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PROELITE AND MARK BURNETT
TO PRODUCE PRIMETIME CELEBRITY MMA REALITY SERIES
NFL Great, Herschel Walker and MLB Star, Jose Canseco
Sign Up To Show the World Their Martial Arts `Chops’
Los Angeles — (Oct. 11, 2007) –Which professional athletes are really the toughest in the world? Stay tuned.
ProElite, Inc. [PELE.PK], an entertainment and media company dedicated to producing world-class mixed martial arts (MMA) events, today announced it has partnered with top television producer Mark Burnett to develop exclusive, multi-program MMA content for network TV.
The currently untitled initial series centers on former football and baseball stars, Herschel Walker and Jose Canseco, respectively, who together with a group of other former pros, train as a team to cross over into the sport of mixed martial arts. These athletes will fight with select EliteXC fighters in each episode with the series finale featuring a famous celebrity athlete match up. Additionally, episode highlights and interactive features for the shows produced will reside on ProElite.com. The show is co-created by Herschel Walker and Prem Akkaraju, who will also serve as a co-executive producer.
“We are really excited to partner with legendary reality television producer, Mark Burnett,” said Douglas DeLuca, chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based ProElite and co-executive producer of the show. “Mark’s vision for the sport of mixed martial arts, coupled with his invaluable experience producing a stable of successful primetime reality series, plays a critical role in developing this first of many projects that we will do together.”
“I am thrilled to collaborate with ProElite, and look forward to working with an organization that is dedicated to the growth of a sport that is sure to become among the biggest in the world,” said Mark Burnett, who produces CBS’s “Survivor” and ESPN’s “The Contender.” “I believe a primetime reality series involving world-class athletes from all sports competing in MMA will resonate with audiences far and wide as the sport garners popularity around the world.”
Walker and Canseco, who will both start recruiting teammates, are no strangers to hitting or MMA.
Walker, the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner and versatile, multi-faceted former pro football star, brings a diversity of athletic achievement that is at the core of the sport of MMA.
A 25-year martial artist who holds three black belts in three disciplines and a devoted teacher of physical and mental health, Walker was one of the first NFL players to take to the idea of heavy exercise training and physical fitness. He was noted for doing at least 2,500 crunches
Canseco, the 1986 American League Rookie of the Year and six-time Major League All-Star, became the first player in Major League history to hit at least 40 homers and steal at least 40 bases
“Attracting star professional athletes at the level of Hershel and Jose into a mixed martial arts competition is truly monumental and will certainly attract a broader audience to MMA,” said co-executive producer and co-creator Prem Akkaraju. “I am thrilled to work with executive producer Mark Burnett and co-executive producer Douglas DeLuca, and look forward to expanding our programming in short order.”
About ProElite, Inc. (www.proelite.com)
ProElite, Inc. delivers the most exciting entertainment experience in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) with live arena-based entertainment events, cable television programming on Showtime Networks and community-driven interactive broadband entertainment via the Internet. ProElite embraces MMA with the highest levels of honor, integrity, discipline and self-esteem, all the while remaining inclusive for fighters, fans and schools. ProElite's live fight division, EliteXC, delivers spectacular live MMA fight events that showcase the world's top fighters [elitexc.com]. ProElite's interactive business, ProElite.com, capitalizes on the growing popularity of the sport of mixed martial arts by building a community of mixed martial arts enthusiasts. In addition to streaming the most exciting live fights to the web, ProElite expands the fan base of the sport by providing a comprehensive set of online social networking tools for fans, fighters and organizations. ProElite.com – Empowering the Fight CommunityTM.
About Mark Burnett Productions
Mark Burnett Productions (MBP) is a leading global production company for both primetime television and the Internet. MBP revolutionized television with hits such as Survivor (CBS), The Apprentice (NBC), The Contender (ESPN), Rock Star: INXS (CBS), and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (FOX). Other MBP projects in 2007 included: Pirate Master (CBS), the 2007 MTV Movie Awards (MTV) which Mark Burnett Executive Produced and the co-production with Steven Spielberg, On the Lot (FOX). MBP also partnered with AOL in 2006 on the highly successful interactive adventure Gold Rush, the first-ever unscripted project to be produced exclusively for the internet. In addition, MBP has established a scripted division and is developing comedies and dramas for television as well as feature films. Mark Burnett television shows have garnered a total 48 Emmy nominations since 2001. Upcoming projects include Survivor 16 (CBS) Apprentice 7 (NBC) Amnesia (NBC), My Dad is Better than Your Dad (NBC) and Jingles (CBS).