The new era of game shows inspired by iconic properties is rapidly developing.
Following the recent news that The UNO Game Show is in development from Mattel Television and Propagate (Running Wild with Bear Grylls, Chopped), Mattel Inc. is partnering with Fremantle (American Idol, The Price is Right) to develop a game show inspired by the arcade classic Whac-A-Mole.
Whac-A-Mole has been a staple of arcades, carnivals, and family entertainment centers since Bob’s Space Racers first started marketing the game back in 1976. Mattel adapted Whac-A-Mole into a tabletop home game in 2009. For the Whac-A-Mole game show, the game will be reinvented as “an elimination competition during which opposing teams will use their skill, strength and endurance to face off to become the ultimate Whac-A-Mole champion.” Mattel says that the unscripted series will feature races and obstacle courses alongside a life-sized Whac-A-Mole, and what they promise will be “a surprising twist that will awe participants and audiences alike.”
“Whac-A-Mole is a beloved, action-packed arcade game with a deep fan following, and the interactive nature and comedic energy of the game makes it a great franchise for episodic television,” says Adam Bonnett, executive producer, Mattel Television. “Jayson and the team at Fremantle have had unparalleled success creating iconic reality television series and are the perfect partners to help us bring this classic game to life in new ways.”
“We’re so excited to have the iconic Whac-A-Mole brand as our newest playground,” says Jayson Dinsmore, president of alternative programming and development, Fremantle. “Partnering with Mattel to bring this classic game to television in a dynamic and synergistic life-sized world is a dream come true.”
This spring, Mattel will reissue its Whac-A-Mole tabletop game alongside a new title, Whac-A-Mole Match-A-Mole, which incorporates the traditional gameplay into a matching card game.
In recent months, a number of classic games have begun surfacing as TV projects. Hasbro’s Candy Land was reimagined as a Food Network series last fall and development continues for competition series based on Risk.