NBC's 'College Bowl' Reboot was Serious About Safety During the Pandemic

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Jun. 22 2021, Published 6:20 p.m. ET

NBC's show College Bowl isn't exactly new, but it's capturing a whole new audience. It's actually a reboot. The original show was first heard on the radio. Then, it moved to CBS in 1959 and NBC in 1963 to 1970. Eventually, it was taken off the air, but it still existed as a national competition. But now, it's being brought back in a brand new way to attract a fresh audience.

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Thanks to a sponsorship by Capital One, the new show is actually called Capital One College Bowl, but it stays true to the original format of pitting college kids against each other in teams to win $1 million. Even though the show is just premiering now, you'd be surprised to learn when it was filmed.

When was 'College Bowl' filmed?

This new version of College Bowl was filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. This meant that the show had to get all the contestants to the studio in LA and quarantine them safely. In all, 60 college kids had to be accommodated as there were 15 teams of four students, according to Variety. Twelve of the teams competed on the show, but three were on standby.

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The article goes on to say that all the college students were quarantined in hotel rooms and "not allowed any human contact until they made it to the stage." The students also had to quarantine before they could even make it on the plane. And the students were coming from schools all over the country. Schools like the University of Tennessee, University of Southern California, UCLA, University of Virginia, Xavier of Louisiana, and more are all competing.

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"They had to do remote COVID testing and send in tests for us, multiple times," said Shannon Perry, senior VP of reality and production services at Village Roadshow Television, to Variety. "And then they had to travel from everywhere around the country that was snowed in and miserable, to LA, where it was sunny and gorgeous and amazing — but they had to stay locked up in their hotel rooms because we couldn’t allow them to break quarantine."

Who is hosting 'College Bowl'?

NFL star Peyton Manning is hosting the reboot of College Bowl, but he won't be alone. He, alongside his brothers Cooper and Eli, are executive producers on the show. And Cooper will be hosting with Peyton, so fans will see the relationship between the two of them and how that will play out on camera.

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Source: NBC

"Once we started getting into the remote gameplay with Peyton and Cooper, all of a sudden our show started to feel alive," Shannon said to Variety. "Their banter is hysterical, and it’s organic. None of it is written, and the two of them just bust each other’s chops on a regular basis."

You can watch College Bowl on NBC on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST starting June 22, 2021. Watch the episodes the next day on Peacock.

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