Producer gets his game on
Hollywood producer Tony Krantz (“24”), has pacted with pro vidgame governing body Major League Gaming to jointly produce three original series.Krantz’s Flame Ventures and MLG are developing the series, which they are shopping to cable nets. The first will follow pro vidgamers on tour in the manner of “NASCAR Drivers: 360,” a similar series Krantz produced about NASCAR. Flame-MLG skein will air footage from behind the scenes of the tour as well as from competition. The second will be a comedic take on gaming in the vein of “Mystery Science Theater” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” And the third series will be a late-night yakker with hosts who are knowledgable about vidgames and infuse gamer culture into discussions. Show also will include performances from bands that appeal to gamers. “It’s as if Wayne and Garth were the hosts, or Harold and Kumar — not Letterman or Conan,” Krantz said. “And it’s for today’s gamer lifestyle, perfect for the MySpace generation.” Ideal net for all these series will be one that targets a 12-34 demo, Krantz said. Flame also is consulting on a fourth MLG series that will consist of footage from competition on the pro circuit. All four series will be shopped as a package to one net. Exact games on which series will focus have yet to be determined, though everything from “Halo” titles to immersive simulations like “Spore” could be featured. MLG is the organizing body of competitive vidgaming in the way that NFL or MLB are for their respective sports. Org previously had a vidgame show on older-skewing USA, “Boost Mobile Major League Gaming Circuit,” which was a seven-part series that looked at competitions for “Halo 2” and other vidgames. Series, which aired in 2006, is no longer on the air. Pro vidgaming has yet to find widespread mainstream recognition, which could make the series a tougher sell. But Krantz and supporters say that, as with skateboarding and its poster-child Tony Hawk, it only takes one superstar to elevate an alternative sport to name-brand status. Series will also offer many opportunities for corporate sponsorships, Krantz said, in a model that is more NASCAR than NFL when it comes to in-show advertising. “MLG is taking a page out of NASCAR’s way of doing business,” Krantz said.