G4 orders 'Hurt Locker'-inspired reality show


G4 has ordered a high-stakes reality show that follows a bomb-disposal squad in Afghanistan.

Billed as a real-life version of Oscar-winning film "The Hurt Locker," the Comcast-owned cable channel has ordered 10 one-hour episodes of "Bomb Patrol: Afghanistan."

The show will take viewers behind the scenes of a U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit, starting with training sessions in the States and then during its deployment for several months in Afghan¬istan.

"There is simply no way to comprehend the incredible amount of pressure and split-second decisionmaking these individuals must undertake in the worst possible physical conditions without riding along with them as our cameras will do," G4 president Neal Tiles said. "This is a rare opportunity to showcase the work of the courageous men and women on the front lines and share with our viewers all the real-life drama, teamwork, danger and triumph that goes along with this specialized job."

Although "Bomb Patrol" is on brand for G4, it also represents a bit of a departure.

The show squarely appeals to the network's young-male demographic, combining technology and good old-fashioned blowing stuff up. But the serious tone and life-and-death stakes are new for the network best known for such lighter fare as "Attack of the Show" and "Ninja Warrior." The "Cops"-style reality show "Campus PD" comes closest, but arresting intoxicated college students is a far cry from dismantling bombs.

Tiles, who counts "Hurt Locker" as his favorite film last year, said the network's young-male brand gives license to explore many genres. But he added that G4 isn't making a hard lunge into the "deadliest jobs" territory that has characterized trends at Discovery Channel and other networks.

"We've always said the young- male demo has extremely varied interests," Tiles said. "Both G4 and the Navy like this for the same reason: It appeals to the tech side of G4's demographic."

The show will be produced by Big Fish Entertainment with Doug DePriest and Dan Cesareo executive producing. The production has a special agreement with the Navy to shoot "Bomb Patrol," but the network said the military will not have creative control.

The series will premiere in the spring.
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