DEARBORN – Ford and the world’s leading provider of social game services Zynga will make social gaming life-size on the debut episode of “Escape Routes” airing from 8 to 9 p.m. EDT Saturday night, March 31, on NBC and at 11 p.m. on Telemundo’s mun2.
The show, ‘Hanging With Friends’
“Escape Routes” pits six, two-person teams against each other in a unique road-trip competition featuring the all-new Ford Escape utility vehicle. The show begins this week in Los Angeles before heading to New York, Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco and Las Vegas.
The debut episode features competitors facing off in a real-life “Hanging With Friends” game, a twist on the classic “Hangman” word game that introduces new elements of creativity, strategy and entertainment for all ages. Part of the “With Friends” franchise of games including “Words With Friends,” “Scramble With Friends” and “Chess With Friends,” “Hanging With Friends” challenges players to take turns creating and guessing words to stump, amuse and impress friends.
“The partnership with Zynga and the integration of social games into ‘Escape Routes’ provides us with the opportunity to expand our reach and engage a broader audience in the program,” said Crystal Worthem, manager, Brand Content and Alliances. “The debut episode features the first in a series of social games that will be integrated into ‘Escape Routes.’”
In this challenge, teams attempt to eliminate each other by guessing letters of a hidden word. The five-letter words are suggested by each team’s online community, which will interact with the teams throughout the television series via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and www.escaperoutes.com.
One teammate will hang below balloons that are covering a five-letter word suspended from a building rooftop, high above the streets in L.A. The rest of the contestants will guess letters of another team’s word. For every letter a team correctly identifies, one of the opposing team’s balloons will pop. When the fifth and final letter of the word is revealed, the hanging teammate drops out of sight to the street below.
New challenges with other Zynga social games will appear in future episodes.
Ford kicked off “Escape Routes” in Los Angeles last November with actress Jenny McCarthy competing against the entire country in the world’s largest “Words With Friends” game. Ford teamed with Zynga, the world’s largest social game developer, to reveal the Escape through social gaming – a first for any automaker.
“When we created ‘Hanging With Friends,’ we wanted to reinvent a game that everyone knows and loves and our partnership with Ford brings the ‘Hanging With Friends’ experience to life through ‘Escape Routes,’” said Travis Boatman, senior vice president of mobile at Zynga. “Zynga is dedicated to creating and delivering the best mobile social gaming experiences for our players as they connect and play with their friends while on the go, and we couldn’t be happier to see our game be a part of this real-world experience.”
“Escape Routes” airs for six consecutive episodes beginning Saturday, March 31, and is hosted by reality TV show personality Rossi Morreale, who has hosted a variety of network and cable TV programs. The show airs from 8 to 9 p.m. on NBC on Saturdays, and will also air on mun2, the leading bicultural cable network for young Latino Americans on Saturdays at 11 p.m. Each episode will also be available on nbc.com and mun2.tv the day after the broadcast.