Chris Hardwick (‘The Wall’) chats seduction of hosting NBC’s ‘big, flashy game show’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

“There was something that was very seductive about doing a big, flashy game show,” admits Chris Hardwick when asked about what made him want to host “The Wall.” “When it’s done right, it’s amazing.” Each episode of this NBC series features a team of two contestants playing for a potential prize of $12 million. To win, contestants must answer a series of questions before various balls make their way down a five-story-tall pegboard, ominously known as “The Wall.” The series is executive produced by NBA star LeBron James. Watch our exclusive video interview with Hardwick above.

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“The Wall” is unique in that it finds contestants who have “given more than [they’ve] taken out of life, so here’s a shot at someone doing something for you.” Hardwick believes this “gives you an emotional way into the show… where you actually care about the story of the people.” Whereas most game shows simply show players winning money for no better reason than to inflate their bank accounts, with “The Wall,” “you really take a journey, and the ‘why’ is an important question.” He adds, “I really do root for all of them.”

For upcoming seasons, Hardwick wants to explore “what defines a good person?” He relates his own journey as a recovering alcoholic to say “you can’t just throw people away.” So even if a contestant “didn’t open a community center in their hometown” but have still “had struggles… let’s give them a second chance. Let’s bring them back into society and say, ‘Hey, you’ve made mistakes, but that’s OK. You’re human, and you can do better.’ So I think that would be a fun way to give all sorts of people a shot at winning almost $12 million.”

Hardwick won back-to-back Emmy Awards for his series “@midnight” (Best Achievement in Interactive Media – Social TV Experience in 2015 and 2016). He also competed in 2016 for Best Interactive Program for “Talking Dead.”

“I’m always overjoyed and pleasantly surprised if things like that happen,” Hardwick tells us about all the Emmy love. “But, you know, I also feel like, I’ve got a couple Emmys. What kind of a selfish prick would I be if I’m like, ‘I don’t have a third one! What is happening?!'”

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