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Ben Affleck, Matt Damon Revive Reality Show ‘The Runner’ for Verizon

Series was shelved after 9/11 attacks, but advances in technology will make it better today anyway

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are reviving reality series “The Runner” for Verizon’s go90 platform.

Their Pearl Street Films will join forces with Pilgrim Media Group and Adaptive Studios on the modern-day version of the mobile-centric series. The show was originally sold to ABC in 2000, but was yanked shortly after the Sep. 11, 2001 attacks. It ended up at Yahoo five years later, where it sat in development.

Fortunately, technology appears to have caught up with the series’ ambitious concept, making for a stronger package when it launches this summer.

“The Runner” follows one individual attempting to make it across the United States unnoticed over the course of 30 days, while the entire country tries to locate and capture him or her using all available technology. At stake is a million dollars — not only for the Runner, but also for the chase teams, or “Chasers,” who are part of the show format as well. In addition, go90 users who provide tips, sightings and evidence of the Runner’s location are also eligible to win money.

Affleck and Damon will executive produce through Pearl Street. Adaptive Studios’ Joubert and Chiles serve as executive producers alongside Pilgrim Media Group’s Craig Piligian and Mike Nichols.

Casting for “The Runner” is currently underway. The series was packaged by WME.

“This is an excellent format for a brand new platform,” said Adaptive’s Marc Joubert. “‘The Runner’ is our way of meeting a millennial audience where they live — on their smartphones and on social media.”

“This show is exactly the kind of series Pilgrim is known for,” added Pilgrim’s Craig Piligian. “‘The Runner’ integrates real high-stakes competition, live elements, a need for speed, and the ability to fight and persevere. It’s incredibly exciting to produce something this complex, and we’re thrilled to be in business with Matt and Ben, Adaptive and our partners at go90 to do it.”

“We’ve been busy bringing a lot of original content to go90, but to deliver on an original with this level of interactivity for users excites us,” stated Shawn Strickland, head of Product Innovation at Verizon. “Go90 is inherently social and producing content that supports those elements of the platform creates a pairing for something unique.”