Fox reality skein aims for longevity

New series lives 'Forever'

Fox wants to give auds the ultimate lifeline, greenlighting production on the holistic makeover skein “Who Wants to Live Forever?”

Net is partnering with corporate cousin Fox TV Studios and U.K.-based Zig Zag to produce at least four hourlong episodes of the tentatively titled “Forever,” which could be on the air as soon as this summer.

Project reps Fox’s latest foray into feel-good reality, a genre pioneered in recent years by ABC with hit skeins such as “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and “Wife Swap.”

“Forever” will utilize a team of doctors and the latest scientific evidence to help transform participants by changing those aspects of their lifestyle that may be subtracting years from their lives.

Each episode will start off with that week’s subject getting a harsh scientific estimate of the exact day he or she will die — unless immediate changes are made.

Fox reality topper Mike Darnell bought the show from the alternative division of Fox Television Studios, which — under the direction of exec veepee Holly Jacobs — snapped up the format in December from Zig Zag. That shingle is working on a U.K. version of the format to air later this year on Sky.

“This is a very transformational, life-enhancing show,” Jacobs told Daily Variety.

The studio has international format rights to “Forever” outside the U.K. and will be shopping the project at Mip in conjunction with 20th Century Fox TV Distribution.

Darnell compared “Forever” to an intervention, with the show’s experts going deep inside people’s lives to try to force change. He also predicted the skein will be “emotional,” starting at the beginning of each episode, when participants have to tell their families and friends their predicted date of death.

“We’ll stay a month to six weeks and watch them attempt to change,” he said, noting cameras will be everywhere to capture any cheating. “We’ll even have an emergency hotline for the family to call” if the participant is backsliding.

Darnell said “Forever” will go further than other makeover skeins by focusing on more than external appearances.

“It’s not just about physical changes,” he said. “If you’re constantly fighting with your sister-in-law, we’ll say you have to stop.”

Episodes will culminate with subjects finding out how many years they’ve added to their lives by making changes. “There’ll be that sense of really improving your life, not just winning the game,” Darnell said.

Jacobs and Darnell also think the show will resonate with viewers by giving them information on how to increase their own life expectancy.

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