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Sci Fi orders new 'Cash or Capture' and 'Estate of Panic' reality series


By Christopher Rocchio, 07/22/2008 

Sci Fi Channel has announced its ordered six one-hour episodes of both Cash or Capture and Estate of Panic, two new reality competition series that the network currently plans to premiere in November.

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Each episode of Cash or Capture will be filmed over the course of exactly 60 minutes and take place in different "landmark locations" in major cities across America.  

The fugitive-style reality competition series will follow several contestants as they attempt to earn cash and prizes while trying to avoid a group of "Hunters" who are trying to eliminate them from the game.

During the course of the each episode, the contestants will be tasked with having to complete various tasks.  However their efforts will be hindered by a group of "Hunters," who will increase in numbers as the game's clock continues to countdown. When the hour ends, only one player will "survive" to win the episode's undisclosed prize.

Sci Fi Channel began developing Cash or Capture under the title Run for Money last July and was originally scheduled to air as part of the network's 2007-2008 original programming schedule.

The series has obvious similarities to ABC's never-produced The Runner 2001 reality series and Stephen King's 1982 "The Running Man" novel (which later became a 1987 film of the same name that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger). 

However despite the similarities, Sci Fi Channel is basing Cash or Capture's format on a Japanese program that aired as a series of late-night specials on Fuji Television in 2004 and 2006. 

Cash or Capture is executive produced by Rick Telles, Disney's Buena Vista Productions and Fujisankei Communications International.

Each episode of Estate of Panic will follow seven strangers who are invited to a massive estate to search for "large quantities of cash" hidden somewhere on the property.

The contestants will also have to overcome three separate challenges that await them in the estate, and after each challenge, two of the strangers are eliminated and whatever loot they had found up until that point is added to the grand-prize pot.  The last contestant standing will walk away with the pot.

Estate of Panic is being produced by Endemol USA -- the same company that used to produce Fear Factor for NBC -- with Richard Hall serving as executive producer.

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