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South African nets game for reality

SABC2 trying its luck with 'Pirate Master'

JOHANNESBURG — Mark Burnett gamers are getting a mixed reaction in South Africa, but the webs are still willing to take a bet on them.

Pubcaster SABC2 is trying its luck with “Pirate Master,” after pulling the Steven Spielberg/Burnett filmmaking reality show “On the Lot” off air after only two episodes in August.

“Pirate Master” was canceled by CBS with five episodes remaining after poor ratings, but the South African Broadcasting Corp. channel has decided to take its chances with the show, hoping it will appeal to its viewers more than it did to U.S. audiences.

 “Pirate Master” aired in the Thursday 7:30-8:30 p.m. timeslot occupied by “On the Lot” starting Oct. 18. 

Meanwhile, paybox M-Net is preparing to produce a South African version of Burnett’s “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”

 The U.S. version starts screening on the M-Net Series channel on Oct. 26 in the Friday 9 p.m. slot in order to familiarize local audiences with the format.

Contestants in the local version of the show will be able to win rand 1 million ($145,000) per show if they can correctly answer 11 questions from fifth-grade-or-lower materials.