NBCUniversal is turning the classic video game Frogger into a reality competition series for the streaming service Peacock. The streamer has reportedly ordered 13 episodes of the series, which will see contestants playing the role of the frog from the original video game with a cash prize awaiting the winner at the end of the course. This marks the first original competition series at Peacock as NBCUniversal continues to explore other avenues to flesh out the different types of content available on their streaming service.
Originally developed by Konami and published by Sega, Frogger debuted as an arcade game in 1981 and was later ported to several different consoles and home computer systems. Recognized as one of the most well-known classic video games, the simple game lets players control a digitized frog attempting to cross a busy highway and river full of dangerous hazards. Over the years, the game has sold at least 20 million copies worldwide.
Obviously, the Peacock series version will not be quite so dangerous. Rather than setting contestants loose on the highway in frog outfits, they'll be tasked with passing courses (dubbed "crossings" in recognition of the game) that will test players' strength, strategy, and problem-solving abilities. It's not been specified just how much money the winner will be able to hop away with at the end, but the sole survivor will be awarded a cash prize.
Video game developers have still been making new versions of Frogger even in recent years. An updated version called Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition was made available on the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and mobile devices in 2012. The last title in the series, Frogger In Toy Town, was released on Apple Arcade in 2019. A new port will also be released on the upcoming Intellivision Amico console.
Though the video game hasn't yet spawned an official television series adaptation, the titular amphibian has had a presence elsewhere in pop culture. In 1983, the Frogger frog was voiced by Bob Sarlatte as a character featured on the CBS animated series Saturday Supercade. He can also be seen in the video game-themed animated movies Wreck-It Ralph and its sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet, along with the Adam Sandler comedy Pixels.
Frogger was also famously featured in an episode of Seinfeld. In the episode, George Costanza (Jason Alexander) is revealed to have scored over 860,000 points on a Frogger arcade machine, which would have made it the world record in real life at the time. Desperate to preserve his score forever, George attempts to take home the machine only to inadvertently destroy it. In reality, only three people have been verified to have beaten's George's score with Pat Laffaye holding the current record at 1,029,990 points.
The Frogger Peacock streaming series is produced by Eureka Productions (ABC's Holey Moley, Fox's Name That Tune in collaboration with Konami Cross Media NY. Eureka's Chris Dulvenor created the format and executive produces alongside Paul Franklin. It's unclear when filming will begin or when the series will premiere on Peacock. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.