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Mark Burnett reunites with Mike Darnell to produce primetime game show '500 Questions'

by jmaloni


Thu, Sep 18th 2014 10:40 pm

ABC has made a direct-to-series order for a new event game show, "500 Questions" (working title), from Emmy-winning blockbuster executive producer Mark Burnett and his One Three Media ("Shark Tank," "Survivor," "The Voice") and Warner Horizon Television ("The Voice," "The Bachelor," "The Bachelorette"). The innovative "genius game show" is the brainchild of Burnett and Warner Bros. Unscripted and Alternative Television President Mike Darnell. It is scheduled to air in 2015, with the program testing the smarts - and nerve - of contestants in a pressure-packed, intense environment.

The series order for "500 Questions" continues ABC's long and successful relationship with Burnett, who executive produces the network's Emmy-winning hit reality program "Shark Tank," which returns for a sixth season this fall. "500 Questions" also reunites Burnett with Warner Bros.' Darnell on a new project for the first time since the Burnett-produced game show "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?," which Darnell put on the air during his tenure at FOX.

"I love this show," Burnett said. "It ('500 Questions') is the first network game show to combine what audiences love about serialized unscripted hits with a huge game show event. It has ongoing characters and huge stakes."

Darnell said, "I couldn't be more excited to be back in business with my close friend and colleague Mark Burnett. We have done many shows together over the years, but one of our best experiences (both professionally and personally) was 'Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?,' and ever since, we have been trying to come up with another game show that would break new ground. I think we have finally cracked it with '500 Questions,' and with Mark and his team on board, I have no doubt this is going to be the next international game show hit."

Burnett is one the most successful producers in the history of television, with more than 2,900 hours of programming regularly airing in more than 70 countries around the world. Burnett and wife, Roma Downey, also produced the hit 10-hour miniseries "The Bible," which set ratings records for History Channel in the U.S. and became a worldwide phenomenon, also ranking as the best-selling miniseries of all time on DVD. On the heels of its success, NBC commissioned the follow-up miniseries "A.D.: Beyond the Bible," which will debut in 2015.

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