GAME ON! Team Previews CBS' Ambitious Hybrid Game Show - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

GAME ON! Team Previews CBS’ Ambitious Hybrid Game Show

May 27, 2020 by  

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“Celebrity Guests: Gabriel Iglesias & J.R. Smith” — Keegan-Michael Key hosts, as Team Gronk with comedians Bobby Lee and guest Gabriel Iglesias compete against Team Venus with comedian Ian Karmel and guest pro basketball player J.R. Smith, in a variety of outrageous challenges on the series premiere of GAME ON!, Wednesday, May 27 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. The elite athletes go head to head in epic contests, including kicking a field goal at the Colosseum during an L.A. Rams game, a battle of strength against the strongest man in the world and a soccer drill with musicians Mark McGrath, Coolio and Macy Gray. Pictured (L-R): Ian Karmel, Venus Williams, J.R. Smith, Keegan-Michael Key, Gabriel Iglesias, Rob Gronkowski, and Bobby Lee Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

CBS’ new show GAME ON! is billed as a new competition challenge, but it’s hard to properly prepare for how crazy the series actually is.

GAME ON!, loosely based on the UK series A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN (which was hosted by James Corden, who is an executive producer/guest star on the CBS show) finds two teams competing, one captained by tennis superstar Venus Williams, and the other by NFL’s Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski.

Every week Team Venus (Williams, comedian Ian Karmel, and a rotating guest) faces off against Team Gronk (Gronkowski, comedian Bobby Lee, and a rotating guest), as host Keegan-Michael Key leads them through challenges. But even the mundane things—like trying to answer questions—have extreme twists. (You try having a clear mind answering questions when the world’s strongest man is trying to push your teammates off a mat.)

“If you start talking about sports and entertainment, that was born in America, the notion of fusing those two things,” Corden told reporters. “Venus will tell you more than anybody, the difference in playing at Wimbledon [versus] playing in the US Open in New York is there’s music playing, there’s stuff happening all the time.”

To have the show make the jump to CBS, it was important to Corden they find the right team. “The show is born out of chemistry and fun and joy,” Corden said. “As soon as we started speaking to Venus and Gronk and Keegan, it became clear to us that between these three, this is an incredible [group] to take a show like this onto a network like CBS.”

Key, who has also hosted the Nat Geo show BRAIN GAMES, admitted he was drawn to the series’ physical nature—and unpredictability.

“I am an athletic person, I enjoy competition,” he said. “And I’m a sports fan in general. So the fact that this format, and the theme of the show ,would be wrapped around sports was really, really exciting to me. And then…there’s this hybrid quality of the show. It should have its own category, in my opinion, because it’s not only about the competing, but then we have these wonderful quiz segments, and there’s also lovely banter between the guests, and the panelists. We don’t know what the challenges are going to be. There’s this wonderful, titillating, unknown quality about it every time we do [a taping].”

And while both Gronkowski and Williams are elite athletes, being captains of teams on GAME ON! is an entirely new experience and requires them tapping into new skillsets.

“Being a captain on this show has helped my strategic skills, because there’s all these different competitions,” Gronkowski admitted. “I’m not allowed to do every competition. Bobby Lee has to be some of them, the guest for each episode has to participate, too. So, I just had to learn how to strategize, who will fit best in what competition, and change it up every single episode. And I learned how to lead the team—you learn how to answer the trivia questions, just take control of the team and be a captain out there.”

“[Gronkowski]’s also a Super Bowl champion, so, obviously he knows what the team is about,” Williams added. “I’m in an individual sport where everything is insular, where you have to not only behave well, but you’re just by yourself. So, honestly, it’s great to be on a team. But at the same time you don’t want to let them down, so I’m not used to that pressure. I got nervous during the whole show!”

Intrigued? Watch a preview!

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