CLEVELAND, Ohio – LeBron James’ production company and the creator of the reality TV series “Average Joe” will begin looking in Cleveland and Akron next week for contestants for a prime-time television game show with large monetary prizes on a major network.
Springhill Productions, James’ company, and Andrew Glassman, whose work includes NBC’s Average Joe and Three Wishes, have already begun work on a game show to air on NBC, sources said. The network could not immediately be reached for comment, and sources said the show does not yet have a title or airing date.
Twenty-five people are working in Los Angeles on the latest TV project linked to James, and talent recruiters will look for contestants first in Cleveland – where he stars for the Cleveland Cavaliers – and in James’ hometown of Akron before fanning out across the country.
Contestants will be pairs of people, connected either through marriage, family, or friendship, competing to win “life changing amounts of money” in contests of knowledge and luck, people close to the show said.
How much money? Sources wouldn’t disclose the amount, but said the show would have the highest nightly stakes of any game show.
For context, Kevin Olmstead won $2.18 million on Who Wants To Be a Millionaire in 2001; Adam Rose won $1.15 million in cash and two cars on The Price Is Right: $1,000,000 Spectacular in 2008.
Contestants will be “deserving, every day people,” and show producers will contact civic and community leaders seeking nominations for contestants.
People interested in nominating contestants or applying themselves can also go to dreamchancetv.com to submit names. Friends of James, Springhill, or James’ charitable foundation are not eligible for the show.
James, whose Springhill company has also produced Survivor’s Remorse for Starz and Becoming for Disney HD, was active in the creation of the game show – which has been in development for months. But he’s not nearly as involved now that he’s in the middle of his first season with the Cavaliers since 2010, said a source close to him.
The Cavaliers host the Utah Jazz tonight at The Q.
Springhill is run on a day-to-day basis by James’ long-time friend and business partner Maverick Carter.
Glassman of Los Angeles-based Glassman Media, also created CMT’s reality showSweet Home Alabama, among others.