SYDNEY — Surely there can’t be many celebs who are brave — or desperate — enough to be fired out of a cannon, strapped to a “wheel of death” or try fire-eating or walking the high wire?
Wrong, says David Barbour, who along with Julian Cress is producing “Celebrity Circus,” a series conceived just three weeks ago by a think-tank of the top brass at the Nine Network.
Since the show was announced March 15, the producers have been inundated with calls from celebs, Olympic medalists, thesps, TV hosts and entertainers.
The producers are culling the list of candidates to 10, who will spend six weeks being trained by the fourth-generation, family-run Silver Circus troupe, climaxing in a live perf.
Talent negotiations are being finalized; performers are likely to include “Outback Jack’s” Vadim Dale and former “Neighbors” star Kimberley Davies, who has spent the last nine years in L.A.
Production of five one-hour episodes starts next month. Barbour says the short run is designed for viewers who have trouble committing to longer series. He hopes it will leave them wanting more, as happened with “Celebrity Overhaul,” a Barbour/Cress production that rated so well in February/March that Nine quickly commissioned a second season of five segs.
“Celebrity Overhaul,” in which seven celebs banded together to lose weight and get fit under the guidance of experts, “bought us a lot of goodwill — it wasn’t a competition,” Barbour says.
Southern Star Intl. is pitching format rights to “Overhaul” and Barbour thinks the “Circus” concept similarly will appeal to some international broadcasters.
Barbour and Cress also created home renovation hit “The Block,” of which they will do a third series later this year.