‘Whac-A-Mole’ makes its television debut with new game show

by Susan and Simon Veness

When you think of reality TV shows, you probably don’t think of the classic amusement game “Whac-A-Mole,” but Mattel Television is about to change that.


Imagine the drama of adrenalin-fueled teammates facing off in life-sized “Whac-A-Mole” races and obstacle courses, totally unscripted and with a surprising twist. That’s what Mattel’s collaboration with Fremantle entertainment group (producers of “American Idol”) intends to do as they take the whacky fairground game to a new level in a high-stakes reality game show. Which team will survive the gauntlet of elimination competitions to become the ultimate “Whac-A-Mole” champions? You’ll have to tune in to find out!

This isn’t the first time Mattel Television has created an unscripted television show that takes its cue from a classic brand. “The Uno Game Show,” based on the popular card game, is also in production. But there is something strangely intriguing about larger-than-life moles outwitting highly-skilled challengers in heated head-to-head battles of strength and endurance that suggests Mattel’s newest project will be successful.

Jayson Dinsmore, president of Alternative Programming and Development at Fremantle says, “We are so excited to have the iconic Whac-A-Mole brand as our newest playground. Partnering with Mattel to bring this classic game to television in a dynamic and synergistic life-sized world is a dream come true.”

For those who want to “play along” at home, Mattel will also be re-releasing the original tabletop “Whac-A-Mole” game this spring, and will introduce the card-matching game, “Whac-A-Mole Match-A-Mole.”

Adam Bonnet, executive producer at Mattel Television, is excited about the upcoming production. “‘Whac-A-Mole’ is a beloved, action-packed arcade game with a deep fan following, and the interactive nature and comedic energy of the game makes it a great franchise for episodic television. Jayson and the team at Fremantle have had unparalleled success creating iconic reality television series and are the perfect partners to help us bring this classic game to life in new ways.”


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