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TBS ordered a revival of the intense physical competition series Wipeout earlier in 2020, but now tragedy has struck production due to the death of a contestant. A man who competed on the show (which has yet to premiere its new episodes on the cable network) died after completing the course.
A male contestant required medical attention after completing the Wipeout course and then experiencing chest pains on Wednesday, November 18, according to TMZ. He initially received care from the emergency personnel who were on-site before paramedics were called. He was reportedly taken to the hospital in cardiac arrest, where he ultimately died.
The man died despite the precautions taken by Wipeout production with the goal of preventing health crises. Wipeout contestants are given medical exams before being approved to attempt to course, which is overseen by a safety producer, paramedic coordinator, and two on-site paramedics.
Although the man's name has not been released, his death has been confirmed by TBS and production company Endemol Shine North America, both of which released statements (via Variety) expressing sympathy in the wake of the tragedy. The TBS spokesperson said that they are "devastated to have learned of his passing," and their "deepest sympathy goes out to the family." As for Endemol Shine North America, a representative said:
We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and our thoughts are with them at this time.
Wipeout shooting was scheduled to go on a hiatus for Thanksgiving, with filming picking up again after the holiday. There are no details at this point regarding whether changes will be made to production in the wake of a death following completion of the course or if the man's death will impact the release of the reboot, which was expected to premiere in 2021.
TBS ordered the revival of Wipeout back in April, when the entertainment industry was largely on hold due to production shutdowns. The cable network initially ordered 20 episodes, and the hosts were later announced as WWE star and TV personality John Cena as well as Emmy-nominated Nailed It! host Nicole Byer.
The original ABC run of the show from 2008 - 2014 was a huge success with viewers tuning in to see competitors attempt to tackle an intense obstacle course. A trailer for the new show revealed some of what to expect:
The reboot is going to be a reimagining of the original, featuring new format twists and elements designed to "push contestants' athleticism and willpower to even greater extremes," according to the official TBS announcement for the series. The game was divided into three rounds with a three-stage obstacle course designed to "to further challenge, and wear out, the stamina of the competitors."
The reboot was still accepting applications through October 16, seeking teams of two willing to compete for a cash prize of $25,000. At the time of writing, Wipeout has not announced a premiere date, and no announcement has been made about changes that will or will not happen in the wake of a man's death following completion of the obstacle course.