ABC Digs in with More 'Mole'
Aug 20 2002 4:02AM
HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - "The Mole" is sneaking back onto the ABC schedule.
The network has given series producer Stone Stanley Entertainment the go-ahead to begin casting and pre-production on both a celebrity edition and a third regular-people edition of the whodunit reality show, which just wrapped a successful summer run.
It's a major victory for the show, which was barely clinging to life in the fall after "Mole 2" fell victim to ABC's overall ratings collapse and had to be shelved for nearly nine months.
The celeb edition of "The Mole" will unfold over six weeks and would likely air in January or March of next year; the regular version would air over nine weeks next summer.
While the celeb edition has been given a firm greenlight, ABC and Stone Stanley are still in negotiations on the civilian arc, though a deal is considered likely.
Despite airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. opposite Fox's mega-smash "American Idol," "Mole 2" still managed to do solid Nielsen numbers with younger viewers. Among viewers 18-34, it was ABC's top-rated series of the summer.
The celeb edition will be filmed in a week or 10 days, with participants playing for charity. The rules of the game will be rejiggered to ensure all celebs get a chance to earn coin for their causes. Casting for both editions will begin any day now; offers are already out to several celebs.
Still undetermined is whether host Anderson Cooper will be back. Cooper is currently anchoring for CNN.