Spike readies rodeo reality show

'Toughest Cowboy' to premiere on Jan. 29

Spike is readying the premiere next month of a Mark Burnett-produced reality competish series featuring rodeo cowboys.

Set to premiere at 11 p.m. Jan. 29 on the cable channel, the hourlong “Toughest Cowboy” will commence with 12 cowboys competing in challenging disciplines including bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding. Winner will receive a ranch in Wyoming.

One contestant will be eliminated each week during the eight-episode season. Series will lead out of “Total Nonstop Action Wrestling,” which runs at 10 p.m. on Spike.

Series is the first to emerge from a pact announced earlier this year between Mark Burnett Prods. and sports and live entertainment company AEG Entertainment.

AEG holds a 50% stake in Grit Rock Rodeo, which owns and produces the live Toughest Cowboy competition. Show, which is in production, has been shot at venues in Chicago; Atlanta; Indianapolis; Columbus, Ohio; Raleigh, N.C.; and Minnesota.

“The biggest place in America for selling rodeo tickets is Los Angeles,” Burnett noted, attempting to dispel any notion that a cowboy-themed reality series won’t play to more metropolitan audiences. “And lots of women love cowboys, so that’s also a big driver.”

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