7:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Hip-Hop Squares' Renewed for Second Season at VH1 (Exclusive)
It's hip to be square at VH1.
The Viacom-owned cable network has renewed reality competition series Hip-Hop Squares for a second season, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Exec produced by Ice Cube, the game show ranks as VH1's highest-rated new show in a year — a key win for network president Chris McCarthy, who recently added oversight of MTV to his purview. The series ranks as the No. 1 non-sports cable show in its time period among adults 18-34. The order is for an additional 20 episodes — on par with its freshman haul. The series will return in 2018.
"Hip-Hop Squares smashed ratings records as one of the most-watched new series of the year," McCarthy said. “We couldn’t ask for a better creative force to steer the show than Ice Cube or a better partner than CBS Distribution, and we are thrilled to keep this party going."
Ice Cube and his Cube Vision executive produce the series in conjunction with Jesse Collins Entertainment, Scott St. John and Jeff Kwatinetz’s The Firm and CBS Television Distribution.
“VH1 and Ice Cube have done a remarkable job modernizing the game elements of the legendary Hollywood Squares,” said Scott Koondel, chief corporate licensing officer at CBS Corp. “We are proud to be part of the team introducing VH1 Hip-Hop Squares to a new generation, and are delighted that the series has been picked up for a second season.”
Hosted by DeRay Davis, the series is the latest incarnation of the game show originally created by Merrill Heatter and Bob Quigley. All told, more than 5,000 episodes have been produced over six decades.
"The positive response to Hip-Hop Squares has been an incredible experience,” Ice Cube said. “My team and I are grateful to VH1 and everyone who has worked incredibly hard to make the show a success. The fan excitement and their commitment has us fired up and we can’t wait to start shooting. Viewers can look forward to a louder, crazier party with the next season.”
Hip-Hop Squares marks a key renewal for VH1, which while a key brand was not one of Viacom CEO Bob Bakish's core areas of focus as he looks to reinvigorate the conglomerate. VH1 has been doubling down on content of late, reviving America's Next Top Model and handing out a straight-to-series order based on Star Jones' saga at The View, starring Vanessa Williams, in addition to ordering the original film The Breaks as an ongoing scripted drama series.