Much like the thought of eating a thousand-year-old egg to win a large sum of money, I’m both terrified and excited by this news. According to EW, NBC is bringing back its old reality staple, Fear Factor.
That’s right, the competition where people were forced to engage in horrifying and disgusting challenges to win $50,000 is coming back to the air after a five-year absence. NBC’s head of alternative programming, Paul Telegdy, said the show, which premiered 10 years ago, has been receiving strong ratings with reruns on Chiller (that’s a horror-based TV network) and decided to try to reboot it.
They’ve already brought in the show’s original executive producer, Matt Kunitz (who has also done Wipeout), but there’s no word yet on whether host Joe Rogan will come back.
If the new Fear Factor wants to be a hit, they NEED to get Rogan back. His cocky machismo and love of the challenges helped sell the attitude of the series. This wasn’t some silly reality show that was a little dangerous, it was a full-fledged disgusting display of horror. The contestants were forced to eat disgusting things and lie in bathtubs full of snakes and bugs.
But it was never the challenges or the contestants that made Fear Factor a hit, it was Joe Rogan. He provided a voice for America, laughing over the awful and disturbing things they were making the contestants do. But most importantly, Joe Rogan also seemed like the kind of guy who was just crazy enough to do some of the stuff himself. He wasn’t scared or afraid, he was just amused and encouraged contestants to overcome their fears.
Bringing back Fear Factor may seem silly, but for NBC, it could be the smartest move the network could make. NBC’s biggest successes come from reality shows like The Voice, America’s Got Talent and The Biggest Loser. Building up that reality base is important, and Fear Factor is one of those shows that can brilliantly slide into any open spot on a schedule. It can air during the regular TV season or over the summer, it can air Mondays at 8pm or Fridays at 10pm. Fear Factor is the perfect show for NBC, and as long as they keep the show disgusting, people will definitely watch.
(Image courtesy of NBC)