Draw Something may be coming to your TV screen

Perhaps Zynga will have the last laugh on its multimillion-dollar OMGPOP/Draw Something purchase, after all.

(Credit: Zynga)

Hollywood trade paper Variety has reported that CBS has outbid "multiple networks" to nab a pilot episode of a primetime TV show based on the Pictionary-like game Draw Something.

The OMGPOP-developed app shot out of the gates in February — exceeding 50 million downloads and boasting more than 14 million daily users by April — only to see its daily average user base drop by nearly half in late May. The plunge had some investors wondering whether Zynga had paid too much for OMGPOP.

Variety, which seemed to be relying on inside sources (the paper said that neither CBS nor the show's apparent producers — Sony Pictures Television and Ryan Seacrest Productions — would comment), describes the show like so: "Teams of celebrities and everyday users will test their skills in front of a studio audience to earn money and big laughs. Viewers can also play along at home for a chance to win prizes and compete with the celebrities." Variety said that CBS hasn't committed to actually airing the show, but that the network will likely fast track the project.

In May, Zynga defended its OMGPOP purchase, with Zynga COO John Schappert saying of Draw Something, "We think of it as a game that's an evergreen franchise. It's a game that will live on for years." If the show actually makes it to TV and proves popular, Schappert's words may well be borne out.

Variety pointed out that Pictionary itself spawned a TV show, but the paper said that this new show will somehow incorporate a high-tech element.

The Draw Something game involves competing players drawing a picture to convey a word for a fellow player to guess. Similar games have been adapted into TV series in the past, including syndicated fare during the 1980s and '90s, like Pictionary and Win, Lose or Draw.

But Draw Something will have the 21st-century spin of incorporating second-screen devices like phones and tablets that are increasingly common in the laps of viewers. No specifics are available on how that will be executed.

Variety said that if the pilot works out, and a series is ordered by CBS, then the show will likely begin airing early next year.

Disclosure: CBS is the parent company of CNET.


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trishamama54 posted a comment   

In my humble opinion you generally only use the free version to try out an app and if you like it you pay for it. Of course you will get adverts in the free version and so you should. Just fork out the $2.99 like the rest of us, for goodness sake. You will pay more for that morning coffee.


Will1505 posted a reply   

Yet you still get ads in the paid version so whats the point? Angry birds does it perfectly, a little billboard ad and you get it all free, if you want a little extra you pay.


trishamama54 posted a reply   

I don't know what apps you are referring to but there are most definitely no adds in the paid versions of Draw Something or Words with Friends, for example, or any other apps I have paid for.
I just feel that if someone goes to the time and trouble producing an app we enjoy they certainly deserve some financial return.


Will1505 posted a reply   

The point we are making is, they will see no return if the app is unusable


Chandler posted a comment   

Agreed Will - I've got the Free version of Draw Something on Android (4.0.4 on Galaxy Nexus) and Zynga have managed to destroy the app with ads, I guess because they are desperately trying to make money out of it.

Why Zynga bought OMGPOP out in the first place I don't know: OMGPOP's "value" only skyrocketed (in my opinion) because of one-off app purchases for Draw Something, not because of an ongoing revenue stream - so by the time Zynga bought them, Draw Something's bubble had pretty much popped.


Will1505 posted a comment   

Well Zynga will have to fix the app pretty quick to stop players dropping off from it in droves. They did an update about 10 days ago and its has ruined the app. Just look at the reviews from the last week and 90% of them are 1 star.

Open the app, have to agree to have emails sent to you or it won't log in - no thank you.
Start a game, full screen advert.
Watching someone guess your drawing, full screen advert.
Just before you pick a word, full screen advert.
End of your turn, full screen advert.

(also if you try to click out of an advert within three seconds of using it, the app crashes)

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