Everything about Game shows, eh?

Why popular TV shows are turning to mobile games

For the networks that broadcast them, television shows can be incredibly lucrative. The biggest TV shows make hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising revenue. This article reveals that a 30-second commercial in Sunday Night Football will cost more than $600,000 and a 30-second commercial in the science comedy show The Big Bang Theory would cost advertisers more than a quarter of a million dollars.

However, the money-making potential of these shows doesn’t just end at advertising revenue. Many networks are turning to mobile games as a way to make more money and find new fans for some of their most popular series.

Reach the Audience Wherever They Are
The number of people who own TV sets or pay for cable subscriptions is dropping, and in 2018, revenue from pay-TV was just $4.4 billion. This means that broadcasting a show on TV is no longer the best way to reach the audience, and to get in front of fans, networks are having to come up with new ideas.

One of these ideas is to be available on streaming services as these are often available on computers, mobile devices, and games consoles. Indeed, mobile offerings have proven to be a great way to drive interest to different shows and products, with online slot games based on TV shows being just one of many examples of this in practice, as reported in this source. For example, the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire slot game is one of the many slots offered by LeoVegas, and PartyCasino, another online casino with a mobile app, has eight different casino games about British game show Deal or No Deal.

Reach a Younger Audience
Many of those choosing to go without a pay-TV subscription are those in younger demographics. This study reveals that the average age of someone who watches live TV is 56, as young people pay for subscription services such as Netflix, Hulu, and premium subscriptions from sites like YouTube. It’s great that older people are enjoying shows, but it means that TV networks may not be reaching everyone who may enjoy the show.

In comparison, the average age of a mobile gamer is 36.3 years old, making them nearly 20 years younger than the average live TV viewer. By releasing a mobile game, networks can reach this much younger audience, showing them why the characters, music, and story are so enjoyable.

Make Money When the Show Isn’t Being Made


Seinfeld went off the air in 1998 and yet the sitcom still makes millions of dollars. It was announced that Netflix had paid $100 million for the rights to show all 151 episodes. Not every show will be able to make that much money from streaming deals years after they stopped making new episodes, but mobile games can help networks make money when a show isn’t being made.

Fans of a show who would like to keep hearing the music and seeing the character may start playing mobile games to keep being entertained by the series. They may be happy to spend too, allowing the shows to make money when ads can’t be sold and streaming deals can’t be made.

The way that people watch TV shows may have changed, but releasing mobile game versions of these shows has kept on being popular. Fans don’t have to watch reruns just to enjoy their favourite series.


Why is gambling such a common theme for TV?

Gambling is one of the most popular pastimes in Canada, and it has been found that nearly 70 percent of the population has participated in some form of gambling in the past. Gambling games are characterized by being generally exciting yet simple to understand. With such a high number of Canadians being familiar with gambling, it has often been used as a theme within TV shows. Certain series have had gambling-specific episodes, while game shows have taken the concept of gambling and made it into a reality competition.

Thrilling and Relatable
One of the major reasons that gambling is often depicted on screen is down to the fact that it is strongly associated with excitement. A common trick to upping the thrill levels in a TV series is to include some elements of chance and gambling, in which the fate of the characters could go either way.

One recurring theme from works of fiction is to give the protagonist a tough ultimatum to deliberate. This dilemma, the result of which could go either way, is often used as a way to form a cliffhanger at the end of the episode. It isn’t always explicitly linked to chance or gambling, but the character’s choice can have dramatic consequences down the line. Jesse Pinkman opting to kill Gale at the end of Breaking Bad Season 3 is an example of this. The character had to wrestle the emotions of murdering an innocent man in order to save his own skin.

There have been some Memorable Gambling Scenes in TV Series
When TV writers want to up the ante in a more obvious way, they often send their characters to the casino. Here, they tend to play well-known games that viewers can relate to. With the rise of online gambling, more people are familiar with the rules of table games like roulette and blackjack, along with slot machines. When it comes to thinking of the most memorable gambling scenes that have been in a fictional TV series, there are quite a few strong moments to choose from.

Fans of Friends will fondly remember “The One in Vegas,” which was the double-length finale to Season 5. There were a lot of gambling scenes throughout the episode, but the most iconic was when Monica was on a run of good fortune at the craps table. Chandler joins her at the table and shouts out various promises to the crowd if she wins, such as that they will buy everyone a round of drinks. He eventually says they’ll get married if she rolls a hard eight, and she does.

Another hilarious gambling scene featured in the British sitcom, Peep Show. The protagonists decide to host a poker night because Mark believes that it is a manly pastime, and he wants to impress Sophie’s new boyfriend, Jeff. Mark doesn’t want to take any risks so folds at every opportunity, while Jez doesn’t know how to play the game but manages to bluff his way through.

Along with fictional series, many viewers will look back with delight on occasions in reality TV shows when people have gambled. There have been a few times in Deal or No Deal when players have been left with a choice between gambling the Banker’s deal to see if they can win the jackpot. Who Wants to be a Millionaire is also renowned for putting players in some tough spots as they aim to take down the ultimate prize.

Gambling is a Great Format for Game Shows
The developers of some of the most popular game shows ever invented have taken elements from gambling in order to create an exciting experience for viewers. Deal or No Deal, mentioned above, is one of the prime examples of a format in which players are constantly required to gamble. The original show was a Dutch offering called Miljoenenjacht, which means Hunt for Money. The 26 box format with regular monetary offers from a banker went on to be used in over forty different countries, including Canada in 2007.

The thrilling aspect of Deal or No Deal is the fact that players are constantly put into a position in which they could potentially lose or gain a lot money. In Canada, Cash Cab is one of the longest-running and most popular game shows. The Discovery Channel show presented by Adam Growe has been on air since 2008 and gives players the chance to gamble frequently with double or nothing questions. It seems that the easy to understand concept of gambling is one that translates perfectly to game show audiences.

Gambling is a common theme for TV series and game shows because it’s something that most viewers can relate to. While not everyone likes to gamble, they may enjoy the thrill of living these tough decisions vicariously through characters or contestants.


Is it time for Monopoly Millionaires’ Club to be reborn in Canada?

There is nothing quite like a great game show. Whether it is the dramatically lit sets, the charismatic hosts or the nervy contestants hoping to win major prize money or luxury holidays, they always offer up plenty of excitement and entertainment.

From Just Like Mom and Dad to something like Pop Quiz, such shows embrace a host of styles and it is often common to see those which have been a major hit in one country then be adapted and introduced into another. Take something like Deal or No Deal for instance, which started life in the Netherlands before then being launched across the globe and—of course—landing on our screens with Howie Mandel.

However, is it time for Canada to find a new game show format to embrace and, if so, what could be the best option? We think one show which has come to an end in the US in recent years may ultimately have what it takes to be a big hit.

Making millionaires
Monopoly Millionaires’ Club was produced by Scientific Games and ran for about a year in the U.S., with Mike & Molly star Billy Gardell taking on the hosting duties. Shot in front of an audience in Las Vegas, the show had a unique style as it functioned alongside a lottery. Basically, people who played were entered into a draw to win a trip to Vegas, which included the chance for them to sit in the studio audience.

The audience were then divided into different sections which represented the playing pieces famously used in the classic board game. Audience members from each section would then stand up and take part in a range of games based on various aspects of Monopoly, such as Community Chest and Electric Company.


Those games tended to have a top prize of $100,000, while the grand finale of the show was Go For A Million. The general rules of that section were that a player would give up their existing winnings to take part, start at Go and have to complete a single trip around a standard Monopoly board in just five turns. Rolling doubles would secure an extra turn, although one caveat was that three consecutive doubles would lead directly to jail and no prize money. Any winnings would ultimately be split between the participant and their corresponding audience section.

The series was sadly cancelled in February 2016 but it undoubtedly had an impact on the TV landscape. Most notably it is thought to have created more millionaires in a shorter period of time than any other game show in TV history.

A fresh take on a classic
One of the most striking things about Monopoly Millionaires’ Club is how it cleverly takes elements of the old-school board game and breathes new life into them in imaginative ways. It is also perhaps a fitting testament to a game which has become a staple of many households across the globe.

While Monopoly as we now know it was first published in 1935, its roots actually go back even further to the early 1900s. As Smithsonian.com outlines, the earliest form of the game is thought to have been created by an inventor and writer known as Lizzie Magie. She is believed to have patented The Landlord Game in 1904, with the action revolving around a square board featuring different properties and players having to buy railroads and pay rent. The apparent aim? To actually teach people about the problems of income equality. Of course, in a way, the game we know and love is a little different to that, primarily as the objective is to push others into bankruptcy in order to win.

The U.S. version of the game was of course based on Atlantic City, while the UK version which went on to be developed by John Waddington featured locations that can be found across London. Many other editions of the game have also been produced through the years, with the first Canadian edition apparently being launched in 1982. As well as featuring locations from across the country, it boasted a host of other stylistic changes including player pieces such as a moose, a canoe and a hockey player.

But as well as inspiring new editions, the concept of Monopoly has been adapted into a host of different styles through the years. For example, online gaming sites such as 888casino Canada offer Live Monopoly, a money wheel game hosted by a live dealer where players have to predict which segment is going to come out on top. Furthermore, McDonalds Canada Coast to Coast Monopoly is always popular and again gives players the chance to win a host of different prizes.

How could it work in Canada?
But while Monopoly Millionaires’ Club undoubtedly had an impact when it was on air in the U.S., how would it ultimately work if it was launched in Canada?

Well, lotteries are played in different parts of the country so there is plenty of scope for one to be established to link up with the show. This would of course mean that its general format could adhere closely to how matters developed south of the border.

Furthermore, another thing to consider would be the type of board to play with. While the traditional Atlantic City version of the game is always an option, the board could of course be tweaked to reflect Canadian editions and this could mean that audiences in the studio and at home may relate more closely to it.

Finally, who could ultimately take up the reins as the host? When it comes to Canadians with ties to gameshows few come any bigger than Alex Trebek, but of course his long association to Jeopardy! in the U.S. and his recent health problems mean we can probably only dream on that front. It could be a great job for Howie Mandel however, who of course has experience of game shows through his work on the likes of Deal or No Deal.

Too good to ignore
Monopoly Millionaires’ Club may have disappeared from screens in the U.S., but we think that the concept and the way it adapted aspects of the board game classic are simply too good to ignore.

The game show could work really well in Canada and it would be fascinating to see if any networks look to take a chance on it in the months and years ahead.