Music, trivia, TV, 'Net converge in 'webRIOT'

Now that “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” has finally taken a break, MTV will return to the gameshow threshold tonight with its own quizzer, “webRIOT.” The stakes for its contestants won’t quite match ABC’s coveted million-dollar jackpot, but the stakes for the future of interactive television are skyhigh.

The daily gameshow will incorporate MTV’s tradition of testing musicvideo knowledge but with a hook: “webRIOT” will be the first convergence show to incorporate online users with the live broadcast of studio contestants for prizes. Online players will have to watch the show for the questions, and will be able to answer through their computer for prizes such as concert tickets. Studio players, on the other hand, will play for trips, etc.

“We’re excited to be the first network to launch a truly interactive show which we know our audience will embrace because it’s everything they love — music, trivia, television and the Internet,” said Lois Curren, sr. VP of music development at the cabler. “Additionally, uniting on-air and online to develop ‘webRIOT’ allows us to continue to break new ground.”

Each day up to 50,000 online contestants (25,000 per coast) will have the opportunity to register and play on MTV Online through software available on the site. There will be three rounds per game, with ‘Net users able to play two of them. As questions appear, the faster a player answers, the more points he gets.

“MTV first experimented with programming that combined live Internet chat with television viewing four years ago, through ‘Yak Live,'” said Rick Holzman, VP of MTV Online. “‘webRIOT’ is the natural next step for us as we recognize that more and more young people are using the computer and television together, creating their own convergence.”

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