It feels a bit like every game under the sun is getting a TV show these days, and perennial favorite The Sims is joining that list with a premiere in just a few days time. The Sims Spark'd will actually try to play to the creation-focused strengths of the series-it's not an adaptation of The Sims but a reality competition show built around its tools and community. The first episode of it will premiere next week on TBS.
Variety confirms that Spark'd, hosted by American Idol finalist Rayvon Owen, will pit four teams with three creators each against one another in challenges involving storytelling, character creation, and home building. This debut season, which was shot in late 2019, will last for four episodes. The winning team at the end of the season will take home a $100,000 prize.
The just-released trailer for the show makes it clear that Spark'd will follow a familiar reality show model not unlike Chopped, Project Runway, or The Great British Baking Show. The teams of three will each have to complete a challenge in a set amount of time and then present their work to the Spark'd judges, a panel that includes Sims player Kelsey Impicciche (creator of the popular "100 Baby Challenge" Sims YouTube series), musical artist Tayla Parx, and Maxis developer Dave Miotke.
The Sims Spark'd will premiere at 11 p.m. ET and PT on TBS come Friday, July 17, but that won't be your only option for watching it. Produced in collaboration with BuzzFeed, the episodes of Spark'd will also be uploaded to BuzzFeed's gaming channel, Multiplayer, each Monday following their TV premiere.
It'll be fascinating to see if this format really pans out for The Sims, but on paper it certainly shows a good understanding for why millions of people play it regularly and watch what other people create in it. If Spark'd finds an audience, then the future of TV shows based on games might see more reality shows in the mix alongside adaptations like those planned for Fallout and The Last of Us.