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MTV to Revive Reality Series ‘Fear Factor’

Variety logo Variety 4/12/2017 Cynthia Littleton
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MTV is reviving the reality franchise “Fear Factor” for a new generation.

The Viacom cabler has ordered new episodes of the series from Endemol Shine North America. Rap star Ludacris is set to host. The series that challenges contestants to face extreme physical and mental trials is expected to bow in late May.

The move is consistent with the plan outlined by Viacom brass to focus on high-profile unscripted programs on MTV rather scripted series. Ludacris adds a music-related element that MTV is also aiming for in its original series.

Based on a Dutch format, “Fear Factor” was an unscripted hit for NBC from 2001 to 2006. It was often bashed by critics as an example of reality TV’s gross-out extremes. NBC revived the title as a series of specials in 2011.

Joe Rogan hosted the original NBC series.

The return of “Fear Factor” is also in keeping with the trend of reality TV revivals that has swept across cable.

MTV and Endemol Shine declined to comment.

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