Contestants to find love amidst nature
NBC is looking to make a love connection in the jungle.The Peacock has picked up eight episodes of “Love in the Wild,” a reality dating franchise targeted for next summer. Project, which originates from Endemol USA, will be exec produced by “Survivor” alum Tom Shelly. Show is a bit of a mashup between “The Bachelor” and “Survivor,” with a little “Temptation Island” sprinkled on top. Ten men and 10 women looking for love will somehow pair up each week and compete in a series of physically and emotionally taxing competitions. Winning duos will then get a better chance to get to know each other in luxurious surroundings. The idea is that men and women looking for love could be helped along by sharing extraordinary experiences. NBC alternative topper Paul Telegdy and Endemol North America chairman David Goldberg both compare it to the 1980s feature “Romancing the Stone,” in which Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner’s characters are thrust together via dramatic circumstances. “It’s a fresh way into the dating space,” Telegdy said. “We’ve been intrigued by the idea of putting people in a natural setting and making them compete. Watching the show should be a great armchair ride.” NBC will use signature summer series “America’s Got Talent” to launch “Love in the Wild” (still a working title). Telegdy said the two shows should be compatible. “Summer shows should be escapist,” he said. “It should have a kind of mood that can coexist with ‘America’s Got Talent.’ We don’t want something dark or ridden with problems.” Telegdy and Goldberg were mum on how the game will be played but said episodes will end with an elimination, and that “Love in the Wild” will build up to a finale with a prize. Beyond that, the duo said they’re eager to look beyond the usual crop of reality participants. That means casting a wider net in order to find players who are authentically looking for love. “This isn’t just about people hooking up,” Goldberg said. “It’s almost like an adventure camp set in an exotic and remote locale. The show is meant to leave the conventional world of dating behind. Newly formed couples will battle nature by day but live well at night. We’re not starving people.” Endemol USA created the show here in the U.S. and will control international distribution, while NBC Universal handles domestic distribution. The two companies will co-own the format. “It’s nice to see when stuff developed on American soil on the nonscripted side can get sold at the networks,” Goldberg said. The networks have recently been interested in getting back to setting reality shows in exotic locales. ABC picked up Mark Burnett’s “Expedition Impossible,” also set for summer. Like “Love in the Wild,” “Expedition Impossible” has also been compared to a 1980s movie — in that case, an “Indiana Jones” pic. As for next summer, Telegdy said he hopes to rebuild from this past year, when several shows originally set for summer were called into regular season duty in the wake of the “Jay Leno Show” debacle. “America’s Got Talent” and “Love in the Wild” are the only two shows definitively on NBC’s summer sked so far, but others are still under consideration — including a potential rework of “Last Comic Standing.”
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