For a game show to succeed in today’s fragmented TV landscape they need a good hook. Think of the way swiveling chairs on The Voice appeared to breathe life into the reality singing competition genre. Fox thinks it has found the show that could do the same thing to the world of game shows. The show, first broadcast in Israel, is called Boom!.
Part action movie and part traditional quiz show, Boom! pits four contestants racing against the clock to diffuse replica bombs by answering trivia questions. Each player cuts through colored wires that represent multiple choice answers, while viewers at home can play along with an interactive component.
The prospects of employing a fake ticking bomb in a game show might seem crass to people who’ve just watch The Hurt Locker. However it’s a great visual representation of a countdown clock. The idea of cutting the blue or red wire is a well known plot tool. The format of Boom! places viewers in a situation with the feel of high stress. It’s the kind of must-see schtick that causes a show like this to trend on the web.
If Boom! takes off than we could be looking at tons of game shows where people appear to risk their lives. Why not suspend people over a tank of sharks? If their time runs out then they fall. We are getting closer and closer to the movie Running Man in the world of network TV.