Comedy Central UK Reboots Classic NBC Gameshow ‘Blockbusters’ With ‘Mock The Week’ Host Dara O’Briain

Blockbusters, based on the classic NBC gameshow, is heading back to the UK after Comedy Central picked up another local reboot.

The UK arm of the Viacom-owned broadcaster has ordered two seasons of the cult quiz from Fremantle’s Thames.

The show, which was a student classic when it aired on ITV between 1983 and 1993, was originally produced by Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions for NBC, which aired it between 1980 and 1982 with a short-lived remake in 1987. It was created by Steve Ryan.

Mock The Week host Dara O’Briain is fronting the latest reboot, which will run for 20 episodes of 30 minutes. Players will attempt to cross a hexagonal board by answering quiz questions correlating to a letter, for a chance to win an “experiential” prize. The series is already in pre-production and will include two celebrity specials. It will debut on Comedy Central UK in 2019.

Blockbusters was commissioned by Louise Holmes, Vice President and General Manager, Comedy Central UK and developed by Chris Curley, Head of Development, Comedy Central UK. The series will be exec produced by Phil Harris for Thames.

“One of the UK’s most beloved gameshow formats, Blockbusters is an iconic show that a lot of people hold close to their hearts,” said Holmes. “Dara O’Briain, is the perfect quizmaster for the comedy reboot of this nostalgic show. That famous Blockbusters theme tune will once again be hummed in living rooms up and down the country very soon.”

O’Briain added, “I’m delighted to take over this classic quiz-show, and with it, the speculation that, like Bob Holness, I played the saxophone on the original recording of Baker St. For the record, I did not, although I did play the Marimba on I Shot the Sheriff. However, I will not be laughing at contestants saying ‘I’d like a P please, Dara’, just as I haven’t laughed at the planet Uranus in 10 years of Stargazing Live. See, I can do serious.”

Thames’ Harris added, “We are beyond thrilled to be bringing back our legendary gameshow Blockbusters, which has always been a real fan favourite. The relaunch of this time-honoured and successful format, combined with Dara’s comedic talent, is guaranteed to be a winning formula and we couldn’t think of a better home for it than Comedy Central.”

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