TV producer Mark Burnett has dug his hit-sniffing snout back into the competitive reality show trough and rooted out another winner: By applying the same basic fundamentals of dog-eat-dog survivalism set in literal and urban jungle locales that made Survivor and The Apprentice such enduring hits and merely relocating them to the high seas, CBS is all but certain they have another smash on their hands with Burnett's latest concoction,
Survivor With Boats a pirate-themed reality show:
Eye has greenlit production on approximately 13 episodes of the untitled project, which begins casting shortly with an eye on a summer 2007 premiere. Details of the project are being kept under wraps.
What is known is that the action in the skein will take place on both land and at sea, suggesting the presence of ships and islands as central characters in the unscripted drama.
It's also expected the skein will incorporate traditional reality elements such as competitions and elimination ceremonies. (Perhaps losers will have to walk the plank?)
Not yet addressed are the details of the casting process, so it remains to be seen if Burnett will attempt another controversial and headline-grabbing gimmick in the vein of the quickly abandoned racial segregation of teams on this season of Survivor. Burnett is nothing if not a consummate showman, however, with an acute sense of how to best lure eyeballs to TV screens, so we wouldn't be a bit surprised if he divvied up his latest contestants into Team Hook-Hand and Team Peg-Leg, then justified the insensitive feat of handicapped exploitation by describing it as a social experiment intended to see which amputee groups fared best when removed from society and denied modern prosthetics.
- Pirates pegged for CBS [Variety]