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ABC makes it official, announces 'Wipeout' second season renewal


By Christopher Rocchio, 08/07/2008 

Three weeks after ABC Entertainment president Stephen McPherson admitted the show's renewal was a sure thing, the network has formally announced it's renewed Wipeout for a second season.

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Wipeout premiered in June and has averaged 10.2 million total viewers over its first six broadcasts and currently ranks as the summer's No. 2 show among both total viewers and the Adults 18-49 demographic, trailing only NBC's America's Got Talent and Fox's Hell's Kitchen respectively.

In addition, Wipeout is the highest-rated debut summer series on any network among Adults 18-49 since Dancing with the Stars' first season in 2005.

However, despite the show's ratings success, current indications are that ABC plans on waiting until next summer to air Wipeout's second season.

Last month, McPherson told reporters attending the Television Critics Association summer press tour there was "no question" the network -- which has struggled with summer programming in recent years -- planned to renew Wipeout but explained he'd like it to become a summer stalwart.

"I'd love to have a summer asset... a show that comes back in the summer the way CBS has Big Brother," said McPherson, according to TV Week.

"We'll have to see how the schedule lays out this year and where it goes. But I think we all have to try to resist the temptation to just burn things out."

ABC has reportedly ordered 16 second-season Wipeout episodes, an increase over the first season's 11-episode order.

Each one-hour episode of Wipeout follows 24 contestants as they attempt to make their way through an obstacle course "designed to provide the most crashes, face plants, impacts and wipe outs ever seen on television," according to ABC.  After four rounds of eliminations, last remaining contestant wins a $50,000 prize.

Wipeout is produced by Endemol USA, with Matt Kunitz serving as executive producer.

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