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Sky One goes for celeb-driven reality

Fall sked includes 'Extreme Makeover,' 'Queer Eye'

Sky One’s new fall lineup is heavy on celebs and commissions.

The schedule is Richard Woolfe’s first as the new topper of Rupert Murdoch’s satcaster.  Woolfe made his name turning Flextech’s Living channel from a trashy daytime outlet into a must-see net with programs such as “Extreme Makeover” and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”

He’s now been charged with revitalizing Sky One, which has been struggling to establish a clear identity and no longer dominates Blighty’s nonterrestrial market.

The centerpieces of Woolfe’s strategy to win back auds are what Sky One describes as celeb-driven reality events such as “The Race” and “Cirque de Celebrite.” 

“The Race” involves a battle of the sexes between two teams headed by racing drivers Eddie Irvine and David Coultard. 

Some of the testing challenges include races with rally cars, high speed monster trucks and off-road buggies.

Hosted by Ruby Wax, “Cirque de Celebrite” will feature celebrities doing circus stunts. 

The broadcast of “Robbie Williams Live: A Close Encounter” will be Blighty’s first live transmission of a music concert in high definition.

“The Big Idea” aims to follow on the success of reality skeins such as “The Apprentice” as budding entrepreneurs vie to prove their business acumen to judges; winner gets £100,000 ($189,654) to invest in his dream business.

Although Sky One is best known for U.S. imports such as “The Simpsons” and “24,” Woolfe also announced he will prioritize original commissions over acquisitions.    

These include “Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather,” a high-budget drama for Christmas that Woolfe described as “absolutely lush.”

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