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East County Thursday, Apr. 1, 2010 7 years ago

Ranch to premier 'Survivor: Town Hall' show

by: Michael Eng Executive Editor

APRIL FOOLS — Hoping to capitalize on both the popularity of reality TV and the recent drama at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall, Lakewood Ranch Communities’ television studio last week announced a new program.

Called “Survivor: Town Hall,” the program will be patterned loosely from the CBS hit of the same name. Past and present employees will be taken to a yet-to-be-determined location, where they will be given specific tasks and challenges. Like CBS’ “Survivor,” contestants also will face harsh conditions, and the competition will reward teamwork, cunning and tenacity.

Contestants will be divided into tribes called the Karas and the Fernandezes. The tribes will then compete against each other in a variety of challenges that will test strength, endurance, willpower and more. Show creators said they are hoping to get Schroeder-Manatee Ranch President and CEO Rex Jensen to serve as the show’s host.

However, unlike the CBS series, contestants won’t be voted off by a Tribal Council. Instead, viewers will be able to call a series of 1-800 numbers to vote for their favorite — much like another popular series, “American Idol.”

Contestants will be competing for a variety of prizes, including rounds of golf at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club, gift certificates to The Polo Grill and Bar, cow patty souvenirs (see related story) and more.

Filming will be completed over the summer, and the first episode is scheduled to air in the fall.

The idea for the show surfaced after former employee Sue Kara called Town Hall a “toxic and dysfunctional environment.” Show creators said the obvious way to resolve problems between people is, of course, to film a reality TV program.

Producers are still looking for local sponsorships. Any businesses interested in purchasing a commercial should contact Lakewood Ranch Communities.

For more on this story, click here.

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