Smart phones nowadays make it convenient to do just about anything, from watching TV and movies to crushing candy with a vengeance. CBS recently took an unconventional step to combine television with mobile apps with the production of a TV show based on the Candy Crush game. Now, another show inspired by a popular mobile game may be coming to the small screen. Words With Friends could have a TV series of its very own.
Yes, really. MGM Television has partnered with the mobile device gaming developer Zynga to bring Words With Friends to television. No network is yet attached, as the project seems in the early stages of development. MGM TV has announced, however, that if the project goes to series, it will incorporate aspects introduced by Zynga and nothing else from the game.
In case you've never played Words With Friends, it's basically Scrabble for your cell phone that you can play with friends to whom you are either connected via Facebook or via screen name. The rules are strikingly similar to Scrabble, and the game has the added benefit of adding points for you and ruling which words are actually real words, so it likely leads to fewer friends fighting than Scrabble ever has.
Of course, Words With Friends isn't possibly getting a TV show just because of its similarities to Scrabble. Words With Friends ranks as one of the all-time top 10 free game downloads in the history of the iTunes app store. THR reports that more than 200 million -- yes, million -- mobile installations have been initiated by consumers. Estimates place approximately 55 million rounds being played at any given time around the world.
It should be interesting to see if a Words With Friends TV show actually does win itself a place on a network lineup. The show with the most similarities to the prospective show has to be CBS' Candy Crush, which debuted on July 9. Only two episodes have aired so far, and the ratings are not good. Candy Crush got off to a disappointing start with only 4.05 million viewers and a 1.1 in the valuable 18-49 demographic in Live+same day measurements. The numbers for the second episode dropped significantly, winning only 2.85 million viewers and a 0.8 in the key demo.
Even the appeal of Mario Lopez as host hasn't been enough to attract a big audience. If Candy Crush proves to be a flop -- even in the summer months when primetime is largely devoid of new scripted series -- then Words With Friends might not move forward. Only time will tell. It's too early to say if we'll get a second TV show based on a mobile game, but you can catch episodes of Candy Crush on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS. Check out our summer TV premiere schedule for your other viewing options now and in the coming weeks.