An original format created by Banijay Studios North America, “Don’t” is described as a “comedic physical game show” in which families of four are asked to perform various challenges. The family members must work together on mental and physical tasks with just one rule: “Don’t” do something. They might be told to “don’t slip,” “don’t laugh,” “don’t scream,” “don’t forget,” or another “don’t” challenge.
Each episode will focus on one family as they go through the “Don’t” tests. If they succeed, they’ll win a cash prize. But if the family fails a challenge, one of them will be eliminated. When just one contestant is left, the last remaining family member must compete on their own. Whatever money they’ve earned, the family keeps.
“Don’t” represents Reynolds’ return to ABC, where he first hit it big in the U.S. as one of the stars of the sitcom “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place” (later renamed just “Two Guys and a Girl”), which aired from 1998 to 2001. Coincidentally, Reynolds’ “Deadpool” franchise recently became a part of the Disney universe (which includes ABC) upon the conglom’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s production entities.
“All my life, the word ‘don’t’ has tortured me,” Reynolds said. “From ‘don’t curse’ to ‘don’t play ball in the house’ to ‘don’t eat the crab salad you left in the sun for three days.’ I cannot wait for my personal trauma to become the next great ABC family show.”
ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke said the network was “all in” on “Don’t” when Reynolds and Banijay pitched the show, which she called “the next big-tent, family-friendly competition show.”
Reynolds will executive produce “Don’t” along with Banijay Studios North America president and CEO David Goldberg, Caroline Baumgard and Maximum Effort’s George Dewey. The “Don’t” format is distributed internationally by Banijay Rights. Banijay has also produced “Child Support,” hosted by Fred Savage and starring Ricky Gervais, for ABC.
“’Don’t’ is based upon the simple premise that there are countless things that our brain advises us to do,” Goldberg said. “In ‘Don’t,’ contestants are challenged to resist what their brain is urging them to do. One thing is for sure, my brain never said ‘don’t’ to Ryan Reynolds, one of the most talented and popular stars on the planet. This wildly entertaining and unpredictable show has so much potential, and I’m pleased to be making it for ABC, who has been such a great partner over the years.”
Reynolds, of course, is now probably best known for the “Deadpool” franchise, and will next be seen as the voice of Detective Pikachu in the upcoming release “Pokemon: Detective Pikachu.” He recently wrapped shooting on the Netflix film “6 Underground,” from Michael Bay, and is developing multiple projects through his Maximum Effort banner.
But Reynolds is also a bit of a game show aficionado, having dressed as a unicorn, singing “Tomorrow,” on the South Korean version of “The Masked Singer.” Game shows have become a popular outlet for superstars, such as Jamie Foxx (“Beat Shazam”), Alec Baldwin (“Match Game”), Rob Lowe (“Mental Samurai”), Lebron James (“The Wall”), and many more. It’s unclear whether Reynolds will appear at all on camera for “Don’t,” and there’s no word yet on who might host.
Reynolds, meanwhile, shared his enthusiasm for “Don’t” — and joked about the cancellation of “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place” — on Twitter:
ABC cruelly canceled Two Guys, A Girl & a Pizza Place 18 years ago. ‘DON’T’ is so good, it‘ll fast become the 2nd best show ABC has ever produced. And ABC will worship me. And my sitcom will be back on the air. @TraylorHoward @NathanFillion and @RichardRuccolo, you’re on notice. https://t.co/YwIIjSMEgL
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) April 8, 2019