A Tale of Two Paddles – An Atari Pong TV Show Is In the Works

Pong

We’ve seen some wacky concepts introduced over the past few years, like Tetris being made into a movie (we think that's still in the works) and someone thinking a Battleship action film would be a good idea. But this one takes the cake, as Atari appears to be working on a new show based on Pong.

Yep, you read that correctly. The hit “competitive paddle” game that’s been making the rounds since the 1970’s is getting the spotlight on television, according to Variety. Veteran unscripted supervisor Scott Sternberg is working alongside the publisher on the show, which will be named Million Dollar Pong. Jeff Mirkin is also on board as a producer.

Don’t expect a sitcom or even a drama with the Pong series. (Can you imagine? “I’m paddle pregnant, and it’s yours!”) It sounds like the show will be more of a competitive based game show, especially considering that Sternberg has worked on such fare in the past, including Hollywood Squares, Love Connection and The Gong Show.

Pong is a cultural touchpoint for generations of people,” Sternberg said. “It’s not often we get the chance to develop a game show concept around such an iconic brand. I can’t wait to give people the chance to see, experience and play a brand new Pong.”

The show hasn’t been signed on to a network just yet, but Sternberg is reportedly shopping it around.

“Our brand and our portfolio of games are known to many people around the world so it is a natural fit to bring them to television,” said Frédéric Chesnais, CEO of Atari. “We are proud to team-up with Scott and have him join our brand because his expertise will help create a truly remarkable television show for everyone to enjoy.”

In case you missed out on it, Pong was one of Atari’s first early arcade hits, followed by other fare like Asteroids and Missile Command. It’s definitely a legend in its own time, and also became a big home hit in the late 70’s and early 80’s, with various Pong kits released for sale.

It’ll be interesting to see how this show pans out, but potential guests may want to get their Pong skills in order. We are talking about a million bucks here.