I know this is not a treasure hunt but sounds fun if it wasn't at midnight. I'm sleeping then.
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By Andrew Wallenstein
Wed Aug 2, 8:46 AM ET

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - TBS is preparing to launch U.S. television's first fully interactive live game show.


Beginning August 28, "Midnight Money Madness" will screen four nights a week, Monday-Thursday, at midnight. The two-hour program will be staged twice per night from its base in Los Angeles, first for East Coast viewers and then again for the West Coast. TBS has committed to an eight-week trial.

There will be no contestants or audience in the studio. The viewers will be the contestants, and they can participate by registering their phone numbers through a 1-900 number, the Internet or SMS text messaging.

"Madness" contacts potential players, who will be piped in on-air to answer trivia questions or solve puzzles for cash prizes. A pair of hosts will preside over the show; their deals are being finalized.

"This is a great opportunity to learn and be part of the text-messaging phenomenon," said Steve Koonin, executive vp and chief operating officer of Time Warner-owned TBS and TNT. "It could be like 'Dialing for Dollars' for the next generation."

"Madness" will test the domestic viability of a genre known as "participation TV" or "call TV." The show's producer, Endemol, has launched many formats relying on home-viewer participation in more than 20 countries over the years, including "Puzzle Time," "Brainteaser" and "Quiz Night Live." British broadcaster ITV in March launched an entire call TV digital channel, ITV Play.

"From an Endemol perspective, this is not new," said Jon Vlassopulos, vp business development, strategic planning and digital media at Endemol USA. "For the U.S., it's definitely new."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter