MTV has joined forces with Justin Timberlake for a game show called "The Phone," which will send contestants racing around America's major cities in search of cash prizes.
The show, scheduled to premiere in the fall, was announced Thursday at the cable network's upfront presentation. Timberlake and FremantleMedia, the company behind "American Idol," are producing "The Phone," which is based on a show from the Netherlands.
The hype-meter is already high for the show, which is called "ground-breaking," "wild," "genre-busting" and "action-packed" -- all within two paragraphs of MTV's press release. "When you watch, your heart will pound as hard as the contestants. This is popcorn TV!" exclaims MTV's programming boss Tony DiSanto.
The game begins when players answer two cell phones placed at opposite ends of a big city. An unseen guide will then direct two players in a "cliff-hanging race against time and odds" to accomplish their mission, with a big pile of cash waiting at the end. The producers also promise a fast pace and visual style reminiscent of movies like "The Bourne Identity," though presumably without the multiple takes and stunt players.
"The Phone" marks one of Timberlake's first efforts as a producer; he was also an exec producer of an NBC pilot called "My Problem With Women." Joining him on as exec producers on the MTV show are David Schiff and Fremantle's Cecile Frot-Coutaz.
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