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CBS could spin ‘Draw Something’ app into a TV game show

Draw Something
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If there’s anything we’ve learned about television and movies today, it’s that just about anything with mainstream draw can be transformed into a pilot or a movie. Even, apparently, iPhone apps. CBS has purchased the rights to a pilot of a game-show adaptation of once OMGPOP and now Zynga’s Draw Something.

The masterminds behind this production are Sony Pictures Television, Ryan Seacrest Productions and Embassy Row, and CBS has won a bidding war for the game show’s pilot, according to Variety. There has been no on-air commitment, but due to the contested nature of the show among multiple networks, and the reality-show powerhouses behind seeing the project from concept to television, we may be watching the first episodes of the show sooner than you might think.

The television adaptation of Draw Something will be reminiscent of a show like “Pictionary,” where contestants are required to draw pictures of words and ideas. Celebrities and other contestants will play Draw Something for prizes, but viewers from home will also be able to participate. How the producers plan to execute this remains under wraps.

Tech gamification appears to have a direct tie-in with the interests of television executives today. For example, a new TV-series titled, “The Glass House,” will put the lives of the contestants into the hands of the viewers. Everything from what the contestants eat and wear to where they sleep will be dictated by the viewers voting online.

The success of Draw Something prior to OMGPOP’s $180 million acquisition by Zynga has been no easy feat — it took the team that created it more than six years to spawn a hit. Despite having garnered 50 million downloads in 50 days, Draw Something’s popularity had peaked prior to OMGPOP’s acquisition. According to AppData, the app has just fewer than 25 million monthly active users now.

Zynga is now marketing Draw Something to an international demographic. It will soon support 12 languages including French, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Brazilian Portuguese, and Zynga has partner with Sina Weibo, the popular Chinese social network, to help brand the app there.

With the fall shows having already been scheduled, Variety reasons that while we likely won’t be watching the show this year, 2013 is a more suitable timeline, sometime between the Super Bowl and the Grammys.

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