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LONDON – Producer Sheldon Lazarus (Billy the Exterminator) and his U.S. and U.K.-based production banner Rize USA have partnered with NYC-based Sharp Entertainment (Man V. Food, Bert The Conqueror) to produce the first USA Memory Championship primetime special with a working title Memory Games for the Science Channel.
Rize USA has gained exclusive worldwide broadcast rights for five years to cover USA Memory Championship, America’s biggest event of its type, for the first time on television following a deal with the American Memory Association.
The 60-minute special Memory Games will bring the concept of “brain versus brain” to viewers by following the competitive action of the championships held every year in New York, where “the best brain in the US” is crowned.
Through seven rounds of memory competition, top “mental athletes” will attempt to push their memories to wild extremes, out-memorize the competition and be the last one standing.
The special will track the competition itself, while also going behind the scenes and into the lives of the competitors, their strategies, secret training tactics, obstacles and personal dramas along the way.
Lazarus, who will be the show’s executive producer for Rize USA, said: “This is our first commission for Science Channel and we hope this will be an annual primetime event for the channel. The tension throughout the games, the terrific characters and their mind-boggling prowess, all make for compelling television.”
Set to air later this year Memory Games was commissioned by Debbie Myers, executive vp and general manager at Science Channel and Brian Lavin, senior manager of Science Channel.
Matt Sharp executive produces for Sharp Entertainment.
The deal was brokered by Rize USA’s agent Pierre Brogan at CAA.
Both Sharp Entertainment’s series Man V. Food for Travel Channel and Doomsday Preppers for Nat Geo became their respective networks’ highest-rated series of all time.
Rize USA’s most recent productions include the six-part teen-mom series High School Moms for TLC and Discovery Fit & Health, and documentary series A Very British Wedding, due to premiere this spring on BBC Two in the U.K.
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