(CBS Local/CBS Boston)- Have you ever wondered what it would look like to have Rob Gronkowski take on the World’s Strongest Man? Or compete in rhythmic gymnastics? Or wondered how Venus Williams would fare attempting to kick a field goal? Well, then CBS has the perfect show for you.
On Wednesday, May 27, the network is set to debut the new game show “GAME ON!” featuring Gronkowski and Williams as captains of their respective teams competing against each other in a wide variety of sports-adjacent challenges. Hosted by Keegan-Michael Key, the show combines the fun of competition with the comedic bloopers that come when pushing athletes like Gronk and Venus outside of their comfort zones.
“It was fun to get outside of your box,” said Williams on a virtual press conference. “And if you didn’t do well you could laugh about it because the show is about laughter, it’s about the personalities. It’s about us getting outside of our comfort zones.”
“That’s what the show is all about. It’s playful, it’s fun, it’s hilarious and we never took ourselves too seriously,” agreed Gronkowski. “It’s a competition, but it wasn’t an all-out type of competition. It was more of a fun type of atmosphere throughout the competitions. That’s why I signed up for it.”
That fun is ratcheted up by the comedians Bobby Lee and Ian Karmel that are paired with Gronkowski and Williams respectively on their teams. The third slot on each team will be filled by a different guest star each week, running the gamut of sports stars, comedians and celebrities while having plenty of laughs along the way.
Based on the BAFTA-winning British show “A League of Their Own”, the show is executive produced by Late Late Show host James Corden who was amazed by the things the show was able to accomplish in Season 1.
“It was kind of incredible what we managed to do the kind of stuff that we were able to do on the show. We were able to go flying in jets or kicking field goals in big huge stadiums and all of those things,” said Corden. “I think the most exciting thing is when this starts to open out and people start saying, ‘oh we’d love you to come and do that show here, we’d love to be part of that thing.’”
Those amazing experiences included Corden and Gronkowski performing with the Lakers girls in a clip that went viral late last year. It is that camaraderie and fun combined with the athletic aspect that drew the Keegan-Michael Key to the show.
“I enjoy competition. I enjoy the rush one gets when competing and playing sports. I’m a sports fan in general, all manner of sports,” said Key. “The fact that this format and the theme of the show was wrapped around sports was really exciting to me. And there’s this wonderful joy and hybrid quality of the show, it should have its own category really.”
For Corden, the thing that was really exciting to see was how quickly the group of regulars coalesced into a type of sitcom family, allowing the fun to really ramp up as the production went along.
“The show is about camaraderie. You’re checking in with a group of your friends having a great time and so, certainly now the way that Rob, Keegan, Venus, Bobby and Ian interact now they have such a deeper relationship than they did at the start of shooting,” said Corden. “That shorthand between each other on a set will all just become greater and then they’ll really start to form friendships and then they care about each other. Then you’re really checking in on a family. The most gorgeous, sitcom family. You start doing ridiculous things. That’s when the show really comes alive. I think we were all encouraged by how quickly it came together so I’m excited to see where it could go.”
GAME ON! airs Wednesday nights from 8-9 p.m. ET/PT beginning May 27 on CBS.