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The show is also known as Winter Wipeout, Spring Wipeout, Summer Wipeout, and Winter Wipeout: Deck the Balls
Genre: Sports Entertainment Comedy
Format: Game Show
Created by: Matt Kunitz and Scott Larsen
Directed by: J. Rupert Thompson
Presented by: John Anderson (since 2008), John Henson (since 2008), Jill Wagner (2008-2011, since 2013), Vanessa Lachey (2011-2012)
Country of origin: United States
No. of seasons: 5
No. of episodes: 97 (List of episodes)
Executiveproducer(s): Matt Kunitz and Scott Larsen
Producer(s): Heather Finnegan, Sean Jennings, Eric Timm
Running time: 60 minutes
Production company(s): Endemol USA Pulse Creative
Original channel: ABC
Picture format: 480i (4:3 SDTV) (2008), 720p (16:9 HDTV) (2009–present)
Original run: June 28, 2008 - present
Wipeout is a reality game show series in which contestants compete in what is billed as the "world's largestobstacle course".Wipeout is hosted and commentated by John Henson andJohn Anderson, whileVanessa Lachey acts as the "on-location" presenter. The former presenter wasJill Wagner, but it is said that Jill is returning to Wipeout in Season 6. The creators and executive producers areMatt Kunitzand Scott Larsen. Distribution of the show is handled byEndemol USA. The show is taped at Sable Ranch inCanyon Country, Santa Clarita, California, about 40 miles north of Los Angeles (Google Map). The show holds a "TV-PG L" rating for mild language by participants and some crude humor. Syndicated reruns of Wipeout are airing on truTV, and TBS
The series premiered on June 24, 2008, onABC. After the Pilot was shot, co-hostElon Gold was replaced. Producers called in Michael Glazer to find a "comic host replacement" that eventually went toJohn Henson. The first series success spawned a series of international versions of Wipeout, debuting in countries including Great Britain and Argentina in January 2009.
On December 8, 2008, ABC announced plans to counter-program NBC's Super Bowl game-day telecasts with a sports-star-studded episode of Wipeout, entitled "Wipeout Bowl". The episode was broadcast immediately following the game. The episode featured female cheerleaders competing against male "couch potato" sports fans. During the hour long special, Monica Kauffman became the show's first female competitor to win. Following the episode, an announcement was made that a second season had been commissioned, and a promo for the season was subsequently broadcast.
The second season was broadcast during the summer of 2009. According to TV Week, in 2009 Wipeout became the third most popular game show in the world, based on ratings. On July 22, 2009, Wipeout was renewed for a third season, of which filming began in September 2009. On January 11, 2010,Entertainment Weekly crowned Wipeout the winner of the Guilty Pleasures Reality TV Showdown.
In February 2010, Wipeout was nominated for the 2010 Kids Choice Awards for favorite reality series.
The third season of the show premiered on June 22, 2010, with a special two hour "Blind Date" episode preluding the series on June 1.ABC subsequently announced that other themed episodes would appear in Season 3, including episodes featuring Ladies only and Families. The third season Finale aired on September 14, 2010, with a special America's Finest Edition, featuring some of America's heroes, including firefighters and policemen.
On August 15, 2010, ABC announced that the show had been contracted for a fourth season. The announcement added: "Wipeout has the distinction of being the only broadcast reality series launched in recent years that has demonstrated proven staying power." On October 13, 2010, ABC announced plans that the fourth season would be split into three sections - Winter, Spring, and Summer; with a total of 32 episodes: 8 Winter Episodes, 7 Spring Episodes and 17 Summer Episodes. The fourth season premiered on January 6, 2011.
In February 2011, Wipeout was nominated for the Kids' Choice Awards for favorite reality show. On June 29, 2011, Wipeoutwas a Teen Choice Award nominee.
On June 16, 2011, ABC announced that the show had been renewed for a fifth season, and that Vanessa Lachey would replace co-host Jill Wagner on the show. New episodes ofWinter Wipeout began on December 8, 2011 with a Christmas special episode, entitled Winter Wipeout: Deck the Balls.
On February 16, 2012, Wipeout was again nominated for Favorite Reality Show in the 2012 Kids' Choice Awards. On the March 31, 2012 broadcast, Wipeout won the award for the first time, dethroning American Idol which had won the category every time since its inception. Over 220 million votes were cast.
On August 29, 2012, Wipeout was picked up for a sixth season. In addition, it was announced that former co-host Jill Wagner would be returning to the series after a season long absence.
On August 30, 2012, Activision released the mobile App Wipeout game for iOS. It quickly became the top selling App in the App Store.
On its premiere night, Wipeout scored the highest premiere rating of any new show in summer 2008, besting competing veteran summer shows Hell's Kitchen and America's Got Talent. As the season progressed, Nielsen Media Researchput it at the top of the 18-49 demographic, slightly outpaced byAmerica's Got Talent. On August 6, 2008, Wipeout was officially renewed for a second season. The second season premiered on May 27, 2009, and with an audience of 9.69 million, Wipeoutbested its first season average and gave ABC its best numbers in the Wednesdays-at-8 slot since November 2007. The third season premiered on June 22, 2010, with ratings of 10.21 million, with a special "Blind Date" episode getting 12.8 million viewers on June 1, 2010. On January 6, 2011, the first season of Winter Wipeout premiered with the series's highest ratings ever, beating the 8pm competition in the coveted 18-49 demographic and many other key demos.
The concept and style of the show has been compared to several Japanese game shows, most notably Sasuke andTakeshi's Castle. This was brought to the attention of the Japanese broadcaster Tokyo Broadcasting System, who filed acopyright infringement lawsuit against ABC, charging thatWipeout is "a blatant copycat" of several of its classic Japanese competition game shows. Among the charges are that ABC bought search terms such as MXC (the Americanized comedy version of Takeshi's Castle) on Google to help drive traffic to the official Wipeout page, and that specific obstacles in Wipeoutwere knock-offs of challenges in those Japanese game shows. Wipeout creator and executive producer Matt Kunitz, who also executive produced Endemol's Fear Factor (NBC), said that Wipeout is "90% Fear Factor-inspired, 10% Japanese game show". He also said, in a Los Angeles Times interview, that Wipeout was born from a desire to do a funny stunt series. He reportedly wanted to sell the show as Fear Factor meetsAmerica's Funniest Home Videos. (For its first two seasons, the series was paired with I Survived a Japanese Game Show, a series in which American contestants participated in a mock Japanese game show.)
Wipeout The Game
Wipeout has also been adapted into a video game, Wipeout: The Game, which was released June 22, 2010, along with the Season 3 premiere. The game was released on the NintendoWii and Nintendo DS, and was developed by Activision. In the game, the player can choose from 23 different characters. There are four categories of characters, with each category having a certain amount of "Speed" and "Strength" for the player, which varies based on their body sizes. The "Small" characters have great Speed but little Strength. The "Medium" characters have a more balanced amount of Speed and Strength, with neither one serving as the dominant trait. And the "Large" characters have great Strength but little Speed. These first three categories all have 6 different characters each; 3 females and 3 males, and each character having 3 different outfits. The fourth category is "Special," which has a high amount of Speed and Strength. There are 5 characters in this category, including the three hosts. The game is played in two different versions. Challenge mode is where the player can challenge specific obstacles and attempt to beat them in a certain amount of time. The other is Play The Show, which means to play the game as they would in the show. They go through the Qualifier round first, and advance to the Sweeper round second. The third round, Free For All, has 3 different versions. In the Easy level, the Free For All features players spinning on the dizzy dummy, and then going across the Tipsy Tables or the Spinning Platform. Challenging level has players on the Unclaimed Baggage, and the Extreme level has them on the Double Crosser. Finally, they go through the Wipeout Zone. The game is different from the show in that there are only 4 contestants, and none are eliminated during the first three rounds. The game has commentary by John Henson, John Anderson and Jill Wagner, all three of whom are featured as unlockable playable characters. Another Wipeout game is under development by Activision, this time for Xbox 360 withKinect, entitled 'Wipeout: In The Zone'. It will take full advantage of the Kinect remote and has ragdoll wipeouts and different rounds from the Wii and DS version, such as Bruiseball. The game was released "in conjunction with the premier of Wipeout's summer season on ABC" on June 16, 2011. Activisionannounced on August 18, 2011 that a direct sequel to the first Wipeout game was in development titled Wipeout 2 for Xbox 360 with Kinect, PlayStation 3, Wii, Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS. The new game is described as "Offering updated, outrageous course designs across all platforms with obstacles and effects taken straight from the show's summer and winter seasons. Players must navigate around snow, ice, foam, and fan-favorite obstacles like the Sucker Punch Wall and Big Balls; which are making their triumphant returns alongside more than 50 others". It was released on October 11, 2011.
Wipeout Canada is a reality television series in which multiple contestants compete in numerous obstacle-based challenges. The series is produced by TVtropolis and premiered on that channel on April 3, 2011. The studio hosts are Jonathan Torrens and Ennis Esmer, with Jessica Phillips as the on-site reporter.
The series follows a similar format to the American version of the game. Twenty contestants (four fewer than the US version), aged 18 years and older, compete in four rounds: "The Qualifier", "The Sweeper", "The Dizzy Dummy", and "The Wipeout Zone". The last contestant standing in the Sweeper Round bypasses the Dizzy Dummy and automatically advances to the Wipeout Zone, unlike the US version where the last contestant standing wins a $1,000 bonus. Four contestants make it to the final round, called the "Wipeout Zone", for the chance to win $50,000.
The Wipeout format is licensed to Lone Eagle Entertainment, an independent production company based in Toronto. The company announced multiple casting calls for English-speaking Canadians over 19 years of age. The application process for season 1 was open from June 2 to July 1, 2010. Out of 44,619 applicants, 260 of them were chosen to be contestants. In October 2010, thirteen one-hour episodes were taped on the Wipeout set in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Despite reports Wipeout Canada has renewed for a second season, no new episodes have been produced.
(Feb. 11, 2013, Monday, 1:51am, 10:42pm, Feb. 12, 2013, Tuesday, 12:40am)