Blockbusters has another life.
Comedy Central UK has rebooted the cancelled gameshow, based on the NBC original, and renewed it for Season 2.
Comedy Central today announced that it has commissioned a comedy reboot of the cult quiz gameshow format Blockbusters, with two series set to be recorded in early 2019. One of Britain’s best-known comedians, Dara O’Briain, is confirmed to host the new version.
20×30-minute episodes will be produced by Thames, part of Fremantle, reviving the classic gameshow format which pits students and sixth formers against each other as they take on the iconic gold run. The original ’80s and ’90s cult hit version of the show aired on ITV and was hosted by Bob Holness.
Comedy Central’s reincarnation will remain true to the original format, with players crossing a hexagonal board by answering quiz questions correlating to a letter, for a chance to win an experiential prize. The series is already in pre-production and will include two celebrity specials. It will debut on Comedy Central UK in 2019.
“One of the UK’s most beloved gameshow formats, Blockbusters is an iconic show that a lot of people hold close to their hearts,” commented Louise Holmes, Vice President, General Manager, Comedy Central UK. “Dara O Briain, is the perfect quizmaster for the comedy reboot of this nostalgic show. That famous Blockbusters theme tune will once again be hummed in living rooms up and down the country very soon!”
Dara O’Briain added “I’m delighted to take over this classic quiz-show, and with it, the speculation that, like Bob Holness, I played the saxophone on the original recording of Baker St. For the record, I did not, although I did play the Marimba on “I Shot the Sheriff”. However, I will not be laughing at contestants saying “I’d like a P please, Dara”, just as I haven’t laughed at the planet “Uranus” in 10 years of StargazingLive. See, I can do serious.”
Phil Harris, Creative Director of Thames TV says: “We are beyond thrilled to be bringing back our legendary gameshow Blockbusters, which has always been a real fan favourite. The relaunch of this time-honoured and successful format, combined with Dara’s comedic talent, is guaranteed to be a winning formula and we couldn’t think of a better home for it than Comedy Central.”
Blockbusters has been commissioned by Louise Holmes and developed by Chris Curley, Head of Development, Comedy Central UK. The series will be exec produced by Phil Harris for Thames, part of Fremantle.
The announcement underlines Comedy Central UK’s ongoing push to diversify its British comedy offering and increase the volume of non-scripted comedy it broadcasts, all of which has helped to drive the channel to its current position of the #3 non-terrestrial entertainment channel in the UK for 1634s.
Following cancellation by ITV in 1993, Blockbusters was revived for four additional seasons, the most recent airing on Challenge in 2012.