10:00am PT by Kimberly Nordyke
Nickelodeon Orders 'Crystal Maze' Game Show Based on U.K. Format
Nickelodeon is bringing the British hit game show The Crystal Maze to the U.S.
The kids cable network said Monday that it's greenlighted a new version of the show that'll be co-produced by Bunim/Murray Productions (The Real World, The Challenge, Born This Way) and RDF Television (Secret Life of 4 Year Olds, Wife Swap, Shipwrecked), all under the BanijayGroup.
The show, touted as a "forerunner to the current escape room craze," has been airing on the U.K. since the mid-'90s, and recently was rebooted with celebrity, charity and family seasons in the U.K., Australia and other territories.
The series centers on a competitive challenge featuring a family team who must utilize physical and mental skills to successfully navigate an elaborate labyrinth of four giant and immersive themed zones.
Nickelodeon's version of the show will feature a family tackling a range of challenges in zones collectively known as The Crystal Maze. Each successful game is rewarded with a "time crystal" that equals five seconds in the centerpiece Crystal Dome. The adventure culminates in a finale that finds the team entering the Dome to grab a cash prize as it flies around them during a dramatic clock countdown.
Nickelodeon has ordered 10 hourlong episodes; casting is underway, with plans to begin production on the original set in Bristol, England, this summer. The show will feature an as-yet-unnamed host who'll guide the family through each challenge and adventure. The series' premiere date also will be announced at a later date.
"As Nickelodeon embraces co-viewing opportunities for every member of the family, The Crystal Maze brings a new type of action game and storytelling to audiences with its escape room-style gameplay and emphasis on collaboration and teamwork to win," said Rob Bagshaw, executive vp unscripted content at Nickelodeon.
Added Bunim/Murray CEO Gil Goldschein: "The Crystal Maze has long served as a staple of the U.K. entertainment landscape and we could not be happier to be reinventing the show for a younger demo alongside our sister companies, RDF and Stephen David Entertainment. Acting as the first series for BMP's Kids and Family Division, the show will build on our reputation in the competitive game space and we've no doubt by partnering with Nickelodeon, we can build a new audience for this brand in the U.S."
The Crystal Maze is executive produced by Goldschein and Maria Pepin from Bunim/Murray; Neale Simpson from Fizz, part of RDF Television; and Stephen David from Stephen David Entertainment. Bagshaw oversees production for Nickelodeon.