9:58am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Rival Senators to be Marooned on Remote Island in New Discovery Show
Discovery is taking the survival genre to the next level.
The cable network has picked up an unscripted show that will maroon a Democrat and Republican senator on a remote island for a week called Rival Survival. While Discovery has only ordered one episode of the project, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that it's a potential series that would focus on but not be limited to rivals should Discovery find more willing participants.
U.S. congressmen Jeff Flake (R, Ariz.) and Martin Heinrich (D, N.M.) will be forced to put their differences aside for six days and six nights to survive on an uninhabited island surrounded by shark-infested waters when they're disconnected from the world.
The duo will be given a modest choice of items from which they can select only three. They're forced to use the limited resources and work together as they attempt to spear fish, build shelter and find enough water to survive for a week on Eru in the Marshall Islands, where the reefs alone are littered with venomous stonefish, lionfish and scorpion fish.
Flake is a conservative republican who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for six consecutive terms, from 2001-13, before he was elected to the U.S. Senate. He's a reformer who has backed immigration reform. Heinrich, meanwhile, is a conservationist and strong progressive and a member of the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee who backs education, health care and Social Security. The duo is described as being polar opposites and were often at odds in the Senate.
Eru, meanwhile, is home to the wreckage of downed WWII aircraft and the largest shark sanctuary in the world with more than 2 million square miles of protected waters.
Rival Survival hails from Renegade, the producers of Discovery hit Naked and Afraid. David Garfinkle, Jay Renfroe and Sean Foley exec produce. Denise Contis and Craig Coffman will exec produce for Discovery.
Rival Survival, which is only one episode for now, will premiere on Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 10 p.m.
The pickup comes as the survival fare continues to perform well in a reality space that has failed to see a breakout new genre over the past few years. For its part, Discovery has seen success with both its survival fare, specifically its twist on the genre with Naked and Afraid, which led to a wave of naked-themed series.