Pax, Banyan hear ‘Wedding’ bells

Hourlong reality game show to pit couples against clock

NEW YORK — Pax TV has commissioned 12 episodes of “48-Hour Wedding,” a primetime reality/gamer whose cameras follow a betrothed couple as they scurry in two days to plan a wedding.

“We’re trying to fuse the relationship genre of programming with elements of a gameshow,” said Jan Dickler, CEO-managing partner of Banyan Prods., the Philadelphia-based production company that has generated about 3,000 episodes of nonfiction series and specials in its 10-year existence. The hourlong series, which premieres on Pax TV in primetime during the November sweeps, on a night yet to be determined, will pit two engaged couples against each other in front of a studio audience as they answer questions devised to test their compatibility.

As soon as the winning couple is chosen, the producers hand the pair $10,000 and start the clock. The couple has 24 hours to hire a reception hall, arrange for wedding gown and tuxedo, rustle up guests, choose the music for the ceremony and handle all other preliminaries.

The couple that manages to pull off the feat receives an extra $5,000 in prizes. The one that doesn’t will still get married 48 hours later, but cameras will be there to note the missing elements.

Dickler declined to discuss financial details, but one insider said Pax TV’s license fee of about $200,000 an hour will cover each episode.

Banyan also has engineered a 13-episode deal with AMC for half-hour weekly series “Movie Wars,” in which two teams compete over a given weekend to write, direct and photograph a one- to two-minute movie that will then go before a panel of industry mavens who will choose the winner.

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