Ellen DeGeneres to Host NBC Game Show Based on Talk-Show Segments

The Ellen DeGeneres Show- Ellen-Publicity-H 2017
Courtesy of Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

NBC is turning to Ellen DeGeneres and her syndicated daytime talk show for its latest game show.

The network has handed out a six-episode series order to Ellen's Game of Games, an hourlong game show based on popular games from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

DeGeneres will host the primetime series and executive produce the Warner Horizon Television show via her studio-based A Very Good Production banner. Additional exec producers include The Ellen DeGeneres Show's Mary Connelly, Ed Glavin and Andy Lassner as well as Kevin Leman, Jeff Kleeman and David A. Hurwitz. Telepictures — which produces the syndicated talk show that airs on 82 NBC owned and affiliated stations — will serve in the same capacity alongside Warner Horizon Unscripted Television.  

"Ellen's impact as a daytime icon is unprecedented, and we can’t wait to see her bring that amazing spirit to Game of Games," NBC alternative and reality group president Paul Telegdy said in a statement. "She is among the very best at engaging with her devoted audience, and we are all in for a treat when her antics hit primetime."

Each hourlong episode will feature supersize versions of popular games from daytime series. Contestants, like on DeGeneres' talk show, will be pulled from the audience and tasked with maneuvering massive obstacles, answering questions under pressure and facing a gigantic plunge into the unknown. Each will end with DeGeneres offering someone a chance at a huge cash prize.

It's unclear just which segments will make the move from daytime to primetime. The Ellen DeGeneres Show features a number of recurring games, including "Make It Rain," "5 Second Rule," "What's in the Box?" "Su'Move It, Move It!" and more.

"I'm so excited to be hosting a huge primetime game show for NBC," said DeGeneres. "We're pulling out all the stops — gigantic sets, hilarious games. It's going to be like a combination of American Ninja Warrior, RuPaul's Drag Race and a water park. OK, it's nothing like that, but you should still watch."

Ellen's Game of Games expands DeGeneres' relationship with NBC, where she also is an exec producer on Little Big Shotsspinoff Little Big Shots: Forever Young and the upcoming Drew Barrymore-hosted First Dates. All the series hail from Warners' Mike Darnell-led unscripted division. (Additionally, DeGeneres has a scripted comedy pilot in the works this season at ABC.)

"Since establishing Warner Alternative Television over three years ago, some of our greatest successes have come from working with Ellen and her incredibly talented team," said Darnell. "But the dream has always been to get Ellen herself to say yes to hosting a primetime show. Now that she finally has, I am more than ecstatic. We've married a great concept to the best host in the business. Home run!"

Ellen's Game of Games arrives as late-night talk shows have become an incubator for unscripted series following the breakout success of Spike's Lip Sync Battle, which is based on the popular Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon segment. (NBC famously passed on the project.) To that point, TBS is taking James Corden's Drop the Mic segment to series, while the host of CBS' The Late Late Show has a version of Carpool Karaoke coming to Apple TV and has licensed the format internationally. ABC also pulled from Jimmy Kimmel Live for game show Who Knows.

DeGeneres is repped by ICM Partners and Morris Yorn. A premiere date for Ellen's Game of Games has not yet been determined.