UK BILLIONAIRE Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic has combined its space travel plans with US television broadcaster NBC to launch a TV reality show in which the ultimate prize will be a trip into space.
Space Race is billed as an elimination competition that will pit people against each other. Those involved are beside themselves with excitement and thumbing their thesauruses for glowing adjectives.
"The scope of this endeavor is so staggering, that it took these two titans to even imagine it," said Paul Telegdy, president of alternative and late night programming at NBC Entertainment.
"The term 'trip of a lifetime' has for once been delivered on! This will be a remarkable experience for anyone who has looked at the night's sky and dared to dream of Space Flight."
We assume that the travel on offer will be a round trip, but that is not made clear in NBC's announcement. It said that people will compete for "The ultimate prize - a trip for the winner into space on Virgin Galactic's Spaceshiptwo for a life-changing experience few people have ever enjoyed, all captured on camera."
Show producer Mark Burnett was positively glowing about the idea, which will be hawked around the Cannes TV Festival, and said that it is the result of a decade of star gazing.
"For the past ten years I have relentlessly pursued my dream of using a TV show to give an everyday person the chance to experience the black sky of space and look down upon mother Earth," he said.
"I am thrilled to be part of a series that will give the everyday person a chance to see space and that NBC has come on board too so that viewers at home will have a first class seat."
Sir Richard Branson burbled, "Virgin Galactic's mission is to democratize space, eventually making commercial space travel affordable and accessible to all. 'Space Race' allows us to extend this opportunity of a lifetime to as many people as possible right at the start of our commercial service - through direct experience and television viewing.
"All of us at Virgin Galactic and our partner Aabar Investments are delighted to be collaborating with NBC and Mark, who is a true pioneer and creative force in television programming."
The show will be produced by One Three Media, which made Sing Off and Shark Tank. Although we have hoped to see it, no one has yet made Shark Tank Sing Off. µ
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