'Survivor' producer Mark Burnett inks two-year deal to develop scripted series for The WB
By Wade Paulsen, 08/12/2003
Right now, Mark Burnett is the unchallenged "king" of high-quality U.S. reality TV production, based on his success with Eco-Challenge, Survivor, and the current The Restaurant. However, his first venture into scripted programming failed to even make the schedule at The WB, one of the weakest of the six U.S. broadcast networks. But, in true Eco-Challenge fashion, Burnett is ready to "try, try again."
Variety (subscription required) and Television Week report that Burnett has inked a two-year deal to develop and produce scripted programming for The WB. The network president stated his confidence that Burnett would "create equally compelling and innovative scripted programming."
We wish Mark Burnett the best of luck in transitioning a portion of his talents to scripted production. However, we would be remiss if we didn't point out that the most successful producer on TV right now, Jerry Bruckheimer, has struggled to find an audience for his reality show The Amazing Race ... and no one else has even attempted the crossover between scripted and unscripted TV. Nevertheless, if someone can do it, our money would be on Mark Burnett.