While our reporter Jen Juneau was at the Syfy digital press tour, she brought back a special treat of new game show, “Total Blackout” and footage of their run-through of the show hosted by Jaleel White.
The sneak-peek included a panel consisting of Mark Stern, Jaleel White, and creator and executive producer, Henrik Nielsen who introduced the pitch footage and the live run-through. He stated that the idea formulated from a childhood experience where he pretended to have a spider and chasing four sisters with it. They knew that he hated spiders and had no spider, however, “they were still terrified”. Another experience was from his time spent in a country house in Sweden. Nielsen said that when the lights went off, he was also terrified because he know there was a spider in the room. It’s a combination of both. “Once people are in the dark and can’t see anything, the faces – they forget the camera is there.” He also says, this allows for a very natural response to the environment experience and at that moment the contestants are very true and that’s the comical part of the show.
Footage from their casting sessions and pitch is below:
Nielsen explains the show concept, “one of the key elements in the show is that the viewers know more than the contestants. So when you enter the room, we will always, as a viewer, know more than you as a contestant, and that’s where the humor comes in.” He compares it to when he chased his sisters with a spider, but he didn’t really have a spider. White agrees with Nielsen that “It’s the part of the psychology of it”, and that it’s about what people expect.
Nielsen explained the the part of the show that they did live at the Syfy digital press tour – “contestants must go through three tanks and competing against one another to identify what’s in the tanks in the quickest amount of time.” He also stated that the contestants participating in the run-through were not prepped nor told what kind of show they were going to be on. Footage from the live run-through is below.
The series of tanks being filled with surprise items is also a stunt on the new TruTV game show called “Killer Karaoke”. In that challenge, singers had to sing their way while blindfolded through feeling different objects in a number of glass tanks which studio audience and TV viewers can see. Some tank surprises included: Tarantula spiders, Parakeet birds, and also like “Total Blackout” harmless fuzzy stuffed-animals. The difference is, some of “Killer Karaoke” tanks required contestants to put their heads inside of tanks rather than only their hands.
The show does not have an air date yet, and shooting has been delayed due to Nielsen’s schedule.