Growing up, I had family members that would watch game shows religiously with Jeopardy being the standard. The regularity was almost a ritual. Today, the on-demand, record-anything-to-watch-anytime experience is liberating no doubt. The flexibility to watch a show, any show, at the push of a button makes disciplined time management paramount — even for entertainment purposes! I was recently back with some of the same family members who subscribe to the evening ritual of Jeopardy at 7:30 p.m. and had to pinch myself to make sure a Kid’s Cuisine wasn’t about to pop out of the microwave and slide out on a TV tray set.
While Jeopardy is going on 36 seasons strong, the decline of cable television subscribers, increased mobile screen time, and early signs of authentic demand from prior failures make the timing right for a new, iconic game show to start now. TriviaHQ has been the closest, successful attempt at a mega-popular game show in the digital age, but its popularity faded. The combination of internal turmoil and staleness lead to the demise of a game show valued at $100M. Yet they proved so many hypotheses to be true including: people across the world will stop what they are doing to play a time sensitive game on their phone and the game show host can still be a huge brand builder.
The pattern of TriviaHQ seems similar to the downfall of Vine or MySpace. Initial traction proved there was a ready and willing market but a variety of reasons caused their limited success. What will be the “TikTok” or “Facebook” of live, time-sensitive game shows for the future? If history rhymes with itself, we know a loyal generation is ready to support it for 36 years at the least! The time is now.