(September 18, 2014 – Burbank, CA) – 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,” “Bachelor in Paradise”). 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, incredibly 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. 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,” said executive producer Mark Burnett.
Mike 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. Recent series produced by Burnett and One Three Media include “Shark Tank” on ABC, “The Voice” (in association with Warner Horizon Television) and “Celebrity Apprentice” on NBC, and “Survivor” on CBS. He also produced the MTV Movie Awards from 2007–2011 and the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2011, and has produced the People’s Choice Awards since 2010.
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.
About ABC Entertainment Group:
Formed in 2009, the ABC Entertainment Group, comprised of ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios, develops and produces compelling programming across all day parts for both national and international broadcast and digital platforms, as well as for national syndication. ABC Studios’ current hits include “Castle,” “Cougar Town” (TBS), “Criminal Minds” (CBS), “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Nashville,” “Once Upon a Time,” “Perception” (TNT), “Resurrection,” “Revenge” and “Scandal.” The ABC Television Network is also home to the Emmy-winning “Modern Family” and comedy favorites “The Middle” and “The Goldbergs”; reality phenomenon “Shark Tank” and long-running hit “Dancing with the Stars”; “General Hospital,” which has aired for over 50 years on the network, along with daytime talk shows “The View” and “The Chew”; and late-night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” The network also boasts some of television’s most prestigious awards shows, including The Academy Awards, the Country Music Awards, The American Music Awards and The Billboard Music Awards.
About Warner Horizon Television:
Warner Horizon Television (WHTV) is one of the entertainment industry’s leading producers of scripted series for the cable marketplace and primetime reality series for both network and cable. A division of the Warner Bros. Television Group, WHTV was founded in 2006. WHTV’s current scripted programs are “Rizzoli & Isles” and “Dallas” for TNT; “Ground Floor,” “Sullivan & Son” and “Buzzy’s” for TBS; “Pretty Little Liars” for ABC Family; and “The Lottery” for Lifetime. Its unscripted series are “The Voice” for NBC, “The Bachelor” franchise — which also includes “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise” — and “500 Questions” for ABC.