Wipeout renewed for third season, but I Survived a Japanese Gameshow won’t return

ABC’s Wipeout will return for a third season, since it’s very successful for ABC, although it’s taken a hit from So You Think You Can Dance this summer with its move to Wednesday nights.

For its new season, the show will get a new obstacle course with crazy things for people to bounce off of, and I’m already excited. I can’t get enough of this show, and also cannot understand why it doesn’t get old fast. But no: Every week I laugh at people bouncing off of whatever the producers have devised, even the old standby big red balls.

“We’re planning a completely new course next year that’s nothing like anybody has ever seen. What keeps this show running is keeping the show’s course fresh,” executive producer Matt Kunitz told the Hollywood Reporter. ABC reality exec told the paper, “They literally have this giant pinball machine. What they’ve devised is going to zip faster, fly higher and have contestants bouncing off a lot more objects.”

The network said in a press release that while the show has faced “tougher competition from Fox’s time-period veteran” and left it “second to Fox’s ‘Dance,’” it “is drawing ABC’s largest summer audience in the Wednesday 8 o’clock hour in 13 years and highest Adults 18-49 rating during the summer frame in 10 years since 1996 and 1999, respectively.”

In a New York Times piece about the show, ABC’s reality exec John Saade says John Anderson and John Henson’s “wry sophistication” helps the show, although I find it to be the weakest part. Their scripted, often juvenile (and not in the good way) humor gets tired sometimes, although I don’t mind it as much as some viewers do.

Interestingly, the paper reports that the worst injuries experienced are dislocated shoulders, in part because they spend $100,000 on padding. “While it may look painful, we have designed a very safe course. [Padding is] one of our biggest-budget items,” executive producer Matt Kunitz said.

That’s not the case with ABC’s I Survived a Japanese Game Show, which the New York Times reports “is unlikely to return next summer, as it has managed to retain only half the ‘Wipeout’ audience.” That’s too bad, because while it focuses mostly on the inventive, ridiculous challenges on Majide–the realistic but made-for-ABC game show (watch it online if you’ve missed it)–the series also has both a cultural and reality component that work well. Alas, after two seasons, it’s apparently time to call Sayonara Mob.

ABC makes splash with ‘Wipeout’ renewal [Hollywood Reporter]
ABC Picks Up “Wipeout” For a Third Season [ABC press release]
Gluttons for Punishment Are Balm for ABC [New York Times]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

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.