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Think of it as Wordle, the game show: CBS has picked up a new version of the word game Lingo to air in primetime later this year.
RuPaul Charles will host and executive produce the show, in which two-person teams try to guess words on a grid after being given the first letter. The game board will be very familiar to anyone who’s played Wordle (or seen their friends’ grids wallpapering their social media feeds). Lingo predates the online game (which was recently purchased by The New York Times) by several decades, and CBS began developing its version last summer before Wordle became a phenomenon.
The first iteration of Lingo aired in syndication in the 1987-88 season — words were selected by an Amiga computer. GSN ran two versions of the show from 2002-07 and briefly in 2011. The CBS game will be based on the current version of the format (which comes from All3Media/IDTV and Talpa TV), which airs on ITV in the U.K. and in a number of other countries — though it will be “supercharged,” with higher stakes and more emphasis on competition between the teams.
“We give you a letter, and you guess the rest! The word game craze is sweeping the nation, and Lingo will deliver a fast-paced, fun and addictive show for the whole family,” said Mitch Graham, senior vp alternative programming at CBS. “RuPaul’s flair and sharp wit, coupled with the ability for viewers to play along at home, make this a timely show with wide appeal that we’re excited to join our network lineup.”
Said RuPaul, “We’re all ready to have fun again, and Lingo is the answer.”
All3Media’s Objective Media Group will produce Lingo for CBS. RuPaul Charles executive produces with Layla Smith for Objective Media Group, Jilly Pearce for Objective Media Group America and Ed de Burge for Triple Brew Media. All3Media International distributes the format.
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