3:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Fox Orders Survival Competition Series From 'Wipeout,' 'Fear Factor' Producer
Fox is expanding its reality footprint to the survival competition genre.
The network on Tuesday handed out an eight-episode pickup to reality competition series Kicking and Screaming, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
From Wipeout and Fear Factor executive producer Matt Kunitz and Lionsgate Television, the show will pair experienced survivalists with "pampered partners" in a bid to face the toughest race of their lives. Dropped into the wilderness, the teams must overcome dangerous animals, raging rivers, hunger and extreme weather. To win, experts will have to drag their partners "kicking and screaming" to the finish line.
"Pairing high-level experts with high-maintenance novices struck us as a perfect way to extract comedy from the survival competition genre,” said Fox Broadcasting president David Madden. “Matt Kunitz has tremendous experience in this field, and together with Lionsgate, we’ve got the perfect partners to lead us on this adventure.”
Added Lionsgate TV Group chairman Kevin Beggs: “Kicking and Screaming has all the earmarks of an important new brand for Lionsgate Television. Matt is a singular creative voice, Fox is the ideal partner and Kicking and Screaming is the perfect property to continue building our momentum in unscripted television."
The series will be produced by Pulse Creative's Kunitz in association with Lionsgate TV. Kunitz created the series alongside David Shumsky and Mark Harris, with Anthony Dominici also on board to executive produce. Rebecca Shumsky Quinn developed the series and is set as a co-exec producer with Shumsky and Harris.
Kicking and Screaming will air this year; a formal premiere date has not been determined. The series arrives as Fox is poised to have a gaping hole on its schedule when American Idol bows out this season. The network has been investing in broad, family-focused unscripted entries. Fox in December ordered a game show based on U.K. hit You're Back in the Room and, before that, a military-inspired reality series featuring John Cena. More recently, the net ordered a dating series from Mark Burnett.
For Lionsgate TV, meanwhile, the studio has been expanding its reality foothold of late with a slew of overall deals with prolific unscripted producers.
The survival genre has proven a popular one on the unscripted side, especially given the durability of CBS' Survivor, which has run for more than 30 seasons, as well as CBS' Amazing Race, Discovery's Naked and Afraid and more.