“There’s nothing like seeing people pursing their dreams,” says executive producer Jane Lipsitz, who worked on reality show juggernauts “Project Runway” and “Top Chef” alongside executive producer Dan Cutforth, her partner in production company Magical Elves. “When the stakes are high, people get into (a) show and they remember the feelings they might have about their own dreams.”
Lipsitz and Cutforth — whose credits also include other talent-based reality competition shows like “Project Greenlight” and “Last Comic Standing” — built their careers with shows that feature the kind of daunting challenges that flesh out the most talented participants, trip up those without skills and thrill an audience.
“When you set up something like a ‘quickfire challenge’ on ‘Top Chef,’ it has to be planned and thought out very carefully,” says Cutforth. “It has to be sophisticated and difficult but also clear to the audience so they see how hard it is to do.”