Before he created Survivor, Mark Burnett was the creator and Executive Producer of Eco-Challenge. A fascinating show that dared teams to compete in a 300 mile race across seriously rugged terrain in often impossible conditions. For my money, this was the reality race show that started them all. Each team was composed of a mandatory mix of both men and women who were challenged to keep moving 24 hours a day – walking, canoeing, kayaking, scuba diving and the like. They were further challenged to leave each ‘pit stop’ free of any debris, the same as they found it, in an effort to safe guard the environment. No small feat when you’re drop dead exhausted, can’t see straight, been trekking through goodness knows what non-stop, and you really could care less if you’ve left a piece of plastic wrap on the ground…. But no, those were the rules.
Each year I was glued to the broadcast of this epic race and rather dismayed when this challenge came to an end. Well, I’m happy to say, Mr. Burnett is back with a new show in the style that first catapulted him onto the reality scene. Beginning May 31st on the History Channel his new 8-Part series EXPEDITION AFRICA: STANLEY & LIVINGSTONE will premiere at 10PM ET.
The four elite modern-day explorers in EXPEDITION relive Stanley’s perilous journey to find Dr. Stanley Livingstone. They are: navigator Pasquale Scaturro, wildlife expert Mireya Mayor, survivalist Benedict Allen, and journalist Kevin Sites. Together, they will confront obstacles and dangers similar to those encountered by the great explorers before them.
I think the operative words here are ‘dangers’ and ‘obstacles’. I for one will be tuning in to see what I believe will be Mr. Burnett’s return to compelling reality TV storytelling.