'I'd Do Anything' slated to bow Sept. 28
ESPN, IMG television arm TWI and Scott Messick’s Mess Media (“NASCAR Drivers: 360″) are teaming on a reality show in which participants compete — in an altruistic twist — to make their friends’ sports fantasies come true.Sports net has ordered eight one-hour episodes of “I’d Do Anything,” a reality show ESPN hopes will repeat the success of hit anchor search “Dream Job.” Latter was renewed for another cycle earlier this year (Daily Variety, April 20) for a Sept. 14 premiere. “I’d Do Anything” is slated to bow Sept. 28. Exec producers are Robert Horowitz, head of TWI in the U.S., Messick and Steve Mayer. George Gray (“Weakest Link”) has inked to host the primetime wish-fulfillment show based on the U.K. format of the same name. Format has drummed up plenty of business for TWI on the global level: Company has deals in place for the show in 24 countries. In “Anything,” three contestants will complete a series of challenges in an elimination-style competition in hopes of landing a friend or loved one’s ultimate sports fantasy (e.g., playing golf with Tiger Woods). Horowitz said the show presents a nice alternative “in a reality TV world of me, me, me.” “These guys are playing for the sports fantasy that money can’t buy, and they’re doing it for someone else,” he said. “People have limits as far as what they’ll do for themselves, but if you tell them it’s for their brother or father, they’ll do almost anything.” Challenges on tap include fending off angry bulls, working as wedding singers and performing with the Chippendale dancers. “I’d Do Anything” will “pave the way for a new brand of reality television from ESPN,” said programming/production exec veep Mark Shapiro. TWI, which is on board to produce Bravo’s upcoming male-model search “Manhunt,” produced the most recent “Battle of the Network Stars” with Messick for NBC. Global distributor, producer and packager of sports programming also produced “Race to the Altar” and “Superstars.” Messick’s credits include “Who’s Got Game?” for MTV and Fox skeins “Boot Camp” and “Looking for Love: Bachelorettes in Alaska.”
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