[05/09/06 - 12:00 AM]
USA Network Gets Real with Wwe Compatible Programming

[via press release from USA]


NEW YORK -- May 9, 2006 -- To capitalize on the rocketing ratings of WWE's MONDAY NIGHT RAW, USA Network has announced a reality development slate designed to generate programming compatible with its success. Joining the previously announced pilot EBAUM'S WORLD (inspired by the website of the same name) are the one-hour street-racing pilot TURF and THE CAPPER, a presentation set in the world of high-stakes legal betting. The announcement was made today by Bonnie Hammer, president, USA Network and SCI FI Channel, and Jeff Wachtel, USA's executive vice president, original programming.

"Since wrestling returned to the network, we've been committed to developing programming that will galvanize the franchise's loyal fan base," said Hammer. "We believe that these shows have the potential to drive that audience to a reality-based TV experience they won't find anywhere else."

"We've looked long and hard for the right projects to fulfill our mission of developing edgy, unique programming that will be a good fit with wrestling," added Wachtel. "Each of these project's sensibilities make them perfect candidates to tap into the young, hip audience of the WWE."

From The Firm's Rich Frank & Paul Frank, David Hurwitz ("Fear Factor," "The Man Show") and Paul Cockerille, TURF is a one-hour pilot that brings the world of street racing to television, as top underground street racers battle it out for the title of "Turf King or Queen." The pilot will give viewers behind-the-scenes access to racing teams from all aspects of the driving community as they compete, as well as explore their lives outside of the races to deliver an authentic, full access glimpse into this intense world and lifestyle.

Produced by Endemol and the brainchild of Tom Forman ("Extreme Makeover Home Edition"), THE CAPPER follows Brandon Lang, one of the nation's most well known sports handicappers. Lang's multi-millionaire clients (AKA "whales") pay him generously for his sports knowledge and betting instincts, which will really be put to the test in this pilot presentation as he travels the world seeking out legal sports and pop culture events on which he can wager money for his clients. A larger than life presence, Lang has proven he can pick the winner of an NFL game, but can he pick the winner of a camel race and keep the whales satisfied?

These projects join an active reality development slate already occupied by the previously announced EBAUM'S WORLD, which will bring the most wild and hilarious content to late night programming in a fast-paced, irreverent hour of outrageous clips, jokes and commentary. The show will feature clips from the website as well as new, exclusive content, and interviews with past and new eBaumsworld video subjects who will be asked to account for their outlandish behavior -- if they dare. EBAUM'S WORLD is being executive produced by Simon Andreae through his production company, The Incubator, in association with Fox Television Studios along with Emmy-nominated producer Charlie Siskel ("World News Tonight with Peter Jennings," "Evening News with Dan Rather," "The Today Show," "Fresh Baked").

USA NETWORK is cable television's leading provider of original series and feature movies, sports and entertainment events, off-net television shows, and blockbuster theatrical films. The #1 basic cable network across the board in 1Q06, USA Network is seen in 90 million U.S. homes. The USA Network Web site is located at www.usanetwork.com. Characters Welcome.

USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.

  [may 2006]  


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