Disney’s Buena Vista Productions (BVP) has partnered with Fujisankei Communications International to develop and produce the hit Japanese reality game show, Run for Money, for the U.S. and international markets.
BVP has hired reality entertainment veteran Scott Messick as executive producer and will shop the one-hour series, which will be packaged as a series of specials or as a weekly, to broadcast and cable networks. Disney’s ABC will be the first stop for the program.
Internationally, Buena Vista International Television will license Run for Money outside of the U.S.
“The current marketplace calls for shows that will be talked about, and Run for Money makes a lot of noise,” said Gwynne Thomas, executive VP of BVP.“It is a huge spectacle in a high-energy environment with lots at stake.We are always looking for long-living franchises, and believe Run for Money will be just that.”
The game show, originally broadcast on Fuji Television in Japan, is described as “a high-tech game of hide-and-seek, featuring celebrities on the run from a pack of menacing ‘hunters.’”
Broadcast in Japan in 2004 and 2006 as a series of late-night, one-hour specials, it became a huge ratings hit there. BVP is hoping it will translate elsewhere and turn into a long-term franchise.
Run for Money “will further strengthen and expand our long-standing relationship with the Disney Media Networks that ranges from ABC News to content deals with ESPN,”said Akifumi Takuma, executive producer for Fujisankei Communications.
Messick serves as president of Mess Media, which is in various stages of production on Pros vs. Joes for Spike TV, Nascar Drivers 360 for FX, Madden Nation for ESPN and Fight Girls, a two-hour reality-film, for Oxygen.
His credits include the 2002/03 Fox series Boot Camp and Bachelorettes in Alaska.He also served as director and supervising producer of the inaugural season of Survivor.