On Feb. 2, the UK network ITV premiered a new reality game show called Small Fortune, which has contestants competing in miniaturized challenges.
It appears to be the next UK format to make its way across the Atlantic to attract attention in Hollywood, where I’ve heard (exclusive!) that NBC has ordered a version of the show directly to series.
Update, April 3: NBC announced today that it picked up the series with a six-episode order. NBC described its version this way:
“Small Fortune will see teams of three friends compete in the tiniest of challenges for a chance to win big money. From a shrunk down Oval Office (‘The Waste Wing’) to a mini Arc de Triomphe (‘Arc de Wee-Omph’) each team must prove their skills on playing fields that have been squeezed down to the size of a dollhouse. Challenges will require considerable dexterity and intense focus because with games this small, there’s no room for error as the slightest miscalculation or tremble may result in elimination.
… To take home the ultimate Small Fortune, teams that make it to the end must tackle one last teeny-tiny but epic game. If players can control their nerves and avoid the slightest mistake they will walk away with a big cash prize.”
NBC’s reality TV executive Meredith Ahr said in a press release, “Small Fortune is a quirky, clever and hilarious concept with a surprising level of intensity that will keep viewers in suspense As soon as we saw the format in action, we knew we wanted to bring it to NBC. It proves that the simplest format can often pack the biggest punch.”
Previously: The game show, hosted by X Factor host Dermot O’Leary, premiered before The Voice last Saturday. It takes place on a set that resembles Who Wants to be a Millionaire or something similar, but the twist is that the challenges are super tiny, played on miniaturized sets.
Here’s how ITV described it:
“Dermot O’Leary hosts brand-new prime time series Small Fortune, the world’s smallest gameshow, where teams of friends or family members take on tiny games to win big money.
Each game is set in a perfectly miniaturised world, from a shrunk down Stonehenge to a pint-sized Rovers Return. The games are designed so anyone could do them but they’re so small there’s no room for error. If players can hold their nerve and avoid the slightest mistake they could bank up to £150,000, but fail and it could be all over.”
Teams of three players compete in increasingly tiny challenges. Watch the final challenge from the season premiere to get an idea of how it works:
Small Fortune‘s production company, Youngest Media, also produces Game of Clones, which MTV just announced would be coming to the U.S.—though in a celebrity version on which “reality stars are given the opportunity to date seven clones of their celebrity crush,” according to MTV.
In other words, it’s possible the format and game may change significantly. But this is a show I’m excited to see.