MTV has greenlit FremantleMedia North America’s “The Phone,” executive produced by Justin Timberlake, it was announced yesterday at MTV Networks’ 2008 Upfront presentation, “The Ultimate ROI: Return On Innovation” in New York City. “The Phone” is scheduled to premiere fall 2008.
A groundbreaking reality game show based on the Dutch format by Park Lane Productions, “The Phone” takes viewers on a wild, cinematic ‘run for your money’ ride as contestants go on a no-holds-barred race against time. Reminiscent of films like “Bourne Identity” and “The Game,” two contestants will join forces and hit the ground running for their chance to win a huge cash prize.
“Genre-busting and reinvention is at the core of what we do, and ‘The Phone’ does just that. We’re turning the reality competition format on its head and plunging the contestants into a real life ‘Bourne Identity’ -- not just in the tone and creative, but also in terms of the visual style and pacing. Each week will be an action packed mini-movie. When you watch, your heart will pound as hard as the contestants. This is Popcorn TV!” said Tony Disanto, Executive Vice President, Programming and Series Development.
“‘The Phone’ is an exciting, innovative reality game that will make the viewer feel they’re part of an espionage thriller that is gripping to the very end," says Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of FremantleMedia North America. “We're thrilled to be working with Justin Timberlake on such a ground-breaking project that is certain to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.”
Each heart-pounding, non-stop, action-packed episode of “The Phone” begins with two strategically hidden cell phones ringing at opposite ends of a major metropolitan city. Once answered, a mysterious guide gives contestants five seconds to concede whether or not they wish to play the game for a chance of winning a huge cash prize. Once accepted, the competition begins, throwing the two contestants into a collaborative cliff-hanging race against time and odds to accomplish their given mission. The guide will communicate with the contestants via cell phones as a helicopter in the sky tracks their every move, exploit and error – with each failed task chipping away at their coveted cash prize.