CBS' reality biathlon tests muscles, minds
Empty"Wipeout" meets "Jeopardy" in the latest broadcast network reality TV project.
In the CBS pilot for "The Whole 19 Yards," contestants race an intense obstacle course, then answer trivia questions.
The one-hour reality biathlon is hosted by Chris Hardwick ("Attack of the Show") and produced by Endemol. Scott Einziger ("Big Brother: After Dark") exec produces, and production starts next week.
"19 Yards" joins other CBS reality projects in contention for summer and fall, including "Thunder Road" (auto obstacle course), "Strongest American" (ordinary Americans in crazy strength competitions), "Arranged Marriage" (single strangers tie the knot), "Missing You" (finding missing persons) and "There Goes the Neighborhood" (neighbors compete in challenges).
CBS and other broadcasters are developing lighter and more comedic reality fare this year, inspired partly by the success of ABC's unscripted hit "Wipeout" last summer and partly by concerns that the economic recession might prevent viewers from embracing more serious shows. Yet classic high-stakes competition series such as "The Bachelor," "The Biggest Loser," "American Idol" and "Survivor" have continued to hold up well in the ratings this season.
Hardwick is repped by Gersh and MacDonald-Murray. (partialdiff)