Looking to shake up its Saturday night primetime with a splashy new reality format, BBC One has ordered six-episode adventure/challenge series Prized Apart for a 2015 airdate. The show will be produced by Electric Ray, the Sony Pictures Television joint venture that was formed with former BBC entertainment commissioner Karl Warner in January. BBC One’s flagship Saturday night shows currently include The Voice UK, which it moved back to January this year to avoid an ongoing battle with ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent. It also airs Strictly Come Dancing in the fall, and next Saturday kicks off the new season of Doctor Who. ITV next January is expected to roll out the local version of Rising Star as broadcasters around the globe search for the next big reality format to replace aging shows.
Prized Apart will feature 10 contestants who leave their families and friends to compete in a range of grueling challenges designed by the world’s best adrenaline sports experts to test their mental strength, courage and levels of endurance. Each week, the bottom placed “Adventurers” are flown back to Britain, to a studio where their partners or friends will have anxiously waited, watching the week’s events unfold to see if they will be stepping off the plane. The stay-at-home players must keep the contestants in the competition by answering a set of “nerve shredding” questions in a head-to-head round with the other partners and friends. If they succeed, their loved one gets back on the plane to continue the game. The seies was devloped in the UK rather than hailing from Israel or Holland as has recently been all the rage, and BBC One Controller Charlotte Moore says, “I’ve been looking for an entertainment format that feels genuinely game-changing and Prized Apart delivers to the max.” Electric Ray’s joint managing directors, Warner and Meredith Chambers, are exec producing.