Since premiering in November, “The Wheel” has become the BBC’s top-rated game show launch in a decade. The creatives behind the British format, production shingle Hungry McBear and Michael McIntyre (who hosts the U.K. version), will also produce the U.S. edition for NBC, along with Warner Bros. Unscripted Television’s Warner Horizon.
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“It’s incredibly rare in this day and age for a new show to become an unqualified smash hit overnight … let alone in the biggest territory in Europe,” said Mike Darnell, President of Warner Bros. Unscripted Television. “We are thrilled to be in business with Hungry McBear and our amazing partners at NBC, who immediately saw ‘The Wheel’s’ potential and picked it up within 24 hours of the pitch.”
“The Wheel” centers on a 42-foot-wide spinning wheel, which features contestants aiming to win big with the help of celebrity guests.
Specifically, contestants are randomly picked from a smaller wheel underneath center stage. Three contestants answer general knowledge questions, in order to keep their spot at the center of the wheel, but wrong questions throw them out. Seven celebrity experts are also on the wheel, ready to help answer the questions. The contestant at the center of the wheel at the end of the game has a chance to take home a “life-changing sum of money.”
“Hosting this show is the most fun I’ve had on television,” McIntyre said. “The format creates wonderful camaraderie among the celebrities, natural hilarity and genuine suspense. I can’t wait for ‘The Wheel’ to roll across America.”
McIntyre and Hungry McBear managing director Dan Baldwin created the format and will executive produce the U.S. version with Darnell and Brooke Karzen.
Game shows have once again become a major part of the broadcast network primetime lineups in recent years, and “The Wheel” joins Peacock slate that includes “The Wall,” “Ellen’s Game of Games,” “Hollywood Game Night” and the upcoming series ‘College Bowl,’ with Peyton Manning as executive producer and host. NBC’s new Entertainment Content division, led by Susan Rovner, also just gave a Season 2 pickup to its ‘Weakest Link’ revival.
“We knew that NBC was the perfect home for ‘The Wheel’ within the first few minutes of watching the show,” said Jenny Groom, executive VP of unscripted content at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “Its inherent ingenuity and addictive game play immediately hooked us.”
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