TBS, Evolution get real

Cabler orders two unscripted skeins

TBS has placed series orders for a pair of original reality skeins from production shingle Evolution Film & Tape, the company behind the first season of “Big Brother” and several special editions of “Fear Factor.”

Cabler has greenlit production on both projects for October premieres. Series reunite TBS and Evolution, which previously partnered on the seasonlong home makeover competish “House Rules.” Evolution’s Douglas Ross and Dean Minerd exec produce.

First up, TBS has picked up six episodes of the tentatively titled “All American Male,” co-produced by Full Circle Entertainment. The second original series to bow under TBS’ newly repositioned comedy brand, “Male” follows the June bow of Bruce Nash’s dating competition “Outback Jack” and will precede the December premiere of Mike Fleiss’ real-life take on TV series “Gilligan’s Island.”

Details on “Male” are being kept under wraps — “There are always 22 twists with these shows,” TBS/TNT exec veep-chief operating officer Steve Koonin said — but Evolution’s Ross said the skein would revolve around a group of men in a test of gender-bending antics over a period of three weeks.

“These guys are going to have their eyes opened to a world they’ve never known before,” Ross said. “They will be separated from their girlfriends and wives while having to go through a series of pretty wacky challenges. It’ll be emotional but in a humorous and relatable way.”

In addition, after watching “House Rules” draw dismal ratings in primetime, TBS has ordered eight episodes of home makeover show “The Mansion” for Saturday ayem.

“House Rules” was “done under a different strategy. What we found is that there is a tremendous audience for these home design shows, albeit on Saturday mornings,” Koonin said.

Seven amateur home remodelers will live together in a dilapidated mansion in need of repair. Over eight weeks, the competitors will set out to restore the home with one person leading each project. Winner — voted on by audiences — gets the keys to the mansion.

“These two projects are certain to evoke a lot of sweat and frustration from the competitors and a lot of laughs from our audience,” Koonin added. “They fit perfectly into our programming strategy of creating the kind of fun, lighthearted reality series that resonate with the young, comedy-loving audience we’re targeting.”

Evolution produces ABC Family’s highest-rated original series, “Switched!” Shingle recently signed on to produce the second season of VH1’s “Bands Reunited” and received an order for another round of the music net’s “Flab to Ab.”

Prominent players in the cable biz, Evolution’s credits include TLC’s “Clean Sweep,” Animal Planet’s “King of the Jungle” and Bravo’s “Boy Meets Boy.”

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