CBS bets big with new talent show ‘The World’s Best’

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PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — CBS is betting big on “The World’s Best,” ceding the coveted post-Super Bowl timeslot to the new talent contest led by reality TV titans Mark Burnett and Mike Darnell.

Burnett has a track record after the NFL showcase game. In 2001, his “Survivor: The Australian Outback” debuted in this slot, attracting over 45 million viewers.

CBS scored again in 2010 when “Undercover Boss” followed the Super Bowl and drew over 38 million viewers.

Hosted by James Corden, “The World’s Best” premieres Sunday after Super Bowl 53.

In addition to impressing judges RuPaul, Drew Barrymore and Faith Hill, contestants must break through the “world wall” with more than 50 experts from 38 different countries scoring the competition. Among them is Brazilian UFC fighter Anderson Silva.

The winner receives $1 million.

Burnett’s other big hit is “The Voice”. Darnell’s credits include “American Idol” and “Ellen’s Game of Games”.

“The World’s Best” joins a crowded field of reality TV competition programs, including “The Masked Singer,” renewed for a second season by Fox on Wednesday.

Darnell noted at a gathering of television critics that his show’s format is not based on any existing foreign programming and offers “the next new take on a variety show”.

If it works, Darnell plans to franchise the show in other countries.

“We have a very different voice, a very different flavor,” said executive producer Alison Holloway. “We dug deep to find new and exciting talent. Most of the artists on our show are professionals.

And there’s no humiliation factor, said executive producer Ben Winston.

“Everyone is at the top of their game,” he said. “Nobody’s making fun of anybody. It’s a very happy and happy show.

The show gives RuPaul a broader platform than he enjoyed as host of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” on VH1.

“We weren’t all prepared for the emotional journey that the show and the performances took us on,” the drag performer said. “It was phenomenal to see all these incredible people from around the world speaking out.”

The second episode will air on February 6.

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