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TNT gave unscripted TV a chance this summer with its first reality competition series The Great Escape, a series that put contestants into their own action/adventure movie as they were teamed up and set to perform various physical and mental challenges in some undisclosed designated location. Nine episodes of the series aired this summer and it looks like those will be the last, as TNT has decided to cancel the show.
TV Guide reported the news this week that TNT has decided to cancel the show as opposed to ordering a second season. The 9-episode first season premiere June 24 on TNT. Reality shows are plentiful during the summer though, and perhaps The Great Escape got lost in the shuffle, as it premiered to an audience of 1.6 million and closed out its season with just 873,000 viewers turning in for the finale. When people don't tune in for the last episode to see who wins, it's evident the show's not working.
The Great Escape came from The Amazing Race executive producers Bertram van Munster and Elis Doganieri. The series had a format similar to TAR in the way it featured teams of two and pit them against one another in exciting challenges that had them visiting different locations (Alcatraz, the USS Hornet, a Titan Missile silo, etc). It sounds like a fun show, but TNT's better known for dramas, and a show like this isn't likely to take off unless there's a lot of word of mouth generating some buzz. That didn't happen, and instead of the ratings climbing over the summer, the viewership fizzled. But maybe they'll have better luck with their next reality TV endeavor.
As TV Guide points out, TNT has more unscripted programming in the works, including the 8-episode police docudrama Boston Blue (executive produced by Donnie Wahlberg) and a competition series called 72 Hours. And auditions are about to begin for their upcoming reality competition series The Hero.