Child’s play? Ricky Gervais gets into game show biz with a panel of kids on ABC

Christine Persaud
Child’s play? Ricky Gervais gets into game show biz with a panel of kids on ABC
ABC has ordered a game show called Five to Survive that will star Ricky Gervais, who is also executive producer, along with a panel of kids. Gervais and the youngsters will try to help contestants win cash prizes.

Ricky Gervais is set to star in a new game show called Five to Survive that has been ordered by ABC, reports Variety.

Gervais, along with a panel of children, will help adult players answer a series of questions in order to win cash prizes. They must answer 10 in a row to win, and can use Gervais and the kids as a sort of lifeline in the event they give an incorrect answer. In addition to a hosting gig, of sorts, Gervais will also serve as executive producer of the show, alongside David Goldberg and Caroline Baumgard, chief Creative Officer at the studio behind the program, Banijay Studios North America.

Related: Chris Rock to break eight-year stand-up comedy hiatus for $40 million deal

Robert Mills, senior vice president, Alternative Series, Specials, and Late Night Programming for ABC Entertainment, expressed his delight in having the actor and comedian on board with the network. Given that children will be involved, however, we likely won’t see any of his raunchier stylings.

It’s clear Gervais will continue to hurl the insults, which is what he’s best known for. “I’ve never understood the saying ‘never work with animals or children,’” he comments, suggesting that he’d prefer to work with either than Hollywood actors. “They’re cheaper, they do as their told, and the filming hours are better.”

Banijay is moving deep into the popular realm of game shows, and is also working on Jimmy Kimmel’s upcoming prime time game show, Big Fan. And ABC is evidently looking to ramp up its involvement in the space as well, having also picked up a revival of The Gong Show from Sony Pictures Television last week.

Most notable for playing the lead character in the original BBC version of The Office, on which the American version starring Steve Carrell was based, Gervais has also gained attention for hosting the Golden Globes four times, most recently this year, as well as for starring in Muppets Most Wanted (2014), the Netflix series Derek (2012-2014), and the satirical comedy Special Correspondents, which was released earlier this year.