Yahoo developing ABC’s abandoned The Runner with LivePlanet and Mark Burnett

The Runner, a show concept that never got off the ground at ABC back in 2001, has found new life and new producers.

Originally pitched more than five years ago to ABC by LivePlanet–Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s company and the producers of Project Greenlight–the show is highly interactive, following a “runner” as he or she races across the country and viewers try to find him or her. The viewer that finds the runner will win a large cash prize. For a number of reasons, including budget, security, and TV-related problems, the show was dropped in late October of 2001.

Today, the show is back in development, as “Yahoo! is teaming with Mark Burnett and Live Planet in a bid to bring back shelved ABC project The Runner’,” Variety reports, noting that this “could be one of the biggest entertainment events ever on the Internet.” Still, despite Burnett and Yahoo’s involvement, Variety says “it’s possible that financial and production considerations could yet prevent a greenlight.” What’s most important though, is money, as “the promise of profitability will likely be key to Yahoo!’s ultimate decision to greenlight” the show, Variety says.

If it gets approved, the series would be more web-centered, using Yahoo!’s various services. An insider tells Variety, “The Web was driving the TV show. Now the Internet is the show.” It’s still possible, however, for the show to spawn a TV component, most likely “a series of specials.”

‘Runner’ laces up [Variety]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.