3:00pm PT by Michael O'Connell
A&E Orders Live Daredevil Series, Stunt Special Airing at Active Volcano
A&E is betting hard on live TV.
Riding the coattails of the new flagship Live P.D. and its successful spinoff, the network on Thursday announced it has ordered a 10-hour live stunt series, tentatively titled The Impossible Live. Additionally, the network has put in an order for a special during which daredevil Bello Nock will attempt a high-wire walk over an active volcano. Both projects hail from Essential Media Group.
“The Impossible Live will take viewers on a wild ride as they witness, in real time, the world’s greatest daredevils risking life and limb to pull off stunts worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster film, but without the benefits of retakes and CGI,” A&E executive vp and head of programming Elaine Frontain Bryant said in a statement. “The excitement of pulling off the impossible is why we have been working together with Bello, his team and Essential for the last year to continue to develop the biggest stunt of them all.”
Nock’s special is described as “the longest, most complicated and dangerous stunt ever attempted — a world record high-wire walk over an active volcano.”
“We’ve spent two years traveling the world with top volcanologists and engineers planning this untethered world record-breaking high-wire walk," said Nock. “We first considered a volcano in Nicaragua, but recent geological events have made the lava lake too small, so we decided on a larger, more active and far more challenging volcano in East Africa. This is the wire walk that no one will ever be able to top!”
Nock’s daughter, Annaliese, is also among the first performers set for the daredevil series. She will attempt a wire walk between hot air balloons. Other stunts mentioned in the A&E release include a parachute-less jump from a plane onto a speeding train and a motorcycle cliff jump onto a passing helicopter — or something like that.
Episodes of The Impossible Live will be two hours a piece, for a total of five episodes in all.
A&E’s investment in the stunt space comes as it has had success in the live arena, prompting some facsimiles, and on the eve of ABC’s move into daredevil territory with Nik Wallenda’s planned high-wire walk over Times Square this weekend.