'Contender' kicks into action with Singapore version

Sun Jul 8, 2007 5:52pm EDT

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SINGAPORE (Hollywood Reporter) - Mark Burnett Prods. has teamed with Singapore production house Imagine OmniMedia to co-produce the reality competition series "The Contender Asia," marking the first adaptation of the "Contender" format that doesn't center on traditional boxing.

The focus of "Contender Asia" is the martial art of Muay Thai, a form of kickboxing. The series, scheduled to start shooting in Singapore at the beginning of August, will air on

AXN.

"We did a global search to find 16 of the best fighters to battle in 'Contender Asia,"' said C. Scot Cru, head of international at Mark Burnett Prods. "Muay Thai dates back thousands of years, and the popularity of the sport has seen phenomenal growth over the past five years. We're very excited; this show has been a year in the making, and we wanted to get all the elements in place for a great program."

Cru added that negotiations are under way to air "Contender Asia" in the U.S. as well but declined to be more specific.

Imagine OmniMedia said the series is scheduled to air at year's end.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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