Cash at Your Door Knocks at the Homes of U.S. Viewers

From the producers of Cash Cab, the game show Jason Biggs’ Cash at Your Door sees the eponymous actor and comedian unexpectedly show up at the front doors of everyday people who believe they’re on a show highlighting their homes. Instead, Biggs reveals he has up to $25,000 to give away, should they successfully complete three rounds of wide-ranging trivia.

The format was created by Matar and is distributed by All3Media International. The new U.S. treatment comes from Lion Television USA.

Cash at Your Door breaks the conventions of traditional game shows, says Allison Corn and Stan Hsue, who have been leading the charge since January co-running Lion Television USA. “There are no lights, no buzzers, no studio audience,” Hsue notes. “All the energy comes from the genuine excitement of our host and the families in an incredibly intimate setting that changes every single game. Bringing the show directly into their homes allows us to get to know the contestants quickly, so we are instantly rooting for them. And, of course, producing the series for E! made the show feel even more unconventional and unique. The game material has an attitude and sense of fun that you wouldn’t normally see in a shiny-floor game show.”

Having a well-known host with both acting and comedy chops lends itself well to the overall show. “Jason is incredibly quick on his feet and has the instincts of an improvisational master,” Corn says. “His natural humor elevates the game material at every turn. And, since the start of every game is an ambush, having someone so instantly recognizable showing up at contestants’ doors meant every ambush got a great reaction. Every family was genuinely taken aback when they opened their front door to find Jason Biggs standing in front of them. Jason also has a talk show host’s ability to make the contestants feel comfortable and at ease almost immediately. It’s a unique skill and one he employs effortlessly.”

All productions have faced immense challenges during Covid-19, and this show is no different, according to Corn. “Going into homes, every day, with all on-camera participants maskless, presented a tremendous challenge to our production management team, and it was one they nailed. But, in order to make sure everyone was tested and safe meant we had to drastically alter how we set up the ambush for the series. We could not show up unannounced, as we would under normal circumstances, so instead we had to come up with an elaborate ruse to make sure the families were genuinely surprised when Jason rang their doorbell. Pulling off a real ambush is never easy, and getting it right is so important to a show like this. We were very fortunate to have ambush-show veteran Adam Dolgins as our showrunner. He and his team delivered game after game with truly organic ambushes, and while we won’t divulge their secrets, we will just say that we have some masters of deception on our staff!”

Having produced more than 500 episodes of Cash Cab, Lion Television has developed an expertise that made launching a new game show that much easier, says Hsue, highlighting everything from compliance to producing the contestants to how to build a strong and diverse writing team. “We also have spent a lot of time thinking about how to re-create game-show conventions outside of the traditional game-show environment, and while the Cash Cab environment is vastly different from the Cash at Your Door environment, having that experience and know-how served us very well.”

Having a strong format, like the one for Cash at Your Door created by Ami Amir at Matar, put the team in a great position from the start. “It’s a simple yet compelling game format that has the additional bonus of letting the viewer see inside people’s homes, which satisfies the voyeur in all of us,” Corn says. “It’s important to figure out what pieces of the format are the most important to your local audience—if it’s the home questions or the people or the humor or the trivia—and super-serve those elements. Lastly, having a host that is instantly recognizable to your contestants is a huge bonus, and finding the right host is probably the single most important piece of the puzzle.”

As the longtime producers of Cash Cab, formats, and talent-driven formats especially, are part of Lion Television’s DNA. Over the years, the company has had great success launching original formats and adapting overseas formats from the Lion UK office and in partnership with All3Media International. “They are crucial to our nearly two decades of stability and growth as a company, and a huge part of our strategy going forward,” Hsue says. “We have a number of promising formats in the works across various genres—from game to competition to relationships—and are excited to take them out to market in the near future.”

Jason Biggs’ Cash At Your Door airs Tuesdays at 11 p.m. on E!