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Spike TV Teams With ‘Amazing Race’ Executive Producer For MMA Reality Series

By | Tuesday April 3, 2012 @ 9:23am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

After UFC moved its reality series The Ultimate Fighter from Spike TV to FX earlier this year, Spike is teaming with its new mixed martial arts league partner, the emerging Bellator Fighting Championships, for a new unscripted series. Spike and Bellator, which is set to move to Spike next year, have tapped Bertram van Munster, co-creator/executive producer of CBS’ Emmy-winning The Amazing Race, to create a new reality series showcasing the Bellator fighters. The hourlong show will premiere in 2013. “Some of the most physically-gifted and fascinating athletes in the world fight in Bellator, and I believe they make ideal subjects for an innovative new non-scripted series,” said van Munster, who will executive produce the series with his wife and fellow Amazing Race co-creator/executive producer Elise Doganieri. Spike already launched MMA-themed programming in the wake of Ultimate Fighter‘s departure, a new Ultimate Fighter Fridays block hosted by Kimbo Slice. Spike also has MMA Uncensored Live on Thursdays.

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Backstage At The Emmys: Martin Scorsese, Kate Winslet, Melissa McCarthy And More

Emmys Live-Blog; Emmys By The Numbers; Emmy Analysis: Broadcast TV’s Big Awards Comeback; Red Carpet Executive Arrivals

Deadline’s Diane Haithman and Ray Richmond were backstage at the Primetime Emmy Awards tonight to hear what the winners had to say.

Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell came backstage together after winning the awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. The Modern Family stars were asked first about being part of a show that is breaking ground for gays. Burrell said, “I don’t know, in terms of America, it feels very, very good to be on a show that seems like it’s slowly changing a lot of minds. Eric [Stonestreet] and Jesse [Tyler Ferguson] deserve all of the credit for that, and our amazing showrunners. It’s a great thing to just peripherally go to events and just basically start to talk about those characters like any other characters, relating to their life — it’s pretty cool.” Bowen joked, “As a straight woman, and part of a straight couple on the show, I feel marginalized.” On a more serious note, she added: “It’s absurd that it’s even an issue, but where it’s an issue, I’m glad that we are part of helping change minds.” Using the word “straight” in a different context, Burrell praised Bowen: “It’s even greater credit to what Julie does that the straight-person wins an Emmy, I don’t think that happens very often. In a couple there’s usually a straight-man and a wilder character. It’s due to her resourcefulness as an actor.” On going back to the set with an Emmy when other cast members were also nominated, Burrell said: “Eric won last year, and Ed [O'Neill] actually just said something really sweet right before the award, ‘whoever wins deserves it.’ I feel like we’re trying to enjoy this moment more than anything — we know this doesn’t last forever; we’re having a lot of fun.” Bowen said about her surprise win, “I kinda thought it was a lock on Betty White. If I didn’t have a dog in this fight, and I had two, I would have voted for Betty White. Claire is not necessarily fall-down funny every time.” She credits the writers for having found ways to make her character have many dimensions and “not just be the mom.” …

Later, Steve Levitan and Jeffrey Richman, winners for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, were asked how it feels for Modern Family to be sweeping the awards so far, with wins in every category they’ve been eligible for. Levitan: “We’re beyond thrilled with the way things have gone, obviously. It’s an embarrassment of riches, and from the bottom of our hearts we feel that Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen deserved to win. (Outstanding Director in a Comedy Series winner) Michael Alan Spiller, not so much. To tell you the truth, it’s a little surreal.” They were then asked what they did to ramp up the stories and quality of Modern Family in Season 2. Levitan: “We feel like we know the characters a little bit better this year. There was such dedication this year to keeping the quality up. We all live in fear of the quality dipping so we work extra hard to make sure that doesn’t happen. … I’ll also tell you that our kids are the unsung heroes of the show. What they do on this show is amazing. We ask them to do such complicated turns and they nail it constantly. They’re playing at the same level as the adults and that’s a rare thing.” … Read More »

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ABC Slates ‘Take The Money And Run’ Reality Series Thursdays At 8 PM

Nellie Andreeva

After promising early showings for Winter Wipeout in the challenging for ABC Thursday 8 PM slot, the network is sticking with reality in the hour for the rest of the season. After Winter Wipeout finishes its run, ABC will launch competition series Take the Money and Run on April 14. The six-episode series, from the Amazing Race team of Jerry Bruckheimer and Bertram van Munster, combines elements of a globe-trotting race and a spy thriller.

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ABC Picks Up Reality Series From Jerry Bruckheimer And Bertram Van Munster

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Nine years after Jerry Bruckheimer TV made a big entrance in reality TV with The Amazing Race, the company is re-teaming with the Race creators for a new reality competition series, this time on ABC. ABC has handed out a six-episode order to Take the Money and Run (form. Catch Me), which Bruckheimer executive produces with Race creators Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri as well as Jonathan Littman and Belfast-based producer Philip Morrow, on whose format the series is based. Jerry Bruckheimer TV and Van Munster’s Profiles TV are producing with Horizon Alternative TV, the alternative division of Warner Horizon. Read More »

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