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CBS to premiere 'Bachelor' creator Mike Fleiss' 'The Will' series on January 8


By Reality TV World staff, 12/07/2004 

CBS has announced that The Will, a new reality series from Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss, will premiere on Saturday, January 8 at 8PM ET/PT.

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Originally announced in Fall 2002 and in development for more than two years (something that rarely bodes well for a television project), The Will was initially intended for broadcast on ABC. After ABC failed to go forward with the project, CBS announced in February 2004 that it had begun casting for the series.

Based on a concept similar to The Family reality series that drew poor ratings when broadcast by ABC in 2003, The Will will feature the friends and family of a "wealthy patriarch" competing for what CBS describes as a "large portion" of his estate.

Competing in a reality elimination show format that sounds remarkable similar to Survivor, The Will's ten potential heirs will battle in both physical and mental challenges that will allow them to earn rewards and stave off elimination. The six episode series will end with the last remaining contestant winning the inheritance, as well as what we're sure is the equally coveted title of "most deserving heir."

Calling the show "reality TV meets Dynasty" and seemingly taking a shot at the fabricated drama of his own Bachelor franchise, Fleiss told Daily Variety that "The tone [of the show] will be dead serious." "This is a serious, life-changing event. The bottom line is, you're going to see some guy who hates Uncle Charlie take Uncle Charlie out of the competition. And that's going to be a lot sweeter than even a rose ceremony, where everyone's only known each other for a few weeks."

Despite Fleiss' enthusiastic comments, CBS doesn't appear to be as excited about the series. Seemingly viewing the program as little more than inexpensive original programming filler, the network has scheduled the program for the television wasteland known Saturday nights, where it will fill the time period previously intended for The Amazing Race and serve as a lead-in to repeat broadcasts of CBS's popular procedural dramas.

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