Nellie Andreeva

TNT launched its first reality competition series The Great Escape to modest ratings results this summer. But the cable network is staying in the space with a green light to The Hero (working title), a new reality-competition series starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The project, which has received an eight-episode order for a premiere next summer, comes from Ben Silverman’s Electus and its 5×5 Media. Johnson will executive-produce with his producing partner, Dany Garcia.

According to TNT, The Hero will bring 10 ordinary people together in a house and then assign them various missions that will test their brains, their brawn and even their morality. The show will challenge the competitors to prove they’ve got what it takes to be heroes, pushing them to the limits to see what they are willing (and able) to overcome, undergo or sacrifice for the sake of their fellow contestants. Johnson will serve as mentor and motivator. In the end, one player will be declared a true hero. “The Hero speaks to everything I believe in when it comes to challenging ourselves, to becoming better people every day and to making the right choices while growing from the wrong ones,” Johnson said.

The Hero will incorporate social media into every aspect of the show, from pre-production and casting to on-location shooting and live broadcasts. Through the show’s interactive digital platform, viewers will be able to vote each week for the contestant they consider to be the most heroic. “The Hero is a great fit for TNT’s drama fans, whether they enjoy stories with a lot of action, suspense and danger, or stories that offer inspiration through the heroic actions of everyday people,” said TNT’s head of programming Michael Wright. It is unclear what the green light for Hero means for the future of The Great Escape, which was facing 50-50 odds for renewal.

The Hero was created by Craig Armstrong and Rick Ringbakk of 5×5 Media (Fashion Star), along with Charles Wachter (Fashion Star) and Ben Silverman (Fashion Star). Electus International, Electus’ global distribution arm, will retain all international distribution rights and will likely shop the series at MIPCOM next month.

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