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truTV announces new slate of unscripted series programming

By Christopher Rocchio, 03/04/2008 

truTV has announced it has ordered several new unscripted series as part of a recently launched re-branding effort intended to reflect the network's decision to re-focus its primetime programming lineup on "emphasizing real-life stories."

truTV -- which was called Court TV prior to January 1 -- has ordered Black Gold, Man vs. Cartoon, Principal's Office, Rich & Reckless, Crisis Point and Ski Patrol; and is also currently developing Maui Chopper, Driving Me Mad, Sky Racers and One False Move

According to the network, the new shows are all reflect of the "Not Reality. Actuality." tagline its truTV re-branding is centered around.

Black Gold, which is scheduled to premiere this summer, will follow several "wildcatters" -- Texas oil prospectors who race against each other in a potentially life-threatening attempt to strike oil and reap the monetary rewards.  The series is being produced by Original Productions, the same production company behind Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch and The History Channel's Ice Road Truckers reality series.

Man vs. Cartoon is a Mythbusters-like series that will follow a team of scientists, engineers and inventors at New Mexico Tech as they aim to investigate whether gadgets used in cartoons could actually be constructed.  Man vs. Cartoon was created by Worldwide Monkey, who will also executive produce the series with Warner Horizon Television and Craig Piligian.

Principal's Office will chronicle school administrators as they deal with students who violate the rules, and the conflicts that ensue as a result.  The tentatively-titled series is being produced by Leftfield Productions.

Investigative journalist Mark Ebner will be at the center of Rich & Reckless, which will take viewers inside the lives of wealthy youth who flaunt their privileged lifestyles in the face of the law.  The tentatively-titled series is being produced by Left/Right Productions.

Crisis Point will take viewers into life-threatening situations from the perspective of those who actually survived them, and will include recreations and actual footage designed to capture the survivors' experiences.  The tentatively-titled series is being produced by Nash Entertainment.

Ski Patrol, a Beach Patrol-like show that will document dramatic rescues on dangerous ski slopes, will feature individual episodes that will be separately produced by The Real World producers Bunim/Murray Productions and Trick My Truck producers Varuna Entertainment.

In addition to the six shows that it has ordered, truTV is also developing Maui Chopper, which will chronicle rescue helicopter pilots working in Maui; Driving Me Mad, which will follow driving expert Pete Hosmer as he educates problematic and dangerous drivers; Sky Racers, which will document the work of Los Angeles-area news chopper pilot Desiree Horton; and One False Move, which will follow people whose jobs constantly put them on a collision course with danger.

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