July 23, 2014 1:23pm PT by Michael O'Connell
Another Live Stunt Falls Off Schedule As Fox Nixes 'Jump of the Century'
TV's love affair with live stunts might be cooling — or at least it's proving to be quite complicated. Fox is the latest to ditch plans for a daredevil event, pulling the plug on October's planned Jump of the Century.
The original plan was to try to (successfully) re-create Evel Knievel’s failed jump over the 2,300-foot-deep Snake River Canyon in Idaho on live television. (The iconic daredevil famously wiped out during the 1974 stunt.) This new version would have pitted two rivals against each other on a rocket and a rocket-powered motorcycle. Fox first announced plans ahead of its May upfront presentation
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“Due to production timelines and budget concerns, we have decided to not move forward with the Jump of the Century," reads a statement from the network.
It is not the first stunt to fall by the wayside. April's deadly avalanche on Mount Everest forced Discovery to pull out of its planned live telecast of stuntman Joby Ogwyn's squirrel-suit flight off of the peak May 11. There are no current plans to reschedule.
Discovery set off a wave of interest in live daredevil antics when 13 million tuned in to watch Nik Wallenda successfully tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon in 2013. He returns to the network with a Chicago skyline walk this fall.
Fox's decision to nix Jump of the Century comes a month after the departure of chief Kevin Reilly and just a few weeks before 20th Century Fox TV toppers Dana Walden and Gary Newman take the reins at the network.
It's also been a big year of transition in the network's unscripted department, with Discovery vet (and fan of live stunts) Simon Andreae taking over reality in late 2013.