s a slight tweak of the Million Pound Drop format.  It was, however, the biggest format to come out of MIPCOM this October so seeing an American network go for it isn’t a shock.  CBS has recently shot pilots for other foreign imports like The CubeSecret Fortune, and The Whole 19 Yards.  They also did pilots for the games Draw Something and Celebrity Name Game.  None have gone anywhere.

What part are we assuming?  We’re being told they are beginning to cast for pilot contestants and this casting notice does further that assumption.  They are looking for teams of trivia buffs to take on this new show.  If selected you’ll fly to the set of the foreign version at the end of March/beginning of April.  To be eligible you must be over 21, you must have a U.S. passport, your passport must be valid at least six more months prior to travel, and you need to be available for one week around March and April.  There’s a laundry list of information they want from you.  Click here if you’re interested.  Be sure to tell them BuzzerBlog sent you.

FOX did a similar casting search for its pilot of the ITV quiz show The Chase.  American contestants were flown to the British set to play with host Bradley Walsh and Chaser Mark Labbett.

Check out the pitch film for The Money Pump below. What do you think?

Alex Davis

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has written 3437 articles on BuzzerBlog.

Alex Davis is an award winning writer and producer based out of Pittsburgh, PA, who works out of New York, Los Angeles, and London. Alex is the head writer and editor for BuzzerBlog and is the president and head of development of 5Hole Productions, specializing in unscripted formats for television and internet play.

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9 responses to "CBS to Pilot Israeli Format “The Money Pump”; Now Casting?"

  • Matt (#mhmrules to you) says:

    I’m not going to question how anyone thought of “Money Pump”

  • D.J. says:

    If feel so much similar to Million Dollar Money Drop. Only one couple or team play this game, they start the game with one million dollars, there eight or seven question in it, they lose money while the game progress, and even the logo remind me of it. Maybe they should called it “Million Dollar Money Pump.”

    I hope CBS will pick up a game show for primetime soon. Even they can’t get Money Pump, just get something. I mean the last time we ever had a primetime game show on CBS was Million Dollar Password, and it ended in 2009. Last game show on ABC was You Deserve It, back in 2011. Fox has MDMD, back in 2010 and 11 (not counting two dating shows last summer). And NBC is the no brainer. Last game show “Take it All” was few months ago and they ready for new one “Hollywood Game Night” soon. Even CW has a new game show “Oh Sit” last summer and the second second is ready for next month.

    So for the past three or four years, every networks aired the game show on primetime lineup, except CBS. I know we have LMAD and TPIR on daytime, but when will the Eye network ever going to get one on 8 or 10 pm?

  • James E.Parten says:

    If lore is to be believed, there is somebody high up in CBS’s pecking order, who simply does not like game shows. He’ll accept the ones that are currently running, as long as they bring in the ratings and demographics. And he’ll accept the “reality” shows, with the same intended result. But CBS could have had success with “The Cube”\, or with two or three other game shows.

    Some folks believe that it is the network’s CEO, Les Moonves, who does not like game shows. We cannot know for sure if that is the case or not.

    If CBS greenlioghts “Money Pump”, there may be no justice. One speculation as to why they did not go ahead with NPH’s “The Cube” was that they feared that it would be denounced as derivative of “Minute To Win It”.
    Well, we’ve already had some of the above blogsters noting the similarities between “Money Pump” and Fox’s MDMD.

    Oh, well–if the Eye does pick this show up, let’s hope that they do not have the same problems that Fox had with poorly-researched questions that bedeviled MDMD.

    I am inclined not to watch it.

  • bmhedgehog says:

    “Essentially a team of contestants answers questions as fast as they can by pressing choices on their monitors.”

    Sounds like Millionaire’s Fastest Finger on steroids.

    James E. Parten wrote: “Some folks believe that it is the network’s CEO, Les Moonves, who does not like game shows. We cannot know for sure if that is the case or not.”

    I’m going have to say yes to that. Look what happend to Pyramid, fans rejoiced when Pilots for a new Pyramid were being done by CBS, but to only have a Talk Show hosted by Les Moonves wife gets greenlit.

  • CarShark says:

    I just don’t care anymore. CBS has had multiple chances to green-light game shows, and they haven’t, not even for the summer period when they just have reruns on. I think someone earlier was right in that a higher-up doesn’t like game shows, but what I think it stems from is the failure of Million Dollar Password. It got a decent amount of viewers, but too few of them were in the target demo.

    I’m on TvByTheNumbers all the time, and the ratings for some network shows nowadays are awful. Getting a 3.0 in the demo is a huge hit. Most shows are in the 2.0-3.0 range. Now I’m seeing that some NBC shows are going to get renewed averaging only 1.3 or 1.4. That used to get you insta-cancelled a few years ago. And even with all that in the background, none of the four major networks has a primetime game show on right now.

  • Scott says:

    I’m almost inclined to agree with the other posters here.

    CBS hasn’t aired a primetime game show since Million Dollar Password ended in 2009.

    I’ve been waiting for news to come of The Money Pump for a long time. With Ryan Seacrest behind it, you’d think we’d be getting somewhere with the format. Even though I’m psyched to see it get a pilot, my hopes aren’t too high about CBS actually greenlighting it for production.

    CBS’ line-up of shows in the reality/gaming department consist of Amazing Race, Big Brother and Survivor. Oh, and Undercover Boss. That seems to be a constantly returning show as well. Recent attempts at getting new shows to air on CBS have failed — perfect example of this are the shows ’3′ and ‘The Job’, each of which were cancelled after only 2 episodes.

    That, plus the fact CBS passed on 5 other game shows, all of which Alex mentioned above, doesn’t give high hopes that CBS will actually greenlight this game show. They’ll probably pass on it as well. If not, great! I’d love to see it air even just for 6 episodes for a summer run.

    One thing going for us is this. If CBS does greenlight it, the show will be produced very well, so we shouldn’t be running into any of the problems FOX did with Money Drop’s questions and slow pacing that was eventually picked up in later episodes of the season.

  • LaJuan says:

    Anybody else get a Jeopardy vibe from those opening notes?

    Could be interesting. CBS will say no.

  • francis says:


  • Scott says:

    I’m confused. So CBS only today formally announced that they’re doing a pilot?

    So have they already done the pilot, or just announced that they’re still going to do a pilot?

    Maybe they’re looking at a fall premiere to compete with Million Second Quiz, if the pilot works…?

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