Wipeout has returned after being away for seven years and has become a smash hit for TBS. The game show features a three-stage obstacle course designed to challenge competitors from all backgrounds and fitness levels. PopCulture.com recently caught up with Wipeout creator and executive producer Matt Kunitz, who revealed why he brought back the show after its original run from 2008 to 2014, originally airing on ABC.
"Wipeout was a show that we always knew it was going to come back," Kunitz said to PopCulture. "It was just a matter of timing. When was going to be the right time? When we originally premiered back in 2008, we were coming right out of the recession, and America was in a slump, just emotionally, and then here comes this big fun, silly show, Wipeout, that you can just bring the whole family together and laugh and have a good time and not have to think about all the stresses of life.
"We had a huge premiere back in 2008, and now, look, what's happening," Kunitz continued. "We're coming out of this slump of COVID. We've been locked in our homes for a year, trying to find ways to entertain ourselves. And it's the perfect time to bring a show like Wipeout back."
Contestants on the show battle the challenging obstacle course that includes the red balls made famous from the original. Each episode starts with 10 teams of two, and at the end of each episode, one team comes away with $25,000. The question is, how can people sign up to be a contestant on Wipeout?
"We are currently casting right now," Kunitz said. "We're hoping that we'll get a season two pickup. Wipeoutcasting.com is open, and we're meeting contestants. And the great thing is, since COVID, you don't even have to come to us. It's a Zoom interview. It's nice and easy. What are we looking for? We're looking for huge personalities, because on our show, unlike a show like Survivor, where, of course, they want big personalities in Survivor too, but on a show like Survivor, the contestant might be on the show for 16 weeks. So you have a lot of time to get to know them."
The episodes airing on TBS were currently filmed this past fall when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak. Kunitz said despite filming the show outside; they made sure the contestants, hosts and crew members stayed safe at all times.0comments
"There were many weeks where we thought we would not be filming in the middle of the pandemic because in order to do it, we had to do it safely, and we had to have permission from LA County," Kunitz said. "We literally spent millions of dollars on COVID safety for one season of the show. And we were able to pull it off and do it in a way that when you watch the show as a viewer, you will have no idea that you're watching a show shot in the middle of COVID.
"We were the largest production in all of LA, which would probably be the largest production in the world because this is Hollywood and over 300 people out there," Kuntiz continued. "The great benefit that we had that many productions didn't have is that we shoot 100% outside. As you know, outside transmission is extremely low. Even though we know that outside transmission is extremely low, we still had all of the safety in place."