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The Runner stalls in starting block

ABC and LivePlanet have put production of the new reality show The Runner on hold.

The operative phrase in an announcement on Friday from the two companies was that the series slated for a 2002 debut is "on hiatus." The Runner becomes the first of the second wave of reality shows to be relegated to programming limbo, primarily due to its plot line.

In The Runner, a lone contestant was to crisscross the country, as agents - and potentially the entire populace - try to track him down for a potential prize of up to $1 million.

In a prepared statement, Lloyd Braun, co-chairman, ABC Entertainment Television Group, said: "Unfortunately, it is our view that today's environment would not be conducive to this type of television event." He left the door open on revisiting the concept if circumstances change.

The Runner is produced by LivePlanet, in association with Diplomatic. Executive producers include Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Sean Bailey and Chris Moore.
- Richard Tedesco