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NBCUniversal and the BBC are going on a journey — but aren’t telling where.
The two broadcasters, who recently teamed on the breakout unscripted show The Traitors, are co-commissioning a competition series called Destination X. The show, based on a format created by Belgian company Geronimo and distributed by BE-Entertainment, asks contestants to figure out where they are in the world, with “tweaks” to the real world designed to throw them off.
Universal Television Alternative Studio will develop the show for NBC; Destination X is targeted for BBC One in the U.K.
“Destination X is a big, unique format that pairs spectacular adventure travel with the ultimate guessing game,” said Corie Henson, executive vp unscripted programming for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “The Traitors instilled confidence that big formats are back, and Destination X is incredibly ambitious. We’re thrilled to have the perfect traveling partners in Universal Television Alternative Studios, BBC and BE-Entertainment for this one-of-a-kind immersive gameplay set among stunning locations.”
Added Kate Phillips, BBC director of unscripted, “Following the must-see success of The Traitors, I’m delighted that once again we’re partnering with NBCUniversal on another very smart, very addictive and very innovative competition show. With countless red herrings and brain-teasing clues, we were gripped from the start. It promises to be a hugely challenging adventure for our 10 brave contestants, with plenty of play along for all BBC viewers, as everyone hopes they’ve got the ‘X’ that marks the spot!”
Destination X will send 10 players on a road trip, but they have no idea of their location. The show’s description reads, “Once they’re on the innovative Destination X bus, reality is tweaked to mislead them and the viewers. Information comes with a number of clues designed to help the contestants decide if they can trust what they see. They need to be on top of their game at all times to figure out where they are. At the end of each episode, the contestant who places their X on a map furthest away from the bus’s actual location has to leave the game and loses their shot at winning a cash prize. The surviving participants search for the location of the host, who interacts with them from a secret command post.”
The series debuted in February in Belgium and scored strong ratings there. “It’s amazing to see how Destination X has taken off since its launch,” said Gepke Nederlof, managing director of BE-Entertainment. “It’s a true adventure both in and outside of the Destination X bus, and we could not be more proud than to partner with two of the leading content companies in the world in such an early stage of our international journey.”
Toby Gorman and Ed Havard secured North American rights for of Universal Television Alternative. Phillips and the BBC’s editor of unscripted, Syeda Irtizaali, secured U.K. rights.
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