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Exclusive: Mark Burnett Sells NBC ‘Amnesia’

Aug 19, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Mark BurnettReality titan Mark Burnett has sold a new quiz show, “Amnesia,” to NBC.
The series — technically titled “Amne$ia” — will test contestants’ memories of their lives by asking about key events from the past. Producers will talk to contestants’ friends, family, teachers and others to research questions for the show.
The network has ordered an undisclosed number of episodes of the program, which is scheduled for midseason, according to people familiar with the transaction. Financial details of the deal were unavailable and NBC and Mr. Burnett declined to comment.
The deal follows up on Mr. Burnett’s quiz-show success with “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader,” which debuted to record-setting ratings on Fox last spring.
For Mr. Burnett, who’s known for ambitious reality productions such as “Survivor” and “The Apprentice,” “5th Grader” provided a best-of-all-worlds success: a hit that’s simple and inexpensive to produce, yet translates to other cultures. International distributor Reveille has sold “5th Grader” in about 50 territories worldwide.
Mr. Burnett’s non-quiz efforts have struggled of late, however, along with most new reality shows launched this summer. ESPN renewed Mr. Burnett’s boxing show, “The Contender,” for a third season last week. But CBS canceled the producer’s reality-adventure series “Pirate Master” and his “On the Lot” show-business reality program on Fox has earned low ratings and is not expected to return.
“Amnesia” marks the second deal between recently hired NBC Co-Chairman Ben Silverman and Mr. Burnett. Last month at the Television Critics Association press tour, Mr. Silverman announced a celebrity edition of Mr. Burnett’s “The Apprentice” scheduled for next year. The Burnett projects join paranormal reality series “Phenomenon” another unscripted NBC program Mr. Silverman has on tap for midseason.
NBC reinvigorated the broadcast game show with “Deal” in 2005, but most network attempts to duplicate that program’s success have fallen short. When “5th Grader” broke out, networks embarked on a fresh flurry of dealmaking.
The “Amnesia” format could inspire comparisons to Fox’s recently announced quiz show “Nothing But the Truth,” where contestants are asked questions about themselves — though the Fox show hooks up its contestants to a lie detector machine.
NBC also recently clashed with Fox over dueling musical reality shows, with NBC’s “The Singing Bee” and Fox’s “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” launching the same week.
With “Truth” airing this fall and “Amnesia” planned for midseason, another “Bee” vs. “Lyrics”-style showdown appears unlikely, and the formats almost certainly will have different sensibilities.
Correction made to “The Singing Bee” ratings information at 11:31 pm.

14 Comments

  1. AWESOME!

  2. Hello – I wanted to see if I could get my girlfriend, Kelli Christensen on this show. She has a great memory and would be awesome for this program. Please contact me and let me know what I need to do.

  3. This is quite possibly the worst show on tv right now. Please get rid of it and bring back Las Vegas. NBC used to have a great Friday night list of shows, but now it is absolutely horrible.

  4. What a great new show!! Quite refreshing! Wonderful to watch!! How nice to have something other than depressing stuff like Ghost Whisperer and What Not To Wear on Friday nights. The one on at the same time ..Jeezebel? is good too. Can we keep those shows or will they go by the way side decided by the powers that be? Get rid of that Who wants to be a millionare…really stale now…Keep this one, it’s a HIT!

  5. I love this show !! Esecially when they make the contestant eat stuff to try and pick their mother’s recipe. Too funny !!!

  6. Dennis Miller is what’s making this show a looser just like he is. I think the producer was on crack when he decided to put that idiot, lame joke teller, looser Miller as a host. I would like to be a contestant on this show so I can really knock his teeth out as soon as he opens his mouth.

  7. Used to have such great shows but replacing any show with this amnesia crap is what makes other networks better. Are you deliberately trying to get lower ratings?

  8. You know there’s a slight chance you can save this show if you act quickly…
    Just get rid of Dennis Miller. Absolutely not show host material.

  9. My husband and I can hardly wait for Friday night to come around to see Amnesia. We play Amnesia in the car and have a good laugh. I was married for 26 yrs. when my first husband suddenly passed away, never thinking I would marry again I met my second Mr. wonderful and this July we will be married 14 years (we’ll be 65 this year) Oh! how we would love to be on the show, we enjoy life, people, and praise Dennis Miller for being the host, his personality is outstandig. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but we think that “Amnesia” is one of the greatest shows and it’s a night for a good laugh….if it upsets you, DON’T WATCH”

  10. This game show is the best in a long time. I usually find myself fast forwarding through the host talking on most game shows but not Amnesia because Dennis Miller makes us laugh over and over again. He is a terrific host and the show wouldn’t be the same without him.

  11. As long as Dennis (fox news butt kisser) is hosting this show, I will never watch it. Why in the hell did they choose this guy. He has not personality is not an asset to the shwo.

  12. would like to become contestant? Process? Great show and I would love to make some of that fast cash.

  13. How could I get a chance to be a contestant, the show is fantastic!

  14. How could I get a chance to be a contestant, the show is fantastic!

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