Mark Burnett, Turner and Intel Partner for Reality Competition 'America's Greatest Makers'

A partnership blending linear and digital TV (and an emphasis on advertising) will find inventors vying to make the next breakthrough in wearable tech.
Brendan Meadows
Mark Burnett

TBS is taking its love affair with nerds to the next level. The network will soon air invention competition America's Greatest Makers (working title), the centerpiece in a new partnership between Turner Broadcasting, Intel and megaproducer Mark Burnett.

But a Tuesday release for the series touts much more than a TV show. The TBS series will be preceded by digital and social content in the early stages of competition, where inventors will try to come up with the next Apple Watch or Google Glass. An extension of Intel's 2014 "Make It Wearable" challenge, Turner will be plugging the initiative throughout its portfolio — including TNT, Adult Swim, truTV, HLN, CNN and Bleacher Report.

"This is much more than just a linear TV series," said Burnett, the reality kingmaker behind such series as Survivor, Shark Tank and The Voice. "This is the next evolution of storytelling, told simultaneously across many platforms and in many different ways. This is the future. Intel drove the past from 'inside,' and now we will watch it drive the future from both inside and outside."

A website courting entrants is already live, and Intel will be touting it during its Tuesday Developer Forum in San Francisco. "This first-of-its-kind partnership starts with a compelling content idea, then uses Turner's capabilities to distribute that storytelling at scale, across all of our premium properties and platforms," said Turner Broadcasting Ad Sales executive vp integrated marketing and branded content Dan Riess. "As we embark on this new partnership with Intel and Mark Burnett, we have the opportunity to encourage innovative spirit, empower and inspire viewers to share content, reach the right audiences and, in the end, drive business results that matter."

Its a big play for Turner, which has struggled to find unscripted success on flagships TBS and TNT. TBS, currently airing Funny or Die Presents: America's Next Weatherman, previously aired similarly comedic competition King of the Nerds. TNT has found success with Dick Wolf and Magical Elves' Cold Justice — but bigger swings like The Great Escape and The Hero have thus far fallen flat.

"Through this exciting collaboration with Intel, we are celebrating the spirit of innovation across the Turner portfolio," said TBS and TNT senior vp unscripted development, late night and specials David Eilenberg. "We look forward to working with Intel and Mark Burnett on America's Greatest Makers and can't wait to see the truly awesome technology that emerges from it."