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CBS' 'Race,' 'Brother' Set for Season 5
Tue September 30, 2003 04:46 AM ET
By Nellie Andreeva
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - CBS has picked up fifth installments of the reality series "Big Brother" and "The Amazing Race."
Meanwhile, NBC has ordered additional episodes of its summer reality series "The Restaurant" targeted for late midseason.
The Julie Chen-hosted "Big Brother" is set to return in summer 2004, while "The Amazing Race," which won an Emmy this month for best reality/competition program, has received a 13-episode order for midseason or summer.
Discussions are underway about the Simon Cowell-produced series "Cupid," but there is no decision yet whether the dating show will return, said Ghen Maynard, head of CBS' alternative programming department. Maynard said.
"Amazing Race" has already started casting for its fifth edition, which will feature two-person teams trotting the globe for a $1 million prize. Executive producer Bertram van Munster declined to reveal any details about the "drastic changes" he said the producers are making to keep the series fresh, but promised that the show's regular viewers "are going to be in for a big surprise."
Casting on "Big Brother" is scheduled to begin in February. The show is coming off its most successful season to date, averaging 8.8 million viewers.
As for "The Restaurant," it has not been decided yet if chef Rocco DiSpirito will continue to be at the center of the show.
"We're either going to continue working with Rocco -- and there are incredible story lines that haven't yet been dealt with -- or we're going to launch a new 'Restaurant' with a new chef, and we might even do both," said Ben Silverman, who is producing with Mark Burnett ("Survivor").
In addition to "The Restaurant," the two producers also are working on an NBC reality show that will have "similar kind of storytelling in a different arena," Silverman said.
No decision has been made yet about the new project's setting, but sources indicated that a casino is among the options being considered.
After the previous three installments of "Big Brother" that Arnold Shapiro and Allison Grodner executive produced were picked up the following February, just as the show had to start casting, "to be told five days after the last telecast (of the fourth season) that we are picked up for 'Big Brother 5' was a big relief," Shapiro said. "Allison and I are truly excited that there is going to be a 'Big Brother 5,' we're truly happy to be executive producing it again, and we're eager to throw our creativity into full gear to see what we come up with next."
"We're incredibly thrilled that we got picked up again," said
Van Munster is executive producing "Amazing Race" with Jerry Bruckheimer and Jonathan Littman for Bruckheimer Films, Earthview and Touchstone TV