the TV addict

Watch And Win? We’re Totally In!

Oprah ain’t the only one who has favorite things. For us, it comes down to always knowing the answers to entertainment-related trivia, people being made to do silly things for our amusement and being given an opportunity to win things. So when we heard that the Web series RED CARPET RUN combined those things, we were on it quicker than Homer Simpson on a donut.

The concept? Simplicity itself: Contestants answer trivia question in the hope of advancing to the final round. The last player standing dons an ill-fitting tuxedo or low-rent gown and jumps on an increasingly fast-moving treadmill to try and answer questions while keeping pace.

As you can imagine, hilarity ensues.

“I wanted to combine JEOPARDY! and DOUBLE DARE,” says producer Michael Todd Cohen, who recognized that while the internet was quickly filling with programming options, few of them were in the game show category.  The reaction of his production partners upon hearing of his plan to fuse trivia and a treadmill? “They looked at me like I was crazy,” he admits. But with 11 episodes under their belts and plans in the works for a second season, it’s clear that Cohen and company have a winning formula on their hands.

It doesn’t hurt that the show offers prizes not only to the contestants willing to risk life and limb — or at least injuring their pride — on the treadmill but to those of us lazily watching on-line. “We went to Netflix and the AMC theater chain, and they gave us prizes for the Watch And Win question that we stick into the middle of every episode.”

That’s right, just like the gooey goodness at the center of an Oreo cookie, RED CARPET RUN offers viewers a mid-episode treat! So each Thursday afternoon, when episodes are posted, viewers have a chance to win gift subscriptions from Netflix and combo packs from AMC! (Perhaps not coincidentally, his team is in talks about the possibility of running RED CARPET RUN in movie theaters as pre-show entertainment!)

Asked how well he’d do on his own show, Cohen admits he’d struggle in the final round. “I tried the treadmill, and it’s hard! No matter how much you think you know about trivia, it’s tough to run and answer questions at the same time. Your brain just wants to stand still and answer the question!”

Sometimes, the contestants actually throw an unexpected twist into the mix. “Keep an eye out for the final episode of the season,” previews Cohen. “Our contestant decided that he didn’t want to wear the tuxedo, he wanted to wear the dress! It was a daring choice!”

As for the show’s future, he admits that more corporate sponsors would help the show fulfill the biggest request he hears from viewers. “They really want a cool-looking, digital sets. And we’d love to get some internet celebs to come in and give the treadmill a try!”