U.S. broadcaster Fox is speeding full throttle into the risky live event space with Jump of the Century, which will see two daredevil stuntmen trying to replicate Evel Knievel’s attempt to jump across Idaho’s 2,300-foot-deep Snake River Canyon.
Broadcasting live this fall, the tentatively titled stunt marks the 40th anniversary of Knievel’s failed attempt to cross the canyon, which ended in disaster in 1974.
The daredevil’s ‘Sky-Cycle’ – a bucket seat attached to a steam-powered thrust engine – deployed its parachute too early, and he was blown back into the canyon where he crashed, somehow walking away with only minor injuries (see video below).
Professional stuntman Eddie Braun and daredevil Big Ed Beckley will “hope to achieve what Knievel could not” with the new stunt, according to Fox. The news comes after Discovery Channel in the U.S. recently scrapped a planned live event involving Mount Everest, in the wake of a deadly avalanche.
The jump will be one of three live specials lined up by the network: Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution (working title)will be a live musical special airing on New Year’s Eve, while Grease Live (working title), will be a three-hour live production of the crossover musical Grease.
Elsewhere, Fox has also confirmed a fall launch for Talpa Media USA’s unscripted series Utopia.
The social experiment show, from creator John de Mol (Deal or No Deal, Fear Factor, The Voice) moves 15 Americans to an isolated, undeveloped location for a year, and challenges them to create their own civilization.
The unscripted title joins renewals of American Idol, Hell’s Kitchen, Hotel Hell, MasterChef, MasterChef Junior, and So You Think You Can Dance.
Check out video of Evel Knievel’s failed Snake River Canyon jump below: