The newest broadcast reality show will debut in late January when CBS airs Hunted, more than a year after it was first announced. The show will take Survivor‘s timeslot, presumably up until Survivor returns in late February.
It will premiere the week of Jan. 22, airing three hours that week alone:
- Sunday, Jan. 22, a one-hour premiere after the AFC Championship Game, at 10 p.m. or whenever the game ends
- Wednesday, Jan. 25, a two-hour episode
Then it takes over Survivor’s 8 to 9 p.m. timeslot. There’s been no information about how many episodes there will be. But if Survivor will return in its usual place and time, that’d mean Hunted would have to conclude or move by Feb. 22. If we count Hunted’s two-hour episode as two episodes, that would mean six episodes could air from Jan. 22 until Feb. 15.
This is the first of three reality shows that CBS said were renewed but were not on the fall schedule, because the network would be “rolling out new and established series throughout the season.” The other two are Undercover Boss and The Amazing Race, which has its 29th season filmed and ready to air.
How Hunted works
Hunted, a UK show being adapted for the US by Endemol Shine North America, has 18 contestants in nine teams, all of whom try to disappear and stay away from people trying to hunt them using tracking and surveillance technology.
The format is a familiar one to reality TV—there’s a long history of people trying to evade capture, from UPN’s Manhunt to last summer’s The Runner.
Here’s CBS’ description of its version:
“Hunted follows nine teams of two in a real-life manhunt as they attempt the nearly impossible task of disappearing in today’s vast digital world, as highly skilled investigators combine state-of-the-art tracking methods with traditional tactics to pursue and catch them. From searching their targets’ homes and scouring their internet and cell phone histories, to identifying behavioral patterns, Hunters in the field and Command Center investigators work together to identify clues to potential hiding places and collaborators that can ultimately lead to capture. Will the anxiety of being fugitives on the run cause teams to make a critical error, or will they be able to stay off the grid long enough to avoid being found within 100,000 square miles of the southeastern United States? A grand prize of $250,000 will be awarded to each team that successfully evades being caught for up to 28 days.”
CBS has yet to release a trailer for the series, but here’s one for Channel 4’s second season, which debuted this September.