U.S. broadcasters’ unscripted Upfronts: CBS and the CW

It's business as usual at the Eye, with a third season of Undercover Boss on tap for mid-season, and Survivor and The Amazing Race back for more. Meanwhile, the CW, announcing its sked tomorrow, will be stepping up its unscripted game, according to reports.
May 18, 2011

It’s business as usual at the Eye when it comes to unscripted programming for 2011-2012, with a third season of Undercover Boss on tap for mid-season, and Survivor and The Amazing Race back for more.

Mark Burnett’s competition staple Survivor, which moved from Thursdays to Wednesdays last year with great results, will remain in the Wednesday night, 8 p.m. EST slot, and Bertram van Munster’s seven-time Emmy-winner The Amazing Race keeps its 8 p.m. Sunday slot. Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan recently signed a multi-year deal with CBS to remain as host of the series, and he’ll now be credited as a co-exec producer for the show and develop content for the net. Newsmagazine 60 Minutes remains as Race‘s lead-in, at 7 p.m.

Crime series 48 Hours Mystery also stays on the sked for the most-watched broadcast net in the U.S., Saturdays at 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, the CW is stepping up its game in the unscripted department, according to various reports. While the network’s official upfront presentation isn’t until tomorrow, news has emerged that three new unscripted series have made it to the 2011/2012 slate.

Armoza Formats’ The Frame will come to America via the CW, to be produced by Shed Media. The series, also produced in Spain and France, features 10 teams of two, each placed into a single room (or camera frame) for up to eight weeks under 24/7 surveillance and taking part in assorted challenges in order to remain in the frame. The show’s tagline says it best: “If you’re out of the frame, you’re out of the game.” Armoza has sold the show as a multi-platform reality format, so it’ll be interesting to see the CW’s plans in that regard.

Word about H8R has been floating around since earlier this year. The series pairs celebs with everyday folks who completely and utterly dislike them – anti-fans, if you will – to see if the stars will be able to charm their detractors. Extra‘s Mario Lopez will host.

The third unscripted series making the CW sked is Re-Modeled, produced by Fly on the Wall Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television. The show follows modeling industry veteran Paul Fisher as he tries to build a new company, The Network, out of scores of regional modeling agencies.

Slots for the new series will be announced during the CW’s Upfront, and we’ll update the news as we get it.

In other Upfront news, about 30 people picketed ABC’s event in New York yesterday to protest the Alphabet’s decision to cancel two of its longest-running soaps, One Life to Live and All My Children, and replace them with two new unscripted series, cooking chat show The Chew and weight loss series The Revolution. The protest was organized by, a coalition which describes the new programming as “glorified infomercials appropriate for late-night basic cable channels, not for a major broadcast network.”

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.