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Discovery Orders Shows Inspired by ‘Dirty Jobs’ Format

Aug 28, 2006  •  Post A Comment

It seems misery really does love company.

Inspired by the success of its breakout hit “Dirty Jobs,” Discovery has ordered two new shows in which an Everyman host gets his hands dirty exploring tough occupations.

“Risk Factor” will look at the world’s most dangerous jobs, while “Big Machines” will explore giant machinery and the workers who operate it.

Both are from “Jobs” executive producer Craig Piligian.

“It just sort of evolved,” Mr. Piligian said. “They use a single-host immersion,” he said. “[The host] takes the viewer into an arena they would never normally see, from a relatable perspective.”

Discovery has ordered six one-hour episodes for each series, with an eye toward premiering them early next year. Jeff Hasler, VP of development for Discovery, said the shows are designed to stand on their own and should not be considered “Jobs” sequels.

“These two shows are designed to appeal to the same psychographic profile as ‘Jobs,’ but exploring different subject matter,” he said. “Our goal is to make these shows very different. ‘Jobs’ is a fantastic show, but we don’t want to dilute that brand.”

The names of the hosts are not yet available, but Mr. Piligian said that both are relative unknowns who have expertise in the show’s subject matter, like “Jobs” host Mike Rowe prior to landing his show.

Both shows will be shot in high definition, making them available for Discovery HD Theater. “Jobs” is also getting an HD upgrade next season, Mr. Hasler said.

Discovery has also ordered a new series called “Man vs. Wild,” which will abandon survivalist Bear Grylls in various extreme environments. The series will be part of a Friday “Survivor Night” block that will include current series “I Should Not Be Alive” and “Survivor Man.”

“Jobs” episode premieres have averaged 1.7 million viewers for Discovery, according to Nielsen Media Research. Along with the similarly job-themed hit “Deadliest Catch,” the shows have helped buoy the network this summer.