11:39am PT by Kate Stanhope
Fox Orders Military-Inspired Reality Competition Series From 'Pawn Stars' Producers
Fox is adding to its reality slate.
The network has ordered a new military-inspired competition series headlined by WWE superstar John Cena, Fox announced Wednesday.
American Grit will follow 16 of the country's toughest men and women as they're split into four teams and work together to face a variety of military-grade and survival-themed challenges. Cena will lead an elite group of mentors from the top branches of the U.S. Air Forces who will aid the contestants and push these recruits to the brink.
The show's groups of mentors, known as "The Cadre," includes Act of Valor actor and U.S. Navy Seals trainer Rorke Denver, Purple Heart recipient Noah Galloway, U.S. Marines sergeant Tawanda "Tee" Hanible and U.S. Army sniper and best-selling author of The Reaper, Nick "The Reaper" Irving.
Embracing the military motto of "no man left behind," only the first team to finish the challenge together will be safe from elimination. Every episode will then culminate in "The Circus," an endurance-based obstacle course. Up to a million dollars of prize money is at stake on the series, which aims to test strength, the human spirit and teamwork. Ten episodes have been ordered for the series, which will premiere sometime in 2016.
From Leftfield Pictures (Pawn Stars), American Grit is exec produced by Brent Montgomery, David George, Adam Sher, Will Nothacker, Jon Kroll and Cena. The pickup comes on the end of a breakout year for Cena, who had a breakout role in Trainwreck and will next appear in Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's upcoming comedy Sisters, which hits theaters in December.
"The U.S Military is the epitome of resolve and dedication, which is why I am so excited to be a part of American Grit," said Cena in a statement. "This show will not only be a challenging and fierce competition, but it will give viewers a glimpse into the perseverance and training of the men and women of the Armed Forces."
Added Fox entertainment president David Madden: "American Grit is a bold, aspirational competition series that aligns with the spirit of the FOX unscripted brand. The team at Leftfield and the incredible John Cena have created a series built on the pillars of determination, dedication and strength that we know will resonate with our audience. John is not only a phenomenal athlete but a motivational force, who inspires fans around the world, and we are thrilled he is leading the charge."
The order comes as Fox prepares to say goodbye to the longtime cornerstone of its unscripted slate: American Idol. The 15th and final season of the singing competition will bow in January. Fox's reality plate continues to perform well for the network, thanks to reliable hits like MasterChef and its successful spinoff MasterChef Junior.