Now we know how some very physically fit people will be celebrating the end of the coronavirus quarantine: TBS has ordered a 20-episode revival of the game show “Wipeout,” the network announced Wednesday.
The original series, which aired on ABC from 2008-2014, featured contestants competing against each other in what was billed as the world’s largest obstacle course. The show celebrated athletic achievement but also reveled in the comedic possibilities of failure as contestants navigated events like “Sucker Punch,” the “Sweeper,” the “Dreadmill” or the show’s most well known obstacle, “Big Balls.”
The TBS revival will update the premise with new obstacles and changes to the basic format, with games consisting of three rounds, and a new, three-stage obstacle course consisting of multiple strategy and decision points. But fans of the original series can relax, as “Big Balls,” giant red spheres positioned on tall polls that contestants must run across, will be returning.
“Wipeout” was a big hit when it debuted in 2008 and inspired spinoffs and adaptations in more than 30 global territories including Argentina, Australia and the U.K.
Series creator Matt Kunitz is returning to executive produce the revival and serve as showrunner. Endemol Shine North America is producing, with Sharon Levy, DJ Nurre, Shyam Balsé and Kevin Wehrenberg also serving as executive producers.
“In my many years of producing, ‘Wipeout’ remains my all-time favorite,” Kunitz said in a statement. “I am thrilled that it is returning more competitive than ever, while continuing to provide hilarious wipeouts. ‘Wipeout’ is a rare show loved by both kids and adults, a true co-viewing experience. With a strong focus on comedy, there is no better network for ‘Wipeout’s ‘return than TBS.”
“I cannot think of a better tent pole program than ‘Wipeout’ as we take our unscripted programming to the next level under Corie Henson, EVP and head of unscripted programming for TBS, TNT and truTV,” said Kevin Reilly, Chief Content Officer at HBO Max and president of TNT, TBS, and truTV. “This is a big show for the whole family and we have some big ideas to infuse real drama and new twists into the fun.”