Alex Davis
NBC, New Show
NBC Greenlights “The Million Second Quiz” Thumbnail

NBC Greenlights “The Million Second Quiz”

UPDATE: NBC has officially announced the new quiz show The Million Second Quiz, so we can reveal a bit more information now.  The series will debut in September.  The show takes place over twelve days and nights, 24/7, and will take place live from an hourglass-shaped building in Manhattan.  Players have to play all day in order to avoid being eliminated.  After time runs out the champions will battle it out for the chance to win up to $10,000,000.  A $10,000,000 prize has only been seen in two other game shows, CBS’s Power of 10 and ABC’s Super Millionaire. The WB also offered a billion dollars on its series Play for a Billion.  Home viewers will be able to play along in real-time and may get the chance to appear on the show.

“The Million Second Quiz is a genre-redefining spectacle,” said Paul Telegdy, NBC’s president of alternative and late night programming, in a statement. “It is a game, a social experiment and a live interactive event all wrapped into a uniquely sticky entertainment experience. What is exceptional about The Million Second Quiz is that it embraces technology’s ability to allow everyone in America to actively participate and compete in a way that has never been done.”

At last word, each battle will be a one-versus-one affair. The base value of each question will increase as the bout progresses. After the question and choices are read, the money starts to tick away. The first contestant to buzz in freezes the money. If they’re right they get the money. If wrong the opponent has a chance to steal. The most money at the end of the bout wins.

What do you think? Does this sound like something you’d be interested in? I love the recent reappearance of quiz shows in America. I hope it continues.

From April 19th: Exclusive: Our sources are telling us that NBC has greenlit a new quiz called The Million Second Quiz.  The game sees two contestants battle in a quiz where every second counts and the faster you answer, the more money you’ll win.  The game is supposed to resemble an all day, every day quiz obviously lasting around a million seconds.  Our sources are saying it’s a firm go for this Fall.  NBC’s last game attempt, Take It All, aired last December to poor reviews and ratings.  When more information becomes available, or if something else changes, we’ll let you know.

Alex Davis

About the Author

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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23 responses to "NBC Greenlights “The Million Second Quiz”"

  • 60 seconds x 60 minutes=3600 seconds in an hour, so if this takes an actual million seconds, they’d have to order 277+ hour-long episodes.

    That’s as bad as The Tonight Show w/Jimmy Fallon and 13 more years of Notre Dame football.

    • Poochy.EXE says:

      But if they count the time between airings, a million seconds is just under 11 days and 14 hours.

      Perhaps they’re aiming for a two-week event like the initial run of Millionaire?

  • Sounds intriguing. I’m interested in learning more; maybe even try out…

  • Malcolm Owen says:

    Sounds a bit like the 24-hour Quiz ITV did in the UK.

    5-6 weeks where three contestants were in a “quiz pod” answering questions for money. Once a day, the weakest contestant would take on one of a number of potential contestants, with the winner getting to stay in the pod.

    Wasn’t a brilliant idea at the time, and only appeared on the main channel in three one-hour shows a day. ITV 2 showed a lot of the normal “quizzing” that went on. Maybe it had something to do with lasting over a month. The shorter eleven-and-a-half time may make it an “event” show, and make it more interesting…

  • SEAN says:

    Sounds interesting, but PLEASE! no braindead type questions.

  • MountainHawk says:

    I get this strange feeling that this could be one of those “reality” shows where the contestants live with each other for the 11 days, and the questions are few and far between, making “Fifth Grader” look intelligent.

    (But I’m just guessing right now)

  • Scott says:

    I wonder if Howie Mandel will host, considering how NBC probably won’t renew Take It All…

  • Mr. Quiz says:

    ‘” …Each battle will be a one-versus-one affair. The base value of each question will increase as the bout progresses. After the question and choices are read, the money starts to tick away. The first contestant to buzz in freezes the money. If they’re right they get the money. If wrong the opponent has a chance to steal. The most money at the end of the bout wins.”

    If the “brain trust” behind this, stopped right there, and made this like a more “traditional” game show, I’d say, “YEAH, BABY!!

    But, alas and alack, they didn’t; so I think I’ll pass on this. …And hope that “THE POWER OF 10″ comes back someday.

  • Curtis says:

    Sounds interesting… maybe they’re planning on streaming this live over the internet 24/7? I’d have it on in the background as I work if that’s the case…

  • Razer says:

    I’ve got a bad feeling that this’ll turn into a reality show with a quiz involved, instead of a proper quiz. Here’s hoping NBC can prove me wrong- this sounds like an actual event gameshow in the works, instead of a gameshow stretched out into an “event” also known as a week.

  • Ryan Tadych says:

    Good to see a new game show premiere in the Fall with a mega top prize. It’s been a while since a new game show has premiered on the Fall schedule so perhaps it will get a GREAT timeslot and have some success!

    In regards to Take It All, I am pretty sure there is at least 1 unaired episode and they were casting when the show aired so I am assuming that we may see at least a few more episodes, but I could be wrong!

  • MikeSant318 says:

    The WB “Play for a Billion” was two annual one-off specials (hosted by Drew Carey, pre- Price and Power of 10) coordinated around a Pepsi promotion…I couldn’t really call it a series

  • Shon says:

    After reading the update everything sound so gimmicky. “It’s a social experiment”, “Everyone in America will actively participate”, etc. What about the game itself? So far from what read about this I am not impressed. I don’t care if they gives away ten million or ten gazillion dollars.

    This reminds me of the same problems that video games of today suffer from and that’s we’ll have shallow gameplay and rely on the massive multiplayer online element in order to compensate for how crappy the game is. Don’t get me wrong it’s great when a competent game show allows people to participate from home but when that’s the crux of a game it becomes a dull experience.

  • Scott says:

    I’m actually excited for this. NBC’s first attempt at a $10,000,000 game show. And it’s a quiz.

    And it’s premiering in the Fall instead of being shoved to the Summer or Winter, like most other game shows in today’s day and age.

    I hope NBC does a good job producing it. And get a good host too. And don’t cancel it after just 3 episodes.

    Finally…something to look forward to watching in September. :D

  • James D. says:

    Reading the news releases and articles about this show, it seems to be that NBC has an idea for the game, but an actual format has not been finalized. Right now, it sounds like a combination of Millionaire, Who’s Still Standing (the “trivia battle” concept), Cram and a David Blaine TV special.

    • Alex Davis says:

      I’ve been following the show from its earliest stages of development to its current format. It’s format has changed drastically over time. I wouldn’t be shocked to see more changes down the line before it goes live.

  • FYI – Alyssa Rosenberg at Think Progress has a blog post about the announcement of The Million Second Quiz. She raises a number of concerns:


    Quoting: “I hope that those “strategic breaks” will be monitored by doctors who are paid independently from the network, and given some sort of authority to call time on the competition if someone suffers physical or emotional ill effects. If you’re going to ask people to put themselves through significant stress in a way that constantly exposes them both on-set and in broadcast, you owe it to them to protect them.”

  • this sound to me it could be an exciting show if it is done right. a gameshow airing in the fall finally instead of december. I’d like to see it go for about a two week run and then maybe only once to twice a week.

  • James Greek says:

    what about contestant calls?

  • James D. says:

    Here’s more detail from the NBC “alternative programming chief” about the show…


    Sounds like it has a strong hint of UK Money Drop in terms of question content (“current” current events and the like) but, as Mitchell and others have noted, there are still more questions than answers about the 24/7 gimmick. I get a creepy “Hands on a Hardbody”/”They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” vibe with this.

  • Thomas says:

    Is running for 24 hours a day on some cable nbc channels, shown during breaks on nbc

  • dan wiggins says:

    I have searched high and low for the site to enter a chance to win on The million Second Show and have been unable to find it. Have gone through 14 pages. So where do I find it.

    Also, to another point ….. I have been a faithful follower of many NBC shows and “Siberia” is about the most weird show I have ever seen. Is this show for real or an NBC july /august/sept fools joke?????

  • Sam P says:

    Has any one else having problems with million second quiz that have me blocked so I can’t go past question # 9 when I get to #10 it gives no score,I need to reset to play another game.Went on line with different E-mail address no problem,any advice.

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