The Wall has only aired on NBC since the beginning of January (with one preview episode in December), but NBC already has great faith in the new game show. This week, the network announced that it had ordered an additional 20 episodes of the new game show, which is hosted by Chris Hardwick and produced by LeBron James.
Since 10 episodes of The Wall were ordered initially, fans will be getting 30 episodes of the game show during its first season. The success of the newcomer game show has tightened NBC's already-solid Tuesday lineup considerably. Tuesday nights also feature the freshman hit This is Us and the first of the Dick Wolf Chicago shows, Chicago Fire. While The Wall hasn't hit such great heights as This is Us has done, it has been averaging just under 7 million total viewers and a 1.7 rating. It's easy to see why NBC would want to order additional episodes, although 30 total episodes is a huge number.
The other big positive for The Wall is that NBC says it is seeing an upward trend in viewership. The first episode on Tuesday nights saw 6.8 million total viewers tune in and the second episode saw 7 million total viewers tune in. It's a little premature to say whether or not this trend will continue, but it's certainly not bad news. What's probably more impressive is that The Wall airs at 8 p.m. ET. This means that it is actually the lead-in for This is Us, which dominates primetime on Tuesday nights. This is Us is probably giving Chicago Fire a boost, but people are tuning in to the new game show of their own accord.
Things go in trends on television. There was a time when there were a ton of game shows dominating on television, but in the more recent past, game shows on network TV have mostly been the syndicated classics that air prior to primetime, like Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy!. Still, game shows have picked up considerably though over the past year or two years, as Match Game and Celebrity Family Feud have become successes. The Wall has started to prove that game shows can be viable during primetime on a big network, if they have an interesting gimmick that really draws people in. Since reality competition shows are slowing down in terms of popularity, having a few game shows should be an easy--and cheap--way for the networks to continue to draw in viewers. Then again, The Wall might just be successful because it has a unique premise.
The new game show features three rounds in which two contestants compete for a prize package that could end up being over $12 million dollars. In each round at least one of the team members are given questions that must be answered before balls drop all the way down on a giant pegboard. An isolation chamber in the second and third rounds amp things up considerably.