" 'The Phone' is a high-intensity game show where we take four real-life people, not actors, we take four real-life people, and we thrust them into physical and mental nightmare," Timberlake said. "And you get to watch what happens. There's a chance every show to win 50 grand."
The show features people answering a phone call and then having to go through intense missions to win the game and the money. "We plot each show around a movie plot," Timberlake added. "And they become the main character in this movie."
Timberlake remembered one episode, in which the instant the contestant decided they wanted to play the game, they were already having to dodge a dangerous situation. "In Seattle, one of the contestants, she's at a fish shack," he said. "We always say, 'Press one if you'd like the chance to win $50,000,' and as soon as she pressed one, the operator, who's kind of like our host, he says, 'The game starts now,' and then in the parking lot, a car blows up.
"You sort of have to shock these people into these situations, and they really get into it," he added.
The surprises don't stop there — for the contestants, at least. In addition to explosions and last-minute decisions, the contestants also face plot twists and turns. "Just like a thriller or suspense film at the end of the show, every show, there is a twist that we put on the contestants," Timberlake explained. "And as the show goes on, you, as the viewer, will know, but it's fun to see. We really test their morale. We really test their character."