Endemol USA series snags second season

ABC’s “Wipeout” has caught a second-season wave.

Pickup is no surprise: The bruising obstacle course competish reps one of the summer’s few bright spots among new reality shows.

ABC gave producer Endemol USA a 16-episode order, but it appears likely the Alphabet net will hold off on bringing back “Wipeout” until next summer.

ABC execs have been keen on setting up “Wipeout” as a summer franchise, in the same vein as CBS’ “Big Brother,” Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” and NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”

“People have embraced it,” ABC Entertainment prexy Steve McPherson said earlier this summer. “I’ve never had a show that more people in the business want to participate in, wanting to go out to the set and try to do it.”

Endemol USA is behind “Wipeout,” which centers on 24 contestants as they make their way through four rounds of a grueling obstacle course. The eventual winner is crowned “Wipeout” champion and awarded $50,000.

According to Endemol USA topper David Goldberg, the long lead time for season two allows the show’s producers plenty of time to develop, research and construct a new complicated obstacle course.

Endemol has already sold the “Wipeout” format to more than 20 territories and has created an obstacle course in Argentina for those international editions. The U.S. version will continue to shoot in Santa Clarita, Calif., however.

“We gambled a bit because we went out and sold this show to some 20 odd other territories before we even aired one episode in the U.S.,” Goldberg said. “This now gives us a nice bit of momentum going into Mipcom.”

Goldberg said it’s too soon to announce any ancillary deals for “Wipeout,” but the show could be ripe for future syndication, merchandising and adaptation as a theme park attraction.

After its first six airings, “Wipeout” has averaged a 3.8 rating/12 share among adults 18-49 and 10.2 million viewers overall. Show saw a small decline this week, as ABC aired a clip episode.

Matt Kunitz exec produces “Wipeout,” which is hosted by John Henson and John Anderson. Jill Wagner serves as co-host.

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