×

Ben Affleck, Matt Damon Team for Go90 Competition Series ‘The Runner’

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are teaming with Adaptive Studios and Pilgrim Media Group to launch reality competition series “The Runner” on Verizon’s Go90 platform.

The Runner” will be the first original, high-concept competition series to become available on the mobile-first platform. The concept was originally sold to ABC in 2000, but was pulled shortly after 9/11. It was then sold again in 2006 to Yahoo, where it remained in development.

The series will challenge one individual to make it across the United States unnoticed in 30 days while the rest of the rest of the country works to locate and capture him. There will also be a team of “Chasers” who have the chance to earn money for catching the Runner. Go90 users who provide tips, sightings and evidence of the Runner’s location are also eligible to bring home some cash.

Affleck and Damon exec produce “The Runner” through their company Pearl Street Films. Adaptive Studios’ founding partners Joubert and Perrin Chiles serve as executive producers alongside Pilgrim Media Group’s Craig Piligian and Mike Nichols. The series was packaged by WME.

“This is an excellent format for a brand new platform,” Joubert said. “‘The Runner’ is our way of meeting a millennial audience where they live – on their smartphones and on social media.”

Verizon’s deal for “The Runner” is easily its most ambitious foray into original entertainment for Go90 to date. The free, ad-supported service, launched in October, is stocked with an amalgamation of original short-form content from digital-focused studios like AwesomenessTV, Machinima and Warner Bros.’ Blue Ribbon Content, along with licensed TV episodes including Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” and TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress.”

The telco has said it’s investing heavily in content and marketing for Go90, which will not be profitable for at least the next two years, CFO Fran Shammo told investors earlier this year. Verizon, whose AOL division is selling ads for the service, aims to reach young, mobile-obsessed millennials who aren’t interested in traditional pay TV.

Adaptive Studios is a pioneering media studio focused on the acquisition and development of intellectual property across all platforms. The company produced the acclaimed series “Project Greenlight” for HBO and recently launched Project Greenlight Digital Studios, through which it is actively greenlighting an expanding slate of new digital series with emerging filmmakers.

Pilgrim Media Group, a Lionsgate company, produces a wide variety of unscripted and scripted programming for television, including “Fast N’ Loud,” “Street Outlaws” and “Misfit Garage” for Discovery; “My Big Fat Fabulous Life” for TLC; and “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” for OWN. Pilgrim also produces FYI talkshow “Kocktails With Khloe,” and in the scripted realm it produces the rookie series “Recovery Road” for Freeform.

Todd Spangler contributed to this report.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Venn co-founders

    VENN Raises $17 Million to Launch a Cheddar-like TV Network for Gaming

    Video game industry veterans Ariel Horn and Ben Kusin have raised a massive $17 million seed funding round to launch a new gaming-focused TV network called VENN. Short for Video Game Entertainment and News Network, VENN wants to mix esports with Twitch-style video game streaming and other gaming-related entertainment content when it launches in 2020. [...]

  • Amazon Music

    Amazon Music Unveils HD: the ‘Highest Quality Audio’ for Streaming

    Amazon Music today became the first of the three major streaming services to offer high-definition sound with the launch of Amazon Music HD. According to the announcement, the service offers a new tier of high quality, lossless audio with more than 50 million songs in High Definition, and millions of songs in Ultra High Definition, which it claims [...]

  • United Talent Agency Reveals New Logo

    UTA Unveils New Logo, Corporate Image

    UTA raised the curtain Monday on a new corporate logo. The three-dimensional image is meant to emphasize the talent agency’s focus on uniting ideas, opportunities and talent. Building signage with the new logo will go up next month at UTA’s headquarters in Beverly Hills. “Our new identity captures the multiple facets and intersections of our [...]

  • Altice One set-top

    Amazon Prime Video Coming to Altice's Optimum, Suddenlink Cable Services

    Altice USA plans to launch Amazon Prime Video for Optimum and Suddenlink cable customers nationwide in the next few months, under a pact announced Monday. Altice is the third pay-TV operator in the U.S. with a distribution deal for Amazon Prime Video, after Comcast and Cox Communications. The cable operator is adding Prime Video to [...]

  • youtube leanback screenshot

    YouTube to Shut Down Leanback Web TV Interface on October 2

    YouTube is getting ready to retire its TV-optimized browser interface, also known as YouTube Leanback, on October 2, Variety has learned. The move comes as YouTube is putting a bigger emphasis on its native TV apps, but also represents a blow to users who directly connected their PCs to their TVs. YouTube started to inform [...]

  • Terminator: Dark Fate

    Paramount & Adobe Launch ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Trailer Remix Contest

    Adobe has teamed up with Paramount Pictures to launch a remix contest for the trailer of “Terminator: Dark Fate,” which is set to debut in theaters November 1. The winner of the contest will get $10,000 as well as a one-year Adobe Creative Cloud membership and a private screening of the movie for up to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content