“Fear Factor” returns to NBC tonight following a five-year absence, beginning a planned eight-episode run with two hourlong episodes featuring stunts that host Joe Rogan described as “definitely much bigger and much more exciting and grander” than those in the original version.
“If we were going to bring it back, we knew that we couldn’t just bring back the exact same show; we had to evolve it,” Rogan said in a conference call with reporters earlier this month.
“Fortunately, stunt technology has evolved quite a bit since the time we stopped doing the show about six years ago and we were able to do a lot of things that just physically weren’t possible before or weren’t safe enough for us to be comfortable with it before.”
The revival also benefits from high definition television, according to Rogan, who also hosted “Fear Factor” during its original 2001-2006 run.
“Everything just looks better,” Rogan said. “It looks cooler. It looks just wilder. The gross-out parts are much more graphic.”
The first episode includes contestants hanging from a speeding helicopter, retrieving and eating scorpions and being strapped to the grill of a semi truck.
The second episode has four teams of executives taking on such stunts as having to escape from a submerged car, climbing on top of a moving bus and then being yanked off by a helicopter that drops them into a speeding boat.
“Fear Factor” replaces the singing competition “The Sing-Off,” whose season has ended.
“Fear Factor,” which airs from 8-10 p.m. tonight, will run Mondays from 8-9 p.m. through Jan. 30, a week before the singing competition “The Voice” moves into the Monday 8-10 p.m. time slot.