Michael Bay, Magical Elves action reality series combines Survivor, Mole, Fear Factor, TAR

Action movie director Michael Bay is teaming with Magical Elves to produce his first TV series, a reality competition that takes elements from The Mole, Survivor, Fear Factor, and The Amazing Race.

One Way Out is described in a press release on his web site as a series that will “remain true to the filmmaker’s signature style, bringing hard-hitting storytelling and a cinematic, aggressive visual approach to television for the first time. A game with no rules, the reality adventure series will pit ordinary people from all walks of life against each other, creating extreme competition and deep allegiances. All players have secret pasts that must be kept hidden from their fellow competitors, setting the stage for an intense game of trust and betrayal. Players will be forced to adapt to and conquer new hostile environments each week, building towards a climactic showdown where all secrets are exposed and a shocking development revealed.”

In a statement, Bay said, “For my first television project I wanted to do something that had never been done before, and I believe that ‘One Way Out’ accomplishes that. Combining unique twists, death-defying challenges, and stunning visuals, we are reinventing the genre, showing just how far people will go when they are stripped of their bare necessities and forced to do whatever it takes to survive.”

The show is currently being shopped to networks. Magical Elves is best-known for originating Project Runway and the talent competition genre, but they also produced NBC’s 2006 adventure competition series Treasure Hunters.

While a lot of Michael Bay’s movies are more style than substance (and sometimes, you know, just shit), I think this sounds pretty awesome, particularly since Magical Elves are producing it. Despite the fact that it draws elements from four shows I really like, it doesn’t seem derivative, and it’s about time reality TV involved spectacle other than stupid behavior.

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.