Matter of ‘Degrees’ at SPTI

Oct. 5, 2007

Hollywood Reporter
By Steve Brennan

The networks group of Sony Pictures Television International has commissioned the reality format “Six Degrees of X” as a series for its worldwide AXN channel while also launching the multiplatform series as a new format for broadcasters at MIPCOM.

The series, to be announced at the market, initially was greenlighted as a pilot this year, part of an overall development agreement between SPTI’s networks group and Los Angeles-based production company Base Camp Films. This marks the first series commission under the pact.

Hosted by Mayleen Ramey (”E! News Daily”) “Six Degrees” tests the theory that all people are somehow connected by only six degrees of separation, linking today’s showbiz celebrities with everyday people from around the world. Each stand-alone one-hour episode will follow two contestants as they race from city to city to seek out the five links that connect them to the featured celebrity.

Along the way they compete in challenges, and the first person to successfully find all their links will get the chance to meet the star and win up to $50,000 in cash and prizes. Carmen Electra is the featured celeb in the first episode, which will be shot across three countries in six cities within three days.

Production commences this weekend with first episode launching early next year. Base Camp principals Brady Connell (”Survivor,” “The Amazing Race”) and Jim Jusko (”Air Bud,” “Dead Heat”) are executive producers.

Marie Jacobson, SPTI’s executive vp programming and production, international networks, will be unveiling the series as a format at MIPCOM.

“‘Six Degrees of X’ is a franchise we really believe in,” Jacobson said. “We’re taking a pop phenomenon to the streets, combining it with a celebrity payoff and showcasing social networking in real-time. In our continued efforts to develop original content for Sony’s international networks as well as fortify SPTI’s already robust format catalog, ‘Six Degrees of X’ is a highly commercial reality series that’s great fun to watch and scalable to produce anywhere in the world. And with the mobile and online extensions we’re contemplating, we are confident this can spur some truly viral, engaging applications in the digital world.”