ABC has its sights set on a return to its quiz show glory days — when “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” became a ratings juggernaut and helped establish an era of unscripted programming that continues to this day on the broadcast networks.
Deadline.com reports that the network has joined forces with a couple of heavyweights in the unscripted space to come up with what it hopes will be another game changer.
The Alphabet Network placed a straight-to-series order for “500 Questions” (working title), from Mark Burnett — who has had a hand in “Survivor,” “The Apprentice,” “The Voice” and many other successful unscripted shows — and Mike Darnell, president of unscripted TV for Warner Bros.
Said Darnell: “Mark and I have done many shows together over the years, but one of our best experiences (both professionally and personally) was ‘Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?,’ and ever since, we have been trying to come up with another game show that would break new ground. I think we have finally cracked it with ‘500 Questions,’ and with Mark and his team on board, I have no doubt this is going to be the next international game show hit.”
Deadline reports: “‘500 Questions,’ which marks the first big network reality series order for Warner Bros. TV since Darnell joined the studio in summer 2013, is described as a ‘genius game show.’ The producers are not giving out many details but the show will be testing contestants’ knowledge with a series of questions, with those who are winning being able to move from one episode to the next until they answer correctly all 500 questions.”
Adds Burnett: “It is the first network game show to combine what audiences love about serialized unscripted hits with a huge game show event. It has ongoing characters and huge stakes.”