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A year after its live-voting singing competition Rising Star became arguably the hottest-selling new format of 2013, Israeli producer Keshet is looking to do it all over again.
In an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Keshet unveiled its latest format, a primetime game show called Boom!, which the company will launch on Channel 2 in Israel on April 3 before taking to international buyers at MIPTV in Cannes.
Boom! is a triva game show with a twist taken straight from the classic ticking bomb scene of a thousand action movies. A team of four contestants work together in a series of rounds to defuse a huge “bomb” in the center of the TV studio, with each colored wire representing a different answer. One wrong answer, one wrongly snipped wire, and the bomb and studio “blow up” in dramatic, cartoon-y fashion.
As a result, the team loses one of its players and a quarter of the game’s $500,000 prize money.
As with Rising Star, which is a high-tech re-jig of the well-known singing competition format, Boom! aims to revive another much-maligned genre: the primetime game show.
“Game shows used to be a staple of primetime programming, but they have fallen out of fashion in recent years, partly, we think, because the audience has been split up,” said Ran Tellem, vp of programming at Keshet Broadcasting. “On the one hand, you have the brainy trivia shows for the intellectual audience and at the other end you have the silly, fun shows which are all about people get knocked over into the mud. Boom! tries to combine the two: a smart trivia show that’s also a big, entertaining event with a wow factor.”
And, as with Rising Star, technology plays a major role in Boom! In additon to the high-tech studio – and the “bomb” – the show has been designed with a second-screen app allowing viewers to play along live at home. A further twist has the top at-home player nominated to command a celebrity in the studio via voice commands on which wire to cut.
Telem said Keshet is in talks with several international TV networks about adaption rights to the format even before the show’s debut. The Israeli group sold rights to Rising Star worldwide, with ABC taking the show for the U.S., European giant RTL taking it for France and Germany and ITV adapting it for the U.K. market.
Rising Star has been a huge hit in its home market. Viewers vote live online for their favorite singer. If a singer gets enough votes, a wall of screens dividing him or her from the studio audience rises up and they can finish their song. The international versions of Rising Star will launch later this year.
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