NBC has announced that it's new unscripted drama “Race to the Altar” is set to begin production, Sunday, May 4, 2003. Broadcaster and model Lisa Dergan has signed on to host the eight episode series in which eight engaged couples compete in a series of mental and physical challenges designed to test the strength of their relationship. Renowned event designer Colin Cowie will lend his expertise and style to the series, planning the live fantasy wedding that will be awarded as the Grand Prize to the winning couple in the final episode.

Debuting later this summer, “Race to the Altar” will put competing couples through elaborate physical competitions and smaller non-physical games that force them to work together as a team. At the end of each episode, one couple will be eliminated until the season finale when the last remaining couple wins a dream wedding of a lifetime broadcast live on NBC.

“The concept of reality matchmaking is proven to be a popular one. We’re taking the idea a step further by starting with couples who are already engaged and putting their existing relationships to the test,” said executive producer Robert Horowitz. “It’s a great time not only for the couples competing, but also for the viewers at home who get the ultimate pay-off when they witness the couple’s wedding in the final episode.”

Raised in Southern California, Dergan, a longtime golfer and mainstay on the Celebrity Players Tour, is a seasoned broadcast professional. As an anchor/reporter for Fox Sports Net, she has covered such events as the Kentucky Derby, NHL All-Star Game, major PGA Tournaments, NBA Lakers Basketball games and the Indy 500. She began her broadcasting career in 2001, working alongside future Hall of Fame Sportscaster Jim Hill on the weekend Los Angeles sports program “Sports Central.” A former Guess Girl, Dergan has also appeared in national TV commercials for Bud Light.

Colin Cowie is widely regarded as the premier event planner and wedding expert in the world. As founder of Colin Cowie Lifestyles (CCL), he designs and produces weddings, parties and charity events throughout the United States and Europe. He has planned many celebrity weddings, including those of Jerry Seinfeld, Kelsey Grammer (NBC’s “Frasier”), Paula Abdul, Hugh Hefner and Lisa Kudrow (NBC’s “Friends”). The author of several books, Cowie made his television debut in 1998 with the cable style show “Everyday Elegance with Colin Cowie.” Credited with designing four collections of china, silverware and glassware for Lenox China, he is now the company’s national spokesman as well as a contributing editor for InStyle Magazine. '

“We are thrilled to have Lisa and Colin on board,” stated executive producer Eric Schotz. “While Lisa brings the experience and credibility of covering live-action to our show, Colin’s unparalleled contributions will make the grand prize wedding an event that no one will forget.”

“Race to the Altar” will be eight one-hour episodes airing in primetime on NBC beginning this summer. “Race to the Altar” is a production of NBC Studios, TWI and LMNO Productions with Robert Horowitz, Eric Schotz and Bill Paolantonio serving as executive producers.