After a successful live special in 2015, truTV once again contracted Broadcast Management Group to provide live production services, technical management, and production staffing for their 2-hour live special: Impractical Jokers Live – Nitro Circus Spectacular. For their 2016 live special, truTV and the Impractical Jokers teamed up with Nitro Circus, the world’s leading youth action sports and entertainment brand. Each of the 4 Jokers had to race through an obstacle course built by the Nitro Circus team with the loser being subjected to another live punishment.
Impractical Jokers Live took place at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. The venue itself – being a major sporting arena – was very production friendly. There was plenty of in-house infrastructure and ample parking for our 2 production trucks. The biggest challenge for the live production was the timeline – having 1 day for ESU and 1 day for production and strike. Between staging, lighting, production, pyrotechnics, and Nitro Circus, there were 17 semi-trailers of equipment that needed to be loaded into the venue. This required weeks of careful planning and refining to build a schedule that was workable.
The live production was shot with 21 cameras – 6 hard cameras, 1 technojib, 1 handheld, 1 steadicam, 4 robos, 4 wired POVs, and 4 wireless POVs – and featured live audience polling and pre-produced packages. In addition to managing all technical aspects of the broadcast, Broadcast Management Group was responsible for managing load-in, load-out, labor logistics, and scheduling for all of the parties involved in the production – which included 10 different production teams (and 17 trucks full of equipment). We had 1 full day for load-in and setup and 1 full day for production and strike.
In addition to the live broadcast, Broadcast Management Group worked with the truTV.com digital team to produce a live pre-show, exclusive web cut, and live post-show which streamed on 5 different digital platforms (including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube). The digital show had an independent audio board, graphics system, and switcher tub, which gave the digital director access to all of the broadcast cameras. The live production drew 1.2 million viewers, making it truTV’s most watched broadcast of the year.