12:00pm PT by Michael O'Connell
Tyrese Gibson to Host and Produce ‘Celebrity Grand Prix’ Racing Show
Tyrese Gibson seems to have found a natural TV fit. The star of the Fast & the Furious franchise is teaming with Mark Burnett and MGM Television to produce Celebrity Grand Prix, pitting famous faces against one another on the racetrack, and the actor also will host the new reality competition.
The project, currently being shopped to networks and platforms, is described as a “fast-paced competition where celebrities from all walks of life will be trained by professional race car drivers,” before facing off on the asphalt.
"I couldn’t be more honored or grateful to be an executive producer and host of this show,” Gibson said Monday in a statement. “It’s been an amazing feeling to have been approached by the team at MGM as this idea falls directly into my wheelhouse. Working with the legendary Mark Burnett and being part of the creative process with him and the amazing team he's assembled including Barry Poznick, Sasha Bushnell and Tiffany Hubbert is a force to be reckoned with. I can’t wait to unleash this energy to the world.”
Gibson has previously produced several TV projects, but he is best known for his appearances in five of the eight Fast & Furious films. The auto-centric action franchise has grossed north of $5 billion worldwide, and the ninth installment is slated for a 2020 release.
The reality competition series will employ state of state-of-the-art camera technology to give audiences a unique look behind the steering wheel, as the cars and challenges change every episode as more castmembers fall off of the leader board. It is not the first high-profile reality project that MGM has announced without a distributor, as Burnett announced last summer that he was teaming with Bear Grylls for a revival of his Survivor precursor Eco Challenge. Amazon snapped that up in the fall.
"Car racing is already such a beloved classic American sport that continues to resonate with new generations of audiences, and this show will give viewers an insider’s look into what goes on behind the scenes of the race track,” said Burnett.
Added Poznick, president of unscripted television at MGM: “Tyrese is the real deal in front of and behind the cameras and he’s involved in all aspects of production. This show is every adrenaline junkie's dream.”
Gibson is repped by APA. He famously has a private, fully functioning Benihana in his backyard.