‘Escape’ adds scary twist to reality genre
By CINDY PEARLMAN June 27, 2012 5:40PM
Rich Eisen hosts TNT’s new reality show “The Great Escape.” Contestants plot how to break out of frightening situations, including the infamous Alcatraz prison, or risk certain elimination. | John Nowak~TNT
‘THE GREAT ESCAPE’
Sundays at 9 p.m.
The peeved quarterbacks are easy. For Rich Eisen, it’s working in mental hospitals and Alcatraz that’s tough.
The NFL Network anchor switches gear to host TNT’s new reality show “The Great Escape,” premiering at 9 p.m. Sunday on TNT. The game drops teams into crazy situations where they have to escape or face elimination, with the ultimate winner taking home $100,000.
Executive produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, the show doesn’t spare the thrills.
“There’s an episode in the future where our people have to escape a mental institution,” he says. “We have them escape from Alcatraz.”
He was alone on location at the famed prison at 2 a.m. for a few shots. “I’m snapping photos of Al Capone’s cell. There were parts of Alcatraz we entered that some of the curators didn’t even know existed. And let me tell you that being alone there at night … well, creepy doesn’t begin to describe it.”
Another location offered creepy crawlies. “We’re talking serious bugs. Before I shot, I was told that if I saw a spider with what looked like a violin on its back and it bit me, well, just go directly to a hospital,” he says.
“During another shot at a really scary locale, I felt something brush over my head. I thought it was camera equipment and then I was told, ‘Keep going, it’s just a bat.’ ”
And since he’s on the NFL Network, we had to ask: What are the chances of the Bears escaping this season with a bunch of wins?
“I like their chances if they can stay healthy,” Eisen says. “Jay Cutler has his wide receiver who he had the best connection with of his entire career. He has his coach. All the pieces are there for Cutler.”
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