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Amazon teams with Burnett, Grylls

Bear Grylls will host expedition series Eco-Challenge

Streaming giant Amazon is reviving global endurance competition format Eco-Challenge, executive produced by Survivor creator Mark Burnett and hosted by Man vs Wild star Bear Grylls.

Eco-Challenge 2019 is produced by MGM Television, where Burnett is chairman of the worldwide television group.

The show sees Grylls host a gruelling expedition featuring competitors from around the world facing off against each other and nature.

Burnett told the Amazon Prime Video Presents event in London today that the show would feature between 50 and 60 teams of four people from up to 25 different countries around the world.

Over 10 episodes, the teams will compete in races that last several days and cover hundreds of miles. The teams must complete the courses together, meaning if one member drops out the whole team is disqualified.

Burnett originally created Eco-Challenge for Discovery Channel in the US where it ran for nine seasons from 1995 to 2002.

He said: “I owe so much to Eco-Challenge. I came to the competition after I spent a few years competing professionally in expedition competitions. I went on to produce Eco-Challenge for a decade. It started my entire TV career and afforded me my first Emmy. I’ve been asked one question over and over: when is it coming back? Now it is.”

Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, declared Burnett and Grylls the “dream pairing” to revive the show.

Other deals announced in London this morning included an overall agreement between Amazon Studios and writer Neil Gaiman, who created and executive produced Amazon original Good Omens.

A pioneers of modern comic books, Gaiman’s long career includes creating graphic novels Violent Cases and Black Orchid, science fiction novel Coraline and the screen play for BBC series Neverwhere. He co-wrote the script for Robert Zemeckis’s Beowulf and produced Matthew Vaughan film Stardust based on his book.

Finally, Amazon has also greenlit a live-action adaptation of the successful Bibi & Tina kids’ movie franchise that will go into production next year. It’s the sixth German original series for Amazon Prime and is being worked on by DCM Pictures and Kiddinx Studios with Amazon Studios.

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