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Mark Burnett Productions Eyeing U.S. Version of Canadian Reality 'Redemption Inc.'

Mark Burnett
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

The U.S. reality series producer is talking to the Canuck producers of a series about ex-cons competing to start a legitimate business hosted by ABC's "Shark Tank" judge Kevin O'Leary.

TORONTO - Canadian reality show veteran Kevin O’Leary, who judges contestants on ABC’s Shark Tank from Mark Burnett Productions and CBC’s Dragon’s Den, has just done a stretch in slammer.

Well, he spent a night in an orange jumpsuit and a police jail cell in Chatham, Ontario to shoot a scene from his new competition reality series Redemption Inc., which debuts on the CBC this Monday night.

Think The Apprentice, but with ten Canadian ex-convicts replacing celebrities as they compete to start a legitimate business using O’Leary’s money by showing off their marketing, sales and leadership chops.

Now there’s word Mark Burnett Productions, which already produces business competition series like Shark Tank and The Apprentice, is in talks to acquire the U.S. format rights to Redemption Inc., with an eye to giving ten American ex-offenders a chance to prove themselves in business.

Executives at Proper Television, which is producing the CBC series based on an original format from British producer Wide-Eyed Entertainment, and Mark Burnett Productions were not available for comment.

But it’s understood O’Leary, who is already known to American audiences because of his judging duties on Shark Tank, may host the potential U.S. series.

It’s all part of a grand plan to create a template for a global format for Redemption Inc., like Dragon’s Den and The Apprentice.

Redemption Inc. is set to run for nine episodes on the Canadian public broadcaster from January 9.