MGM-owned television network Epix is preparing to revive the Mark Burnett-produced boxing reality series Contender.
Epix will begin production with a 12-episode season expected to debut later this year. MGM Television is producing with Paramount Television.
The series will feature 16 fighters in an elimination competition aimed at pushing their skills, strength and endurance to the limit.
The boxers will be divided into two teams to train, each overseen by a boxing coach who will act as their mentor. Over the course of the season, the competitors will live together, train together and fight each other in the ring, all vying to be become the ultimate Contender and take the winner’s six-figure purse.
The Contender ran for four seasons, from 2005 to 2009. It saw eleven Contenderfighters fight for world championships after appearing on the show, with five title winners.
“Boxing belongs on premium pay television and there is no better home for The Contender than Epix,” said Burnett (pictured), in a statement. “We will tell stories of the fighters, the families and their difficult journeys in the emotionally compelling Contender style, so that viewers get to vicariously ‘walk a mile’ in the boxers shoes.”
“The Contender has launched the careers of many fighters, with some Contenders taking world titles – but this new iteration of the series will also showcase the heart, spirit and dramatic personal stories of these fighters as they fight in and out of the ring to realize their dreams,” added Michael Wright, president of Epix. “This is not only real boxing, but real, raw human storytelling from the best unscripted television production team in the world.”
Eric Van Wagenen is executive producer and showrunner alongside Mark Burnett. The format is owned by MGM Television and Paramount Television.