'Million Second Quiz' debuts Monday on NBC

Ryan Seacrest on the set of "The Million Second Quiz."

It's a setting unlike any game show before it.

"We thought, wouldn't it be interesting to do a quiz show that was inside a glass box?" said Stephen Lambert, executive producer of "The Million Second Quiz."

That led to a five story hourglass, which is the centerpiece for "The Million Second Quiz." The game show debuts at 8 p.m. Monday on NBC, even though the competition began Sunday morning.

In the shadow of the New York skyline, the hourglass and the campus around it will be home to a nearly 12-day trivia marathon.

"It's a little 'Millionaire,' it's a little 'Jeopardy,' it's a lot rock concert, it's a lot sport, it's a lot endurance because the contestants might be here 24/7 for several days," said host Ryan Seacrest.

Four players with the top scores will be living and sleeping at the show in cubicles called "winner's row."

But around the clock, players both on location and online around the country will be trying to beat the top four and earn their own chance to play in the hourglass in primetime.

"The idea is to be in that chair, the money chair, as long as you can. When you're in there, you're racking up $10 every second," Seacrest said.

The first player knocked out of the show on Sunday was Rashim Nixon of The Bronx.

"I came with every intention to win and go home with a few million," Nixon said.

But on Sept. 19, one of the last four players left will do just that.

"I guarantee you someone will walk away with over $2 million," Seacrest said.

Producers said they expect between 800 and 1,000 contestants to cycle through the show's New York locale during the course of the million seconds.

There are about 500 staffers working on the show around the clock at the "MSQ Campus." More than 20,000 questions have been written for the show.

"The Million Second Quiz" is being streamed 22 hours a day online.