ABC unveils summer unscripted slate

A rebooted BattleBots (pictured), the Mark Burnett-produced game show 500 Questions and Celebrity Family Feud are among the unscripted series set to air on ABC this summer.
April 9, 2015

A rebooted BattleBots (pictured), the Mark Burnett-produced game show 500 Questions and Celebrity Family Feud are among the unscripted series scheduled to air on U.S. broadcast net ABC this summer.

The three new series will join returning franchises The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, Celebrity Wife Swap and Extreme Weight Loss.

The original version of homemade robot competition series BattleBots debuted on Comedy Central 15 years ago and aired for five seasons. ABC’s six-episode reboot is being produced by Whalerock Industries and show creators Ed Roski and Greg Munson, who are exec producing alongside Lloyd Braun and Chris Cowan.

The updated version will place greater emphasis on the design and construction of the robots. MGM Television, which has a development deal with Whalerock, is handling international distribution. The show will premiere on June 21 at 9 p.m. EST/PST.

Due to premiere on May 20 at 8 p.m., 500 Questions requires contestants deemed to be the “smartest people in the country” to answer 500 difficult general knowledge questions. If any of the participants gets three in a row wrong, they are eliminated. The nine-hour show will air over nine nights and wrap up on May 28.

Ahead of the U.S. premiere, executive producer Burnett and co-creator Mike Darnell will preview the show at MIPTV in Cannes on April 13 alongside show host Richard Quest of CNN.

The third new unscripted series set to air on ABC this summer is Celebrity Family Feud, which will premiere on June 21 at 8 p.m. EST/PST. The six-episode special series is a primetime version of the long-running game show and will feature celebrities and their families competing for charity. Steve Harvey is hosting and FremantleMedia North America is producing.  Thom Beers, Gaby Johnston, Jennifer Mullin are the exec producers.

Meanwhile, The Bachelorette is coming back on May 18 with a twist: two bachelorettes will greet season 11′s suitors. Season four of Celebrity Wife Swap will premiere on May 20, Extreme Weight Loss returns for season five on May 26, and Bachelor in Paradise will kick off with a two-night premiere on August 2 and 3.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.