Franklin McMahon /
06.18.2012 04:07 PM
Drawing mobile TV viewers: Game powerhouse Draw Something heads to broadcast TV

As if the popular mobile and social game Draw Something could not get any bigger, Zynga is currently negotiating to bring the popular game to a whole new range of fans via primetime television with a new game show executive produced by American Idol host Ryan Seacrest. Drawing programs have had a good run in the past via syndicated shows such as “Win, Lose or Draw” and “Pictionary,” but bringing Draw Something full circle back to network and mobile TV could be the ultimate lesson in cross pollination and brand extending that mobile content producers are constantly striving for. But will it draw mobile viewers?

When does a popular app go from mega-hit to broadcast television and then back to mobile TV? Apparently when Ryan Seacrest is involved. While there is no doubt there is huge interest in the addictive game, it will be interesting to see how it moves to video form. Having a slickly produced show based on the hit game will seemingly not only be good in primetime or cable, but also should dovetail nicely back as a mobile TV program.

A big part of the allure of Draw Something is a lot of bullet points mobile TV content producers have been trying to hit for some time now — engagement while viewing, interactive audience guessing, social integration, low barrier to enjoyment, addictive sense of what is happening next and more. Mobile TV could use this sort of a hit show that not only seems tailored to the small screen but actually got its start on it via smartphones and tablets. The show would incorporate viewers playing against celebrities as well as introduce big prize packages for extra engagement.

Existing brands such as “Angry Birds” developing into mobile TV shows are paving the way for mobile content creators to work synergistically with existing brands that actually got their start on mobile. Any brand already in the palm of your hand has a tremendous head start right out of the gate.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out, and development is gearing up for a fall TV launch. It may not be long before you are watching Draw Something on your mobile TV device instead of just playing it.



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