'Rouletter' to be shot in South America

Mark Burnett and Fox Television Studios have teamed to launch a TV series based on an old casino game.

“Rouletter” takes a traditional Roulette wheel and replaces the numbers with letters. Contestants then place bets in order to form words, “Scrabble” style, within a specific time frame.

The initial pilot will be shot in South America, where Fox TV Studios is already producing several projects (including the Chris McQuarrie-produced “Persons Unknown” and the Annabella Sciorra starrer “Mental”), and then be sold to territories around the globe.

Producers in various territories will be able to ship in contestants to the South America shoot site in order to do their own pilots. Burnett, who owns a studio in Asia, plans to do the same thing on that continent as well.

“I like trying things that I think will translate globally,” Burnett said. “It’s a global village, and I’ve probably produced more foreign stuff than most other producers. I’m not intimidated by producers being in other countries. By producing (‘Rouletter’) in South America, it made sense to do this together with Fox TV Studios.”

Fox TV Studios president Emiliano Calemzuk said he plans to first sell “Rouletter” to Latin American networks but has already received interest from channels all over the globe.

“I thought it was the perfect time to do this, a new take on successful shows like ‘Wheel of Fortune,’ ” Calemzuk said. “And Mark thought it was a great idea to make a big pilot.”

Burnett and David Russo are the show’s creators and will exec produce; the Collective’s Reza Izad and Al Hassas will also exec produce. In addition, FTVS and exec producer Matthew Gaven will produce the initial pilot episode.

Burnett said he sees a bigger business in “Rouletter” beyond just TV, including licensing the game to casinos. The show has applied for a patent on its unique letter-based Roulette wheel.

Beyond “Rouletter,” Burnett’s international expansion has included a new edition of “The Contender,” now being shot in Singapore. Burnett’s other upcoming skeins include CBS’ “Jingles,” MTV’s “Star Maker” and TNT’s “Wedding Day.”

Fox TV Studios skeins include “Burn Notice” and “Saving Grace,” as well as the alternative series “Talkshow With Spike Feresten” and “The Girls Next Door.”

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