Taskmaster, the hit U.K. game show, panel show, and all-around madcap slice of television gold, grows more popular by the day. The perfect pandemic companion, the series created by Alex Horne and hosted by Greg Davies caught on globally thanks to YouTube. This opened the door for spin-offs in several countries, but it also created an opening for audiences to flood in for the experience.
The new audience is part of what fueled the genesis of the Taskmaster Supermax+ app, housing all Taskmaster content from the original U.K. series, future seasons and specials after they've aired. It also brings together the rest of the global adaptations of Taskmaster, breaking a barrier that was unheard of in past years. According to Davies, it was an easy decision without any genuine risk.
And yes, the plan is that EVERYTHING will go there eventually – Taskmaster New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Croatia etc etc. That's the plan. All in one place. But will also be on YouTube etc. It's for those who want an ad-free Taskmaster home. https://t.co/k0UEQgXbCd— Alex Horne (@AlexHorne) March 4, 2022
"I don't think either of us have any concerns. I think it's just a fun experiment and why not? I suppose," Davies told PopCulture.com exclusively. "Like you say, we're constantly surprised by people discovering it. And during lockdown, I think people found it on YouTube and things like that, so it just seemed like a fun thing to put everything in one place and release these seasons on their own right in America because they've been out here and they'll still go up on YouTube but it feels like we can have a bit more pomp and ceremony about it and have fun with it."
Horne added an answer with more Taskmaster flavor to the question. "I'll tell you what it is...It's a fun attempt at global domination." From what the pair have said elsewhere, the app looks to do just that. The audience growth over the pandemic, specifically in the U.S., led to several attempts to make that jump over the pond.
First came Taskmaster on Comedy Central, a U.S. adaptation with Horne as the assistant and Late Late Show bandleader and comedian Reggie Watts taking on the role of Taskmaster. Despite a fantastic cast, including Kate Berlant, Ron Funches and The Good Doctor star Freddie Highmore, the show didn't catch on. The Comedy Central series was followed by an attempt to bring the original series to a U.S. network, plopped to an audience on The CW that likely never knew the show existed before it was quickly shuttled from the schedule.
With the app, Taskmaster has been given a third chance to "dominate" an audience that Horne, Davies and the team behind Taskmaster know is present. The app itself launched on April 4 and is currently adding the classic seasons of the show to the service. The international versions are set to follow, with newer seasons and specials to come down the line.
"Eventually they'll catch up and come out at the same time here and there. But we have to get through a few other series," Horne told PopCulture. "At the moment, these will come out one by one and then we'll ... By this time next year we'll all be in sync."
The service might seem a bit steep to some fans, especially those in the U.K. who watch for free. An annual subscription will run $49.99, while you can also pay monthly for $5.99. Of course, fans won't have to pay to watch Taskmaster, with all series still becoming available on YouTube. But if you look at it like you would a Patreon you'd support or a Kickstarter campaign, the cost isn't a daunting feature.
Also, the possibilities are endless for a franchise that has its own app platform. If you can deliver content to viewers with a stable platform — Supermax+ is supported by Vimeo so it isn't something just whipped together — you are no longer dealing with executives and time slots. You can control the series and allow it to grow as you see fit, all before the little bird flies off to media glory.
The Taskmaster Supermax+ app is available now and features up to Season 8 of the show, with Season 9 premiering later in April. Familiar faces and fresh talents are in each, just waiting for American audiences to discover, so go forth. Your time starts now.