Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Rose to co-host live Web game show at Sundance
If you're attending the annual Sundance Film Festival, which kicks off Thursday in Park City, Utah, don't be alarmed by the person running around with a canned ham or the lunatic who seems convinced that Ashton Kutcher should have won an Oscar for his role in "Dude, Where's My Car?"
It's all part of Kutcher's new online game show.
The star of "That '70s Show" and movies including "What Happens In Vegas" will co-host "24 Hours at Sundance" with Digg founder and chief architect Kevin Rose. The show will broadcast live to the Web via the video streaming service Qik beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday.
The show's four participants, who each already have their own online followings, will compete in tasks that could include the likes of ordering a meal using a sock puppet or making a long-distance call to Austria on a stranger's cellphone.
The contestants include TMI Weekly Web show host Meghan Asha, VentureBeat tech blog editor and CEO Matt Marshall, Konsole Kingz hip-hop and game community founder CJ Peters and Geek Entertainment TV reporter and co-founder Irina Slutsky.
Their fan followings will be especially useful during the game. With contestants shooting on Nokia camera phones that run the Qik video software, viewers ...
... will be able to communicate with the participants and shout out clues.
"It's kind of like, you know, on 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' you had one lifeline," Kutcher said, "and you had to call them on the phone. In our game, you have the Web at large as your lifeline."
Because the show will go for 24 hours straight, Sunday morning, when the game is nearing its end, should be especially entertaining. "The contestants are really not going to sleep," Kutcher said. But thanks to shared hosting duties between Kutcher and Rose, Kutcher said, "we're going to get to nap."
Qik's pairing of a movie star with an Internet titan may not seem logical at first, but the online show is a melding of each star's skills, said Jackie Danicki, Qik's director of marketing. Kutcher has his successful MTV reality show, Punk'd, and his video start-up, Katalyst Media. Rose has his online video network, Revision3, and his social media fame. Together they bring a degree of star power and experience.
But they're just calling "24 Hours at Sundance" an experiment for now. If all goes well, we might see more programs in the same vein. "If it's successful, what we'd like to do is take the platform and move it to multiple venues," Kutcher said. "So, we could do '24 Hours at the Grand Prix,' '24 Hours at the Super Bowl.' "
Just, please, no "24 Hours on the set of 'Dude, Where's My Car 2.' "
-- Mark Milian
Photo credit: Outcast Communications