Atari has partnered with veteran unscripted producer Scott Sternberg to develop a game show based on the classic video game “Pong.” The show, “Million Dollar Pong,” will be produced by Scott Sternberg productions, with Jeff Mirkin serving as producer for Atari.
“’Pong’ is a cultural touchpoint for generations of people,” said Sternberg. “It’s not often we get the chance to develop a game show concept around such an iconic brand. I can’t wait to give people the chance to see, experience and play a brand new ‘Pong.’”
Sternberg’s game-show credits include “Catch 21,” “Rock and Roll Jeopardy,” “The Gong Show,” “Love Connection,” “Hollywood Squares,” and “Kid’s Wheel of Fortune.” No network has yet been attached to the show, based on the 1972 game that helped launch the commercial video-game business.
There’s nothing in Pong to attach a game show component to. It’s nostalgia for the sake of nostalgia, like making movies based on Battleship or the arcade game Rampage. It blatantly shows just how empty and uncreative people in Hollywood are. Plus, they’re immediately alienating millennials by crafting the main theme of your show after something that YouTube tells them is lame.
Even during the heyday of game shows, not very many pilot shows made it to air. I cannot see this one going into production, unless it’s dirt cheap to make and it’s for the Game Show Network. Is that network even around anymore, or have they rebranded themselves to something more mainstream since network executives can’t stand the thought of filling a niche and being comfortable there?