An edgier, more explosive version of NBC's gross-out reality series Fear Factor will mark the return of its sixth season on Tuesday, Dec. 6 from 8-9 p.m. ET, when The Biggest Loser ends its run.
The show's new season will include 22 original episodes and one rerun.
Fear averaged a 4.2 rating/11 share among adults 18-49 and 10.2 million viewers overall last season, ranking as the top-rated regular program in the demo during its Monday 8-9 p.m. ET slot for a fifth season in a row. But it did suffer year-to-year erosion in its long-running berth, prompting NBC to offer new scripted programming in the hour with Surface (which recently received a full-season order).
Fourth-place NBC has 10 new and returning shows waiting in the wings for mid-season, and it could be debuting two each in the months preceding and following the promotional platform of the Winter Olympics.
Producer Endemol USA is adding elements this season, including a new stunt team. Executive producer Matt Kunitz also noted the creation of a home-invasion segment in which host Joe Rogan "invades unsuspecting households across the country delivering fear to their doorstep."
"We are thrilled to bring back the Fear, since Fear Factor has virtually become a trademark series," said Curt Sharp, VP of NBC's prime time alternative programs and specials. "It brings a loyal audience and should mesh well on Tuesdays at 8 after the success of another reality series, The Biggest Loser."
"It was a great challenge to make our new season stand out from the previous five seasons of some of the most shocking entertainment on television. We have exceeded our own expectations," Kunitz said.
"We're very excited about returning to the NBC lineup where we've been a fixture for the last five years," said David Goldberg, president of Endemol USA. "After hundreds of hours on the air, including 34 last year, we took some oxygen on the side line and are coming back fresh and reinvigorated."
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