‘Candy Crush,’ now a TV game show » Manila Bulletin News

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ACROBATIC PLAY – A contestant in harness wings into action in this gigantic version of the popular mobile phone game ‘Candy Crush.’ (AP)

Los Angeles — Candy Crush addicts, and you know who you are, put down your mobile device immediately. Then you can watch “Candy Crush,” the TV game show.

Expect breezy, energetic fun from the CBS series debuting 9 p.m. EDT Sunday with host Mario Lopez, said executive producer Matt Kunitz, whose credits include “Wipeout” and “Fear Factor.”

Nearly 200 billion game rounds were played in the Candy Crush Saga last year, according to its maker, King. To entice people to watch it on TV, “Candy Crush” supersizes the visuals and the action.

Two specially designed video walls, each made up of 55 monitors and measuring more than 20-by-25 feet, require contestants to physically scramble as they compete for the weekly $100,000 prize.

One wall is placed horizontally on the stage floor, the other is perpendicular to it, and players in safety harnesses scoot across and up and down the screens. They make candy matches by, natch, swiping squares a la the mobile game.

The stunt team that handled Lady Gaga’s rig during her airborne entrance to this year’s Super Bowl halftime show did the same for “Candy Crush,” with the same injury-free success, Kunitz and CBS said. Taping is completed.

When the show was pitched to the network, Kunitz said, they asked CBS executives to imagine “if you were playing on your phone and got sucked through and were in a Candy Crush arena.”

The video walls were key, he said.

Their surfaces needed to withstand running, jumping and sliding and respond only to the swipe of contestants’ hands. Producers ended up going with a company, MultiTaction, that had created a 44-monitor wall for the Australia’s Queensland University of Technology.

That was the world’s biggest, Kunitz said, until “Candy Crush” came along — and he points to a Guinness World Records citation attesting to that. Each monitor has 32 cameras to record the flurry of hand swipes.

Many video games have been translated to the movie screen, from “Super Mario Brothers” to “Tomb Raider” to “The Angry Birds Movie,” but it’s rare, if not unprecedented, for a game to come to television, said Sebastian Knutsson, a King executive who helped develop Candy Crush.

The game’s simplicity “actually translates very well” to TV, he said, and the audience’s perspective allows them to see opportunities more readily than the contestants who are so close to the oversized boards.

How protective did he feel of his baby during its TV adaptation?

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