TBS, Col team up for ‘Worst Case’

Project to preem on TBS in 2002, Piligian exec producer

TBS Superstation and Columbia TriStar TV Distribution (CTTD), the team behind the successful cable revival of “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!,” have pacted for 22 episodes of another primetime series.

New project, based on the book “The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook,” is expected to preem on TBS early next year as a weekly, one-hour skein tentatively titled “Worst-Case Scenario.”

‘Survivor’ instincts

Craig Piligian, co-exec producer of CBS’ “Survivor” and “Survivor: The Australian Outback,” acquired the rights to the property from Chronicle Books and will serve as exec producer of the show.

Published in 1999, the book by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht –who will serve as consulting producers on the TV show — tackles the most extreme situations in which people could possibly find themselves.

United Talent Agency repped the authors and Chronicle in the deal and packaged the TV show.

Russ Krasnoff, CTTD prexy of programming and production, and Bill Cox, senior VP of programming for TBS Superstation, were both mum on how the concept will play out in its TV format.

“All I can say is the book has a very irreverent attitude,” Krasnoff said. “It’s very tongue-in-cheek and irreverent, but factual. When we’ve been looking for programming, we’ve been looking for strong, identifying points of view like this.”

Depth of commitment

Krasnoff added that CTTD received bids on the show from multiple broadcast nets and cable nets, and settled on producing the series for TBS because of the episode and marketing commitments the cabler was offering.

“They did a fantastic job promoting and branding ‘Ripley’s,’ ” Krasnoff said. “They promised similar treatment with this.”

Cox said he made what he hoped would be a preemptive bid on the show and closed on the deal in less than two weeks because of the net’s fruitful relationship with CTTD on “Ripley’s,” the strength of the book’s content and the track record of Piligian, whose credits also include Discovery Channel’s “FBI Files” and the syndicated “Real Stories of the Highway Patrol.”

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