G4 orders 'Hurt Locker'-inspired reality show
Exclu: G4 has ordered a high-stakes documentary-style reality show that follows a bomb-disposal squad in Afghanistan.
Billed as a real-life version of the Oscar-winning film "The Hurt Locker," the Comcast-owned cable channel has ordered 10 one-hour episodes of "Bomb Patrol: Afghanistan."
The show's producers (unrelated to the team behind the film) secured a special agreement with the U.S. Navy to follow an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit. The show will cover the unit's training sessions in the States and its deployment for several months in Afghanistan.
"There is simply no way to comprehend the incredible amount of pressure and split-second decisionmaking these individuals must undertake in the worst possible physical conditions without riding along with them as our cameras will do," G4 president Neal Tiles said. "This is a rare opportunity to showcase the work of the courageous men and women on the front lines and share with our viewers all the real-life drama, teamwork, danger and triumph that goes along with this specialized job."
While "Bomb Patrol" is on brand for G4, it also represents a bit of a departure.
The show squarely appeals to the network’s young male demographic, combining technology and good old-fashioned blowing stuff up. Yet the serious tone and life-and-death stakes is new for the network best known for such lighter fare as "Attack of the Show" and "Ninja Warrior." The "Cops"-style reality show "Campus PD" comes closest, but arresting intoxicated college students is a far cry from dismantling bombs.
Tiles, who counts the acclaimed "Hurt Locker" as his favorite film last year, says the network’s young male brand gives license to explore many different genres. But he adds G4 isn’t making a hard lunge into the "deadliest jobs" territory that’s characterized trends at Discovery Channel and other networks.
"We’ve always said the young male demo has extremely varied interests," Tiles said. "Both G4 and the Navy like this for the same reason; it appeals to the tech side of G4’s demographic."
The show will be produced by Big Fish Entertainment with Doug DePriest and Dan Cesareo as executive producers. The production has an agreement with the Navy to shoot the program, though the military, the network says, will not have creative control. "Bomb Patrol" will premiere next spring.
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