CPL’s A League of Their Own goes stateside with CBS pickup Game On!

06 Nov 2019

CBS in the US has commissioned Game On!, a sports comedy entertainment series based on A League of Their Own, the BAFTA-winning UK series created by CPL Productions, currently in its 14th season on Sky.

The US version will be hosted by Emmy and Peabody Award-winning actor, writer and producer Keegan-Michael Key, and will feature tennis champion and entrepreneur Venus Williams and New England Patriots Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski as team captains. Actor and comedian Bobby Lee (Mad TV, Tiger Belly) and Emmy Award-winning writer Ian Karmel (The Late Late Show with James Corden) will serve as comedian panelists.

Game On! is produced by Eye Productions Inc. and Fulwell 73 Productions with CPL Productions. Executive producers for Fulwell 73 Productions are Ben Winston, James Corden and Emma Conway with David Taylor, Murray Boland and Danielle Lux serving as executive producers for CPL Productions. Rob Gronkowski, Elle Key, Keegan-Michael Key, Henry Penzi and Venus Williams also serve as executive producers.

The A League of Their Own format is distributed globally by Red Arrow Studios International, and other successful local versions include the German production from Redseven Entertainment, which is currently in its third season for Sky Germany, and Danish and Norwegian productions from Snowman Productions.

Equal parts comedy and game show, the genre-busting Game On! pits two teams of three, captained by Williams and Gronkowski, with comedians Lee and Karmel and a rotating mix of sports stars, comedians and celebrities, against one another. The teams will go head to head in over-the-top physical challenges, from seeing who can dunk the most basketballs over a tank of water while harnessed on a bungee cord, to taking on a sumo wrestler in the ring. They will also have their sports-related knowledge tested with trivia questions, such as “Which football player cried the longest after winning a championship?” and “Which of these athletes was the largest baby when they were born?”

Murray Boland, Creative Director of CPL Productions, said: “We are delighted to be working with Fulwell 73 Productions, CBS and Eye Productions on this exciting new US version of the show. American audiences are going to love it!”

“We are so delighted to be making this show with CBS,” said Executive Producer Ben Winston. “We couldn’t have found a better host and partner in Keegan, and I can’t wait to see Gronk and Venus as we’ve never seen them before, going head to head in some epic yet ridiculous battles.”

About Game On! Host and Panelists

Host Keegan-Michael Key

Emmy and Peabody Award-winning actor, writer and producer Keegan-Michael Key is known for his extraordinarily diverse skill set, and wide-ranging talent, in both comedy and drama. Key redefines what it means to be a multi-hyphenate in the worlds of film, television and theater. Currently, Key can be seen opposite Eddie Murphy in Netflix’s Dolemite Is My Name, and will next be seen starring in Paramount’s Playing with Fire, alongside John Cena. Key can be heard in Disney’s tent-pole blockbuster films Toy Story 4 and The Lion King. The in-demand actor will soon begin filming Netflix’s adaptation of the Broadway musical, The Prom, starring alongside Meryl Streep, James Corden and Nicole Kidman. Key came to worldwide attention as co-creator and co-star, alongside Jordan Peele, of Comedy Central’s groundbreaking sketch series Key & Peele, which won the 2016 Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series.

Team Captain Venus Williams

With seven Grand Slam titles, five Wimbledon championships and four Olympic gold medals, tennis legend Venus Williams is one of the most accomplished and inspiring women in the history of sports. Beginning her rise to the top at the age of 14, Williams quickly took the world of tennis by storm, rising to the top-ranked position, breaking countless records and winning numerous championships. True to her bold spirit, Williams parlayed her healthy competitive spirit and fine-tuned business acumen into two successful design ventures and founded V Starr Interiors, a full-service commercial and residential interior design firm, as well as activewear brand, EleVen by Venus Williams. Williams’ achievements throughout her legendary career have merited her a plethora of additional accolades, including New York Times best-selling author, Glamour magazine’s Woman of the Year, ESPN’s WTA Player of the Year and Forbes’ Celebrity 100, among others.

Team Captain Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski, best known as an American football player for the New England Patriots, won three Super Bowl championships and was the all-time single season touchdown leader for a tight end. Rob recently joined the cast of FOX NFL Sunday to serve as an NFL analyst alongside Terry Bradshaw, Tony Gonzalez, Jimmy Johnson, Howie Long and Michael Strahan. He has appeared in feature films including Entourage and American Violence and will be seen in the upcoming Boss Level with Mel Gibson and Frank Grillo. Rob’s youngest fans have seen him in special appearances on “Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Sports Awards” and “Crashletes” (Nickelodeon). Behind the scenes, Rob has partnered with longtime manager Henry Penzi to executive produce Shark Week 50 Best Bites (Discovery), Unsportsmanlike Comedy (SHOWTIME), MVP (Verizon), and their latest project, Game On! (CBS) along with James Corden and Ben Winston. Rob is represented by UTA.

Comedian Panelist Bobby Lee

Bobby Lee is best known for his numerous years as a cast member on Mad TV and for his podcast Tiger Belly, one of the top comedy podcasts in the world. Bobby starred on ABC’s Splitting Up Together and also starred on the NBC show Animal Practice. He has also been touring the country year-round with his hilariously unpredictable stand-up. Lee’s film credits include The Dictator, Pineapple Express and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. On TV, Lee was a regular guest on E!’s Chelsea Lately, has appeared in Curb Your Enthusiasm, and has performed stand-up on both “Premium Blend” as well as The Tonight Show. Lee also voiced Tim/Sumo in the Hulu original series The Awesomes, was a recurring guest on DVDASA in addition to CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles, Magnum P.I., Netflix’s Love, and starred in several national commercials, such as Bookings.com.

Comedian Panelist Ian Karmel

Emmy Award-winner Ian Karmel is an LA-based stand-up comedian, actor and writer. He is currently co-head writer for the Emmy Award-winning The Late Late Show with James Corden, of which Ian was one of the founding writers in the show’s 2015 re-creation. Previously, he was a staff writer and round table regular on E!’s Chelsea Lately. Ian’s stand-up has been featured on Conan, The Late Late Show with James Corden and Comedy Central, and was most recently showcased on Netflix’s The Comedy Line Up. He is originally from Portland, Ore.

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