The notable game show, which ran from 2005 to 2013, sees taxi passengers answer trivia questions while en route to their destination, navigating New York traffic in the process. If they get stumped, pedestrians and friends can help them out via phone, text or social media shout outs. If the riders get three questions wrong, they’re out on the street.
Cash Cab returns to Discovery Channel tonight (Dec 4). Tackaberry, who was an original EP when the series first aired over a decade ago, believes Cash Cab will resonate with viewers just as much today as it did in 2005.
“It’s exciting and it’s unpredictable, but you can lose yourself in it,” he says.
In the latest iteration, director and comedian David Steinberg (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Inside Comedy, Seinfeld and Mad About You) joins the project as executive producer, alongside Tackaberry and Allison Corn, another original EP, from Lion USA.
In another twist to the series, some passengers will be joined by a guest celebrity. Celebrities featured in this season include Matthew Perry, Brooke Shields, Scott Bakula and Gilbert Gottfried.
Tackaberry credits Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav as the main reason for Cash Cab‘s return.
“He has always been a big champion of the show, and he’s always had an idea that there’s a way to get celebrities into the cab without altering what’s great about the show and drowning out what’s actually quite a humble show at one level,” Tackaberry says.
He adds that he believes the revival is part and parcel of the overall trend of popular shows getting reboots.
“This is a show that’s a known quantity — it’s familiar,” he says. “We live in some interesting times. They’re unpredictable and deeply unfamiliar to us, so it’s the perfect time to bring back a series like Cash Cab that audiences have shown that they love.”
To help refresh the series, producers have added in a social media shout-out component in which contestants can go live on social media to get help from viewers. Tackaberry says even without promotion, tens of thousands of people participated in the online conversation during filming.
“It gave us an inkling of how we can continue to refresh the show and keep it live and relevant,” he says.
Cash Cab is produced for Discovery Channel by Lion USA and Norton Productions. For Lion USA, Tony Tackaberry and Allison Corn are executive producers. For Norton Productions, Robyn Todd is co-executive producer. For Discovery, John Slaughter is executive producer.