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"The Mole" returning to ABC

Old 01-08-08, 10:28 AM
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"The Mole" returning to ABC

(FROM VARIETY) The Mole is returning to ABC for the first time in four years. The network has placed a 10-episode order to Stone & Co. Entertainment (Tim Gunn's Guide to Style), and casting and pre-production are already underway, with shooting scheduled to start this spring for a run this summer. An ABC executive said the network planned on reviving the reality competition series even before the writers' strike. The first two editions of The Mole, which aired in 2001 and 2002, earned ABC's top ratings among adults 18-34 for both years. ABC also ran two seasons of Celebrity Mole in 2003 and 2004. The resurrected show will return to the original format, without celebrities, though there will be small tweaks. ''We simplified it to where the people at home can play along,'' said Stone & Co. principal Scott Stone. ''And the quiz will be much shorter than in the past.'' No host has been chosen yet. Anderson Cooper hosted the first two editions, and Ahmad Rashad hosted the celebrity versions. (Variety)
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Old 01-08-08, 10:31 AM
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No sale unless Anderson Cooper comes back to do this. Obviously he won't, so I'm not there.
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Old 01-08-08, 10:31 AM
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UGHHH Writers strike please be over.
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Old 01-08-08, 10:32 AM
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It would be great if they could get Anderson Cooper again, but there's no way in hell. He was a big part of what made the original show so great.

I hope Ahmad Rashad doesn't return. He didn't do it for me.
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Old 01-08-08, 10:45 AM
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No Corbin Bernsen or Stephen Baldwin, no sale!

I don't really watch reality shows, but I watched the celebrity versions of The Mole.
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Old 01-08-08, 10:46 AM
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Anderson Cooper was the best thing about the show.
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Old 01-08-08, 10:50 AM
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As long as they can keep up the atmosphere and locations of the first two US seasons, then I will watch. I watched the Australian version, and a lot of the tasks seemed more suited to something like The Amazing Race.
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Old 01-08-08, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by IDrinkMolson
No Corbin Bernsen or Stephen Baldwin, no sale!

I don't really watch reality shows, but I watched the celebrity versions of The Mole.
Same here! No Corbin or Stephen, no watch for me. They were great, even though they sucked at it. LOL
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Old 01-08-08, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by JB7
Same here! No Corbin or Stephen, no watch for me. They were great, even though they sucked at it. LOL
I loved the original and hated the "celebrity" version, so I'm pretty happy even though it won't be the same without Anderson Cooper.
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Old 01-08-08, 11:53 AM
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Going "celebrity" is usually a sign that you are on the way out.
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Old 01-08-08, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by djbrown
The resurrected show will return to the original format, without celebrities
Yay!

Originally Posted by djbrown
''We simplified it to where the people at home can play along,''
Boo!

I'm still glad this is coming back, as this is one of my favorite reality shows. If they can't get Anderson I hope they at least find someone with a similar feel.. Ahmad Rashad didn't fit at all.
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Old 01-08-08, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by JPRaup
UGHHH Writers strike please be over.
http://www.variety.com/article/VR111...&cs=1&nid=2565

Posted: Mon., Jan. 7, 2008, 8:00pm

By MICHAEL SCHNEIDER, JOSEF ADALIAN
Saade

"The Mole" has come out of hiding.

ABC has given a 10-episode order to Stone & Co. Entertainment ("Tim Gunn's Guide to Style") to revive the reality competish, which hasn't aired in four years.

Casting and pre-production have begun on the show, which will likely start shooting later this spring. ABC is looking to run "The Mole" this summer.

"This is a show we honestly love and people ask us about all the time," said ABC Entertainment alternative series senior VP John Saade, who added that plans were afoot to dig out "The Mole" even before the writers' strike.

"We were looking to bring the show back even when the writers were working," he said.


The first two editions of "The Mole," which aired in 2001 and 2002, earned ABC's top marks among adult 18-34 auds in both of those years. ABC then ran two seasons of "Celebrity Mole," in midseason 2003 and 2004.

Stone Stanley Prods., which produced all four "Mole" segs, dissolved in 2004. But principal Scott Stone said he kept a fire burning for the show, and has been looking to revive it under his new shingle for years.

"It was just about getting the timing right," Stone said.

The hiccup: Rights to "The Mole" had reverted back to Belgium company TTTI, which owns the format. Stone, who's repped by WMA, finally managed to close a new deal to license the show two months ago.

"If anyone asks me what my favorite show has been, I've answered 'The Mole,'" Stone said. "Not surprisingly, this has been a passion of mine since the option lapsed three or four years ago. In my staff meeting every week, people would say, 'Don't even bring it up.' I kept throwing it out that it was eventually going to be the right time. And it perennially ends up on lists of people's favorite reality shows. That kept the fires burning inside me."

The revived "Mole" will revert back to the original format, sans celebs.

Show features contestants traveling across a foreign country completing tasks and solving puzzles in order to add money to the winner's pot. At the same time, they're trying to figure out which of their competitors is actually "The Mole" -- a player planted to sabotage the game and limit the money won.

At the end of each episode, players take a quiz; lowest-score sends someone packing. Person who's left standing alongside the Mole wins the money pot -- which could be as much as $1 million, but ultimately came to $510,000 in season one and $636,000 in season two.

Stone said the new version has been simplified, but said he hasn't "dumbed it down."

"We simplified it to where the people at home can play along," he said. "And the quiz will be much shorter than in the past."

Anderson Cooper, who hosted the first two editions, remains at CNN and isn't available to host; Ahmad Rashad, who hosted the celeb editions, hasn't been asked to return. Stone said he's scouting for a host in Cooper's vein.

"We're looking for someone in the Anderson mode, a little mysterious but full of comedy," he said. "It could be a breakout role for someone."

"Celebrity Mole" won an Emmy in 2004 for Outstanding Achievement in Enhanced Television.
The writers strike has nothing to do with this coming back. This is one of the most beloved 'reality tv shows' during this new millenium, so your comment is misplaced.

Chris
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Old 01-08-08, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DRG
Yay!

Boo!

I'm still glad this is coming back, as this is one of my favorite reality shows. If they can't get Anderson I hope they at least find someone with a similar feel.. Ahmad Rashad didn't fit at all.
I'm sure there is someone out there in the vein of Anderson Cooper / Phil Keoghan. Now whether the producers can find that person and ultimately use him/her is another question. I will still be watching, because as good and important as Anderson Cooper was, the show itself is still the star.

Chris
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Old 01-08-08, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mrpayroll
This is one of the most beloved 'reality tv shows' during this new millenium, so your comment is misplaced.
I can't believe you were able to choke out typing "most beloved 'reality tv shows'" without hurling on your keyboard.
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Old 01-08-08, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rfduncan
I can't believe you were able to choke out typing "most beloved 'reality tv shows'" without hurling on your keyboard.
Of course, I'm talking about the first 2 years, not the last 2 'celeb' years!

Chris
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Old 01-08-08, 03:08 PM
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First two years were good. Hope they get a good host.
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Old 01-08-08, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mrpayroll
The writers strike has nothing to do with this coming back. This is one of the most beloved 'reality tv shows' during this new millenium, so your comment is misplaced.

Chris

I'd be willing to bet indirectly it does... Since there are no new shows on TV, this was a great oppurtunity to get viewers to tune in.. so someone pulled the trigger to get this back on...
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Old 01-08-08, 04:47 PM
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http://www.realitytvworld.com/news/a...ummer-6349.php

ABC revives 'The Mole', new non-celebrity edition to debut in summer


By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 01/08/2008

After four years off the air, The Mole -- one of the modern reality era's first broadcast network reality shows -- is going to resurface.

ABC has ordered 10 episodes of The Mole, Daily Variety reported Monday night, with casting and pre-production currently underway and filming likely scheduled to begin this spring for a Summer 2008 debut.

While it's been four years since The Mole's most recent Celebrity Mole Hawaii installment aired in early 2004, the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike apparently had nothing to do with the reality competition series' planned revival.

"This is a show we honestly love and people ask us about all the time," ABC executive John Saade told Variety. "We were looking to bring the show back even when the writers were working."

Stone and Company Entertainment -- the new name of Stone Stanley Entertainment, the production company that produced The Mole's first four seasons -- will produce The Mole's new edition. (Scott Stone reorganized Stone Stanley as Stone and Company after David Stanley, the company's other principal, decided to leave it in 2004.)

According to Stone, he had been hoping to revive The Mole for some time. "It was just about getting the timing right," Stone told Variety.

The problem was apparently that The Mole's American rights had reportedly reverted back to TTTI, a Belgium company that owns the show's format (like other early broadcast network reality shows like Big Brother and Survivor, The Mole was an American adaptation of an existing European series). Stone finally managed to close a deal to license the show two months ago, according to Variety.

"If anyone asks me what my favorite show has been, I've answered The Mole," Stone told Variety. "Not surprisingly, this has been a passion of mine since the option lapsed three or four years ago. In my staff meeting every week, people would say, 'Don't even bring it up.' I kept throwing it out that it was eventually going to be the right time. And it perennially ends up on lists of people's favorite reality shows. That kept the fires burning inside me."

The Mole first premiered on ABC in January 2001 and its second season -- The Mole: The Next Betrayal -- debuted that September. However ABC decided to air its second-season broadcasts on Friday nights instead of in its Tuesday night first-season time period, a decision that caused the network to pull the show from the air after only three predictably poorly-rated broadcasts.

When The Mole 2 finally returned to the airwaves in May 2002 -- back in a Tuesday night time slot -- ABC rebroadcast its 13-episode run from the beginning and the show delivered decent ratings despite airing against the first season of Fox's American Idol.

Buoyed by the show's summer ratings success, ABC announced plans to air a six-episode Celebrity Mole edition almost immediately after The Mole 2's August 2002 finale.

Celebrity Mole Hawaii premiered in January 2003 (immediately after the premiere of another new ABC reality series: Trista Sutter's The Bachelorette reality series). Its season finale broadcast eventually set The Mole ratings records, leading ABC to immediately order another celebrity edition.

Celebrity Mole Yucatan premiered nearly a year later in January 2004, and while it delivered another solid ratings performance, ABC (which was still struggling in the ratings at the time) let its option for ordering another another installment expire -- a decision that reportedly surprised some of the network's competitors.


"[Given ABC's lack of major hits], you'd think they'd be treating that show like it was Dynasty," one rival executive told Variety at the time.

Although Stone Stanley reportedly began pitching the show to other networks at the time, nothing ever came of the situation, which based on Stone's new comments, was possibly complicated by the TTTI option lapse.

Anderson Cooper helmed The Mole's first two editions, but Variety reported he isn't available to host its ABC revival due to his current gig with CNN, which also prevented him from hosting the show's celebrity editions. Instead, Ahmad Rashad was tapped to host the celebrity installments but reportedly hasn't been asked to return.

"We're looking for someone in the Anderson mode, a little mysterious but full of comedy," Stone told Variety. "It could be a breakout role for someone."

The Mole's revival will follow the show's original format and follow a group of contestants as they travel across a foreign country and complete tasks and puzzles intended to increase the amount of money in the show's grand-prize pot (up to $1,000,000 is available for earning). However while the rest of the cast is actively seeking to successfully complete their assignments, one contestant -- the mole -- will be attempting to secretly sabotage the activities and limit the amount of money the show's winner will eventually win.

While various clues (some extremely subtle and complicated, others less so) to the mole's identity appear throughout the show's run, neither the rest of the cast or the show's home viewers -- or even the show's host -- are informed of the mole's identity until the competition's conclusion.

Each The Mole episode concludes with the contestants taking a secret ballot quiz in which they attempt to answer questions about the mole, with the participant who answers the fewest questions correctly being eliminated from the competition (the mole is never eliminated.)

Once three contestants are left, the remaining contestants take one final quiz and the non-mole contestant who answers the most questions correctly wins all the money the cast managed to earn during the competition.

"We simplified it to where the people at home can play along, and the quiz will be much shorter than in the past," Stone told Variety. Stone also insisted the revivial won't "dumb down" The Mole's original format, which had resulted in the show being dubbed "television's smartest reality show." Chris says - This still stands after all these years!

Spoiler:
During The Mole's first season, Steven Cowles won the season's $510,000 prize by correctly determining that fellow contestant Kathryn Price -- a Stanford University Law School graduate who later served as a writer on the show's second season -- had been competition's mole. The show's second season ended with Dorothy Hui, a Dartmouth College graduate, winning $636,000 for determining that Bill McDaniel had been serving as the season's mole.


The Mole's original 2001 debut came only six months after Survivor's Summer 2000 premiere opened the broadcast network reality TV floodgates.

Elements of The Mole's format eventually turned up in other reality shows over the years, including The Bachelor's fifth season, which featured an embedded "spy" bachelorette that was secretly working on bachelor Jesse Palmer's behalf, and Big Brother 8, which featured an "America's Player" twist that allowed home viewers to secretly determine the actions of one of the competition's houseguests.

Here's a longer, more detailed story with a rich historical background, of one of the greatest reality TV shows in the history of American television and in the Universe!

Chris
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Old 01-08-08, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by djbrown
(FROM VARIETY) ''We simplified it to where the people at home can play along,'' (Variety)
This is the only part that scares me. I hope "simplified" doesn't = "Dumbed down". (I fear the worst)

IIRC, CNN wouldn't let Anderson Cooper out of his contract to do Celebrity Mole. That led to Ahmad Rashad doing the show.

Hopefully they keep their promise and find a good host for the revival. At the time, The Mole was one of my 2 favorite reality shows (The other was and still is The Amazing Race)
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Old 01-08-08, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Damfino
This is the only part that scares me. I hope "simplified" doesn't = "Dumbed down". (I fear the worst)

IIRC, CNN wouldn't let Anderson Cooper out of his contract to do Celebrity Mole. That led to Ahmad Rashad doing the show.

Hopefully they keep their promise and find a good host for the revival. At the time, The Mole was one of my 2 favorite reality shows (The other was and still is The Amazing Race)
We speak the same language!

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Old 01-08-08, 07:05 PM
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Oh happy day!!! The Mole....the best reality competition ever (seasons 1 and 2 that is).
Its too bad Anderson went legit, but if they find the right unknown, I think the show can find its footing again.

If there's one show I'd ever actually want to compete on, this would be it.
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Old 01-08-08, 08:08 PM
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I admit I won't miss Cooper. He always kinda gave me the creeps and I don't like how he's seemed to act almost ashamed of his connection with the show.

This makes me want to watch my Season 1 DVDs again.

They should hire Jim from Season 1 to be the host.
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Old 01-08-08, 08:55 PM
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No Anderson Cooper = No sale. Also if it's not as complex as Season 1, it's not worth it.
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Old 01-08-08, 09:09 PM
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Too bad this is on ABC, otherwise they could have Chris Hansen host The Mole: Internet Predator Edition.
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Old 03-30-08, 11:54 PM
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http://www.variety.com/article/VR111...&cs=1&nid=2565

Posted: Sun., Mar. 30, 2008, 9:00pm PT

ABC digs up 'Mole' host
Jon Kelley set for reality gig
By JOSEF ADALIAN


Kelley

The identity of "The Mole" is still a secret, but the name of the show's new host can be revealed: Jon Kelley.
Kelley, a former weekend anchor for "Extra," replaces original "Mole" man Anderson Cooper. Cooper, an unknown at the time of the show's 2001 debut, is now a key CNN primetime anchor.

It's believed ABC is planning to air the new "Mole" Mondays at 10 p.m., starting May 26. Skein will likely be paired with another Alphabet reality revival, "The Bachelorette," which is being eyed for a possible May 19 debut.

ABC wasn't talking about its summer sked plans Friday, though it's expected the net could announce its intentions as early as today. Like its rivals, Alphabet has been stocking up on nonscripted summer skeins, with as many as eight series expected to roll out during the third quarter.

Among the shows contending for a summer berth: the Ant and Dec quizzer "Wanna Bet?," the stunt-focused "Wipe Out" and the competition skein "Big in Japan."

"The Mole" -- from Stone & Co. -- has been on an extended hiatus ... since 2004. ABC aired four editions of the paranoia-themed competition, including two featuring celeb casts. Latter editions were hosted by Ahmad Rashad.

In addition to his multiyear stint on "Extra," Kelley's credits include a gig as lead anchor for Fox Sports Net's "The National Sports Report" and "Baseball Today."

Who is this guy? Is he a credible host?

Chris
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