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MGM accepts Burnett, Grylls’ Eco-Challenge

The Apprentice creator Mark Burnett is resurrecting one of his veteran race formats with MGM Television and survival expert Bear Grylls onboard.

Mark Burnett

Eco-Challenge was the predecessor to Survivor and ran for 10 seasons on Discovery Channel from 1995 to 2002, having been created by Burnett in 1992.

It saw teams from different countries racing over a rugged 300-mile course and learning skills such as mountaineering, horseback riding, sea kayaking and mountain biking.

Competitors were under strict rules to carry out all rubbish, including solid human waste and if any team member quit, the entire team was disqualified.

The show, from MGM, Burnett and Bear Grylls Ventures, is set to start shooting in 2019, although no TV partner is yet onboard.

Burnett and Grylls, who have both served in the British Army, said the show “is not a reality series, it’s a real expedition with a stop watch. It’s extremely difficult and you will suffer. If you don’t want to suffer, don’t apply.”

“The most asked question in my entire career is ‘Will you ever bring back Eco-Challenge?’ and I’d always known we needed the correct, authentic figurehead to lead us forward effectively,” Burnett added, claiming Grylls “is that leader.”

Burnett and Grylls will executive produce along with Delbert Shoopman, Grylls’ producing partner. It is expected that Burnett’s adventure production team of Lisa Hennessy, Scott Flavelle and Kevin Hodder will also work on the show.

Earlier this year US network CBS commissioned new competition series TKO (working title) from Burnett and MGM.

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