In a bold step forward for unscripted programming, it has found its way into … scripted programming. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that NBC has announced plans for “Siberia,” a scripted drama about contestants in a reality show.
The network plans to launch the summer series July 1 at 10 p.m.
Said Jeff Bader, president of program planning, strategy and research for NBC Entertainment: “The concept of survival, when mysterious elements are at play, makes for a compelling show. We believe a scripted series that offers an insightful behind-the-scenes view of how a reality concept comes together — especially when things don’t go according to plan — will connect with our audience in a very satisfying way.”
THR adds: “’Siberia’ takes place more than 100 years after a meteor hits the remote Siberian territory of Tunguska in 1908. Sixteen contestants descend on Tunguska not knowing the land’s mysterious past. When a contestant is badly injured and no help arrives, the contestants realize that strange occurrences are not part of the reality show. With their safety threatened, contestants [are] forced to work together to survive.”
The program comes from Infinity Films with Sierra/Engine Television and Welldone Productions. Matthew Arnold is the show creator, and Michael Ohove, Slava Jakovleff and Chris Philip are executive producers.
The report notes: “’Siberia’ marks the latest scripted push for summer as the Big Four broadcast networks look to keep the lights on following last year’s disappointing unscripted slate. NBC has ‘Camp’ and drama ‘Crossing Lines,’ while CBS is going big with ‘Under the Dome’ and the second run of ‘Unforgettable.’”