Producers apologized in the show's Twitter feed:
Apologies to those who experienced app issues during play along. We are working to resolve for a smooth, fun experience tomorrow night! #MSQ— Million Second Quiz (@MillionSeconds) September 10, 2013
As difficulties continued, host Ryan Seacrest acknowledged the problem:
Good news: we flooded the #msq app with players! Bad news: we crashed the system!!! More soon— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) September 10, 2013
Viewers took to Twitter to express their frustration.
Hearing the MSQ app is crashing, NBC and technology just don't mix.. you think they would have learned from the Olympics struggles— Tim Baysinger (@tim_bays) September 10, 2013
"Million Second Quiz" brought in 6.5 million viewers in its broadcast at 8 p.m. Monday, making it the second-most watched show of the night on broadcast behind CBS' "Under the Dome," according to Nielsen ratings provided by NBC. In the week prior, NBC's "American Ninja Warrior" hit a season high in adults 18-to-49 and was watched by 5.5 million total viewers when it aired from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
"The Million Second Quiz" app has been downloaded more than 1 million times, according to NBC.
NBC has placed a big bet on the digital and social media elements of the 24-7 live game show, part of the TV industry's broad effort to encourage live tune-in and interactive engagement. Aside from playing along with the live show, the app allows competitors to continue playing around the clock to qualify to "Line Jump" and become a contestant on the show.
Mr. Seacrest said Monday night that 1 million people had played 12 million "bouts," or rounds, of the game before the first episode began showing on TV.
The app also gives fans backstage access with a live stream of the competition, which takes place in an hourglass-shaped set in New York City.
NBC did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday morning.