MIPCOM: Mark Burnett's 'Space Race' Sells for Canada, India, Mexico

Mark Burnett

The NBC reality show will see contestants vie for a chance to be shot into orbit via Virgin Galactic.

CANNES -- International buyers are climbing on board Mark Burnett's new reality TV series Space Race for a chance to head into orbit. The new TV format, which NBC will launch next year, has sealed deals with buyers in Mexico, Canada and India in its initial push at TV confab MIPCOM.

The competition format, produced by One Three Media, features ordinary people vying for a seat on Richard Branson's commercial spaceline: Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo.

"I have never seen such a response from buyers for a show like with this one," said Scot Cru of One Three International, which is selling the finished show and the format to international broadcasters. "There is just something about space that transcends boundaries."

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The first market deals, including ones with Televisor in Mexico and India group Bulldog, could lay the foundation for a global launch for the format, which NBC will bow in 2014, hoping that Space Race will prove the next The Voice for the network.

Space Race, however, isn't the only reality space show out there. Sony is selling its own orbital reality show, Milky Way Mission, a Dutch format in which celebrities compete for a chance to get shot into low orbit via Virgin Galactic competitor Space Expedition Corporation (SXC).

"I really don't know much about the Dutch space program," Cru told THR, when asked to comment on Sony's space format. "All I know is we have Mark Burnett, Virgin Galactic and NBC."

The reality TV space race has officially begun.