Diminutive funnyman Kevin Hart will be adding a new role to his already comprehensive CV this summer: game show host. Thanks to CBS, Hart will be making his first foray into the world of hosting a weekly game show—TKO: Total Knockout—which is due to air on the network during summer 2018. Ever the savvy businessman, Hart has even managed to get on board with production duties, too. And this slightly wacky show sounds like the perfect vehicle for Hart’s unique and hilarious comedy style.
Currently performing the North American leg of his global stand-up comedy tour (“The Irresponsible Tour”), Hart is one of the most ubiquitous comedians, movie stars and well-rounded celebrity personalities there is (if you don’t know whom he is, then you must’ve spent the past decade under a rock!). Kevin Hart has built a multi-million-dollar career, largely by being himself. He moves from project to project at an exhausting pace, having already starred in one of last December’s most successful movies (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, , which topped over $900 million at the global box office); he’s even started a burgeoning second career as a pro poker player. In 2017 alone, he launched a digital comedy network and corresponding mobile app (Laugh Out Loud), taught normal folk how to run with sportswear brand Nike, and went head-to-head against the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt.
TKO: Total Knockout is being brought to the network by MGM Television and “the father of reality TV”, executive producer Mark Burnett—the 12-time Emmy Award-winning producer of hit shows Survivor, The Apprentice (U.S) and The Bible. This joint venture between MGM and Kevin Hart’s own production company, HartBeat Productions, puts a hilarious spin on the classic “us-versus-them” obstacle course. Featuring contestants from all walks of life, TKO will pit a single contestant against an unruly obstacle course and a team of four opponents. Beginning with elimination rounds, each contestant has to race through the course as their opponents fire over-the-top projectiles to slow them down. The two players with the fastest times will go on to a final showdown, which will see them face-off and compete for a substantial cash prize.
“Perfectly aligned” with Hart’s global brand, the comedian jumped on board “the minute Mark Burnett pitched [him]”. Serving as an executive producer alongside Burnett and Barry Poznick, President of MGM’s Unscripted Television, Hart is most excited about the show’s “potential to make [him] look tall”. The series will consist of 10 episodes, each an hour long, and will be distributed internationally by MGM studios.
In addition to this extensive team of executive producers, Holly Wofford and Jane Y. Mun are stepping in as showrunners for the competition series. The recipient of an Emmy nomination for 2005’s Survivor season, Wofford has produced and worked on reality TV shows like Supernanny and America’s Most Wanted; she also played a pivotal role in the development of American Ninja Warrior. Meanwhile, Mun has been part of Burnett’s and MGM TV’s executive production team for a decade, working on (amongst other things) televised awards ceremonies like the People’s Choice Awards and the MTV Movie Awards.