“The Wall giveth and The Wall taketh away.” This is definitely not the wall that’s been in the news lately; this is a wall that can change people’s lives for the better in an instant. NBC’s The Wall is a new game show hosted by Nerdist’s own Chris Hardwick, who also executive produced the show along with NBA superstar LeBron James.
The Wall is a fast and simple game show that features a gigantic four-story high wall, built for one purpose–to change peoples’ lives. Think of it as the world’s largest Plinko game, but this one has incredibly high stakes. In every episode there’s a chance to win 12 million dollars and with a single drop of the ball, a contestant can win 3 million dollars just like that.
The rules are straightforward, a contestant gets a question correct and a green ball falls down the wall; where it lands will add the value of the slot to the players’ winning total. That’s all well and good until a missed a question occurs. That’s when an ominous red ball will fall and with its arbitrary landing, the value is cruelly deducted from the team’s total. It’d almost be sadistic if it weren’t so entertaining.
The game sounds simple enough, but the teammates really have to work together to build up their huge cash prize. Back in September, I previewed an episode and sat in on a panel with creators and executive producers Andrew Glassman and Maverick Carter, who, along with LeBron James and Chris Hardwick, talked about their experience working on the show.
Hardwick said, “There’s highs and there’s lows and there’s heartbreaking moments but then in a second, it can all change. And that’s exactly the kind of journey, I assume or hope people take away from this show, is being able to experience that.”
During the preview I was surprised to find myself completely riveted and emotionally connected to what I was watching. I didn’t expect that from a game show. As the stakes got higher I noticed that the other viewers in the room and I were all on the edge of our seats waiting to see what would happen next, cheering and shaking our heads right along with the players we were watching.
Everyone can relate to the stories of the contestants who are made up of two-person teams related by family, friendship or life experience. The show is based on wanting good things to happen to good people and you find yourself as a viewer rooting for the best outcome.
You can get a sneak peek of The Wall on NBC Monday, December 19 at 10p.m. and if you miss it during the holiday rush you can catch it again on Monday January 2 at 10p.m. The show debuts in its regular timeslot on Tuesday January 3 at 8p.m. ET/PT.