ABC’s unscripted summer sked

Reality's front and center as four new series debut on the American broadcast net this summer, including new shows from Mark Burnett (Expedition Impossible, pictured) and Jerry Bruckheimer/Bertram van Munster.
March 28, 2011

Reality’s front and center on ABC this summer, as four new series debut on the American broadcast net, including new shows from Mark Burnett and the team of Jerry Bruckheimer and Bertram van Munster.

The new unscripted series include Expedition Impossible, exec produced by Mark Burnett and Lisa Hennessy and hosted by adventurer/zoologist Dave Salmoni. The adventure competition, premiering June 21, features 13 teams of three “doing the extraordinary in the biggest adventure of their lives,” according to the network. The show and format will be handled internationally by Mark Burnett International Distribution.

Competition coupled with intrigue is the theme of Take the Money and Run, the new series from Bertram van Munster and Jerry Bruckheimer, which debuts on July 28. The team behind The Amazing Race is bringing this “cat and mouse format” to America, in which contestants are pitted against investigative professionals in an effort to win a US$100,000 prize. The series, based on the original format from Irish prodco Wild Rover, is produced by Profiles Television LLC and Jerry Bruckheimer Television, and distributed in the U.S. by Horizon Alternative Television. Exec producers are Jerry Bruckheimer, Bertram van Munster, Jonathan Littman, Elise Doganieri and Philip Morrow. KristieAnne Reed and Mark Dziak are co-EPs.

Another format is leaping across the pond from the UK to ABC in the form of Endemol’s 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show, premiering June 16. In this game show, contestants that answer questions incorrectly are ushered out of the competition via numerous methods, including “Balls of Doom” and “The Evil Anvil.” Hosted by Jeff Sutphen (BrainSurge), the U.S. version is produced by Endemol USA, and Matt Kunitz (Wipeout, Fear Factor) is executive producer.

The last of the new unscripted series to debut on ABC this summer is America’s Karaoke Challenge, premiering August 8. Produced by Lincoln Square Productions, the series follows the action from America’s biggest karaoke competition, the Karaoke World Championships USA, and will crown a new king or queen of karaoke.

The new series join new seasons of Wipeout (premiering June 21 as the lead-in for Expedition Impossible); The Bachelorette (May 23); Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition (May 30); and Bachelor Pad (August 8, as the lead-in for America’s Karaoke Challenge).

About The Author
Justin Anderson joined Realscreen as senior staff writer in 2021, reporting and writing stories for the newsletter and magazine. During his 20-year career he’s filled a variety of roles as a writer and editor at a number of media organizations, covering news and current affairs as well as business, tech, the film and music industries and plenty in between. He’s also spent time behind the scenes in television production, having written everything from voiceover scripts for documentaries to marketing copy. He has a degree in Journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University).