The ABC television network has announced a new line-up of weekend programming for the fall, with a host of new outdoor and travel related shows on the docket. This three-hour block of programs will include six new shows that will air under the ABC Weekend Adventures umbrella, immediately following Good Morning America in 95% of the U.S. market.
The six new shows that will each occupy 30 minutes of the time slot, beginning with Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown. Each week the show’s well-known host will offer a top ten list of animals that occupy a specific category. For example, the top ten fiercest predators or the ten most colorful birds. The aim of the show is to offer insights and images on some of the magnificent wildlife that occupies our planet.
Joining Jack Hanna will be Jeff Corwin who will host a show entitled Ocean Mysteries, which will take us deep under the ocean to explore the amazing plant and animal life that lives in our seas. Mark Koops, the creator of The Biggest Loser, will produce a show called Agents of Change, which will demonstrate the ability for one person to have an impact on the world around them, while The Delicious Adventures of Claire Thomas sends its host, and her kitchen, to a variety of communities looking for inspiration to create tasty and healthy meals.
Perhaps most interesting of all will be Born to Explore, an adventure travel show hosted by explorer Richard Wiese. The show will send Wiese into Australia‘s Northern Territory where he’ll explore the culture and myths of the Aboriginal people, while giving viewers a breathtaking tour of geography and archaeology that exists in the Outback.
The new shows are set aimed at viewers of all ages, although they will have a slant towards the teenage crowd. They are set to begin airing on September 3rd.
Fans of reality television and adventure travel shows will want to set their DVR’s for tomorrow night’s premiere of ABC’s Expedition Impossible, the latest creation from Mark Burnett, the man who brought us Survivor. The show looks to be a combination of The Amazing Race and the sport of adventure racing, mixing in puzzle solving and physical challenges while crossing through a remote and exotic location – in this case Morocco.
When the show debuts at 9PM ET tomorrow night, there will be 13 teams of three lining up at the starting line in hopes of winning $150,000 in cash. Judging from their team bios on the ABC website, the show’s producers found some interesting, if a bit predictable, characters for the race, including teams of jocks, cops, fireman, and the obligatory “California Girls.” Once the starting gun goes off, they’ll be racing across deserts, up mountains, and down rivers over ten grueling stages, with teams being eliminated each week until an ultimate winner is crowned.
Will the show be an epic competition that will have us riveted to our seats all summer long? Or will it feel like a made-for-television adventure? We won’t know for sure until it begins tomorrow night, but you can get a sneak preview of the show right now. ABC has made the first 14 minutes available online which you can check out below. Post your thoughts in the comments section for this story. Is this going to be a hit or summer let down?
The official website for the show offers little in the way of information about the competition, although I would expect that it will be updated as we get closer to when it first airs. But in the trailer video, which you’ll find below, we see teams not only trekking through the desert, rock climbing, and kayaking rushing rivers, but also solving puzzles and working through other challenges. The video actually conveys an intensity to the race that isn’t present in other realty shows of this type.
For Burnett, this looks to be somewhat of a return to his roots. Back in the 90’s he produced an adventure race known as the Eco-Challenge which had coed teams of four racing against one another on foot, mountain bike, and kayak through some of the most remote places on Earth. Expedition Impossible seems to have a similar theme, although it is much more approachable for the masses than Eco-Challenge ever was.
So? What do you think? Is this going to be worthwhile adventure television for the summer months? I guess we’ll find out on June 23 when the first episode airs.