Spike TV Lassos New Series, 'Toughest Cowboy'
Mark Burnett To Produce New Spike Series Premiering In January 2009
NEW YORK, Dec. 15 -- Spike TV is searching for the next big superstar in rodeo with "Toughest Cowboy," a new eight-episode one hour series from world-renowned producer Mark Burnett. The new sports-competition reality series premieresThursday, January 29 at 11:00pm ET/PT.
"We are thrilled to be in business with one of the true legends in the television industry," said John Griffin, vice president, programming, Spike TV. "The high-action sport of rodeo will be the perfect complement to our Thursday lineup following TNA wrestling."
"The athletes on 'Toughest Cowboy' are living icons who take unbelievable risks every time they enter the arena," said Mark Burnett, President of Mark Burnett Productions. "We are excited to bring their stories to the Spike audience as they fight to secure their American dream in a competition that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats."
Emanating from venues in top major markets including Chicago, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Columbus, Raleigh, and Minneapolis-St. Paul, "Toughest Cowboy" features twelve daring competitors in one of the world's fastest-growing sports. These fearless cowboys must ride in three dangerous disciplines each night - bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, and bull riding - an unprecedented test of endurance in modern rodeo competition. One competitor will be eliminated each week in a sudden elimination bull ride match, with the ultimate Toughest Cowboy Champion winning the deed to a spectacular ranch in the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming.
Emmy-award winning producer Mark Burnett, behind such landmark series "Survivor" and "The Apprentice," serves as executive producer for "Toughest Cowboy." "Toughest Cowboy" marks the first series to emerge from a pact between Mark Burnett Productions and AEG announced earlier this year.
Spike TV is available in 97.7 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. A unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), MTV Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV's Internet address is www.spike.com.
Toughest Cowboy is a revolutionary sports-reality show competition based around the sport of rodeo. Twelve of the grittiest cowboys in America compete in eight episodes in a national tour that will take them to Chicago, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Columbus, Raleigh, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. The competitions will be broadcast on Spike TV on Thursdays at 11pm ET, premiering on January 29, 2009. The television episodes will be produced by world-renowned reality show producer Mark Burnett. In each episode, at least one cowboy will be eliminated in a sudden elimination bull ride match. The Champion will win a spectacular ranch in the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming. Toughest Cowboy is owned by Grit Rock Rodeo, which is owned by AEG Events & Media and an entity controlled by Jac Sperling. Grit Rock Rodeo is one of the leading producers of live and televised rodeo events in the world. Toughest Cowboy's internet address is http://www.toughestcowboy.com.
About Mark Burnett Productions
Mark Burnett Productions (MBP) is a leading production company for primetime television, cable and the internet, and has produced over 1,100 hours of television programming which regularly airs in over 70 countries around the world. MBP revolutionized television with hits such as Survivor (CBS), The Apprentice (NBC), The Contender (Versus), Rock Star (CBS), the Steven Spielberg co-production On The Lot (FOX), the smash hit Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (FOX), which is currently being produced in 51 countries, and the daytime syndicated hit Martha (about to begin its 4th season). In the summers of 2007 and 2008, MBP entered the world of Award Shows, when Mark Burnett served as executive producer for the MTV Movie Awards. In October of 2007, MBP opened Mark Burnett Productions Asia; a joint venture with Genting International to both create new content for and adapt established formats in the Asian market. Since 2001, MBP has garnered a total of 51 Emmy nominations with 5 wins, and has won 4 People's Choice Awards. Mark Burnett has been named one of the most influential people in the world by TIME magazine and named TV Guide's most valuable player. He has won both BRANDWEEK'S Marketer of the Year Award and the prestigious ROSE D'OR FRAPA Format Award. In 2007, Mark Burnett was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. In 2008, Mark was honored with the announcement that he is to receive a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. This year will continue with new shows for MBP, including Star Maker (MTV), Wedding Day (TNT), Bully Beatdown (MTV), How'd You Get So Rich? (TV Land), Toughest Cowboy (Spike), and Expedition (History Channel), as well as Survivor 18, Contender 4, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader 3 and Apprentice 8.
AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Company, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, The Home Depot Center, Sprint Center, The O2, NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE and NOKIA Theatre Times Square; sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), two Major League Soccer franchises, a Major League Lacrosse team, two hockey franchises operated in Europe, management of privately held shares of the Los Angeles Lakers, the ING Bay to Breakers foot race and the Amgen Tour of California cycling road race; AEG LIVE, the organization's live-entertainment division, is a collection of companies dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performance, touring and a variety of programming and multi-media production.