Fear Factor comes out of its coma tonight

Five and a half years after being cancelled, Fear Factor is being resurrected on NBC tonight, now in HD and with more cow’s blood. But everything seems to be pretty much the same, including the return of host Joe Rogan, although the stunts are bigger.

When I first broke the news that the show was casting and thus returning, it wasn’t clear how it might evolve, or even if Joe would return. In the preview below, he says, “It feels like we went into a coma, and woke up, and just started to do Fear Factor again,” adding “everything’s the same.”

The preview certainly does make it seem like the same show, but executive producer, Matt Kunitz it’s a “much bigger and badder Fear Factor”; Joe later calls it “the old show, plus.” Instead of 50 gallons of cow blood, for example, there are 3,000 for a challenge, according to the New York Times.

Two new episodes air back-to-back tonight starting at 8 p.m. ET; it’ll be interesting to see if just dusting off an old format works for NBC, or if the fatigue that affected the show back then will remain.

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In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.


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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.