SIR RICHARD BRANSON JOINS FOX TO UNVEIL "BRANSON'S BIG ADVENTURE"
Sir Richard Branson, the colorful founder and Chairman of the Virgin Group of Companies, will lead a group of young entrepreneurs on an epic journey around the world in the new unscripted drama BRANSON'S BIG ADVENTURE (working title), coming later this year to FOX, it was announced today by Gail Berman, President of Entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Co.
A self-made billionaire known for risk-taking, both personally and professionally, Branson will whisk off a select group of America's best and brightest on the adventure of a lifetime. They will jet to international destinations and relive some of his personal experiences, tackling the types of dilemmas that help shape future billionaires. If they make decisions that impress Branson, they will continue. Each week, one candidate will be left behind on the tarmac as the rest of the group jets off to the next adventure.
"We're thrilled to be partners with the world's most dynamic businessman," said Berman. "Richard Branson has managed to build an international corporation and untold wealth while maintaining his adventurous spirit, influencing pop culture, and having a blast the whole time. He undoubtedly has many life lessons to share on this innovative series."
"This isn't about selling a glass of lemonade," added Mike Darnell, Executive Vice President of Specials and Alternative Programming for the network. "In six weeks, these people will experience challenges and adventures beyond their wildest imagination. It's not about business acumen; for Branson, it's about finding that one extraordinary individual who has the right stuff to follow in his footsteps."
"I couldn't think of a network that is a better match for the Virgin brand than FOX," said Executive Producer Lori Levin-Hyams. "They're aggressive, fearless and take more risks than any other broadcaster. FOX is the perfect home for this series."
Sir Richard Branson, one of Britain's best-known entrepreneurs, combines his enthusiasm for running the Virgin Group of Companies with his love for high-risk, high-adventure, world record-breaking attempts.
After founding the hugely successful Virgin Records music label in the 1970s, Branson expanded the Virgin name into "Megastore" retailing, book and software publishing, film and video editing, clubs, travel, hotels, cinemas, financial services, telecommunications, and rail and air transportation.
In 1984 Branson formed Virgin Atlantic Airways and in the last two decades has grown the airline into Britain's second-largest carrier. To promote the Virgin Atlantic name, Branson became involved in a number of high-publicity, record-breaking attempts throughout the 1980s and '90s. In 1986, his boat Virgin Atlantic Challenger II crossed the Atlantic Ocean in the fastest-ever recorded time. A year later he flew the Virgin Atlantic Flyer balloon – the largest ever built – across the Atlantic.
In 1991 Branson's balloon crossed the Pacific from Japan to Canada, breaking all existing records, and he followed that with a number of attempts to circumnavigate the entire world. These were sadly thwarted by bad weather and in 1999 a Swiss team became the first to complete the trip. In 2002 Steve Fossett (Branson's partner for the earlier Virgin Global Challenger balloon project and now the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer) became the first person to complete a solo circumnavigation of the globe by balloon. Now the pair are reunited to attempt another great aviation first: a solo, non-stop flight around the world in less than 80 hours.
Branson received a knighthood for his services to entrepreneurship in 1999. He lives with his wife, Lady Joan Branson, and their two children, Holly and Sam, in London and Oxfordshire, UK.
BRANSON'S BIG ADVENTURE was created by Lori Levin-Hyams, Laura Fuest and Tod Dahlke. Richard Branson, Lori Levin-Hyams, Laura Fuest and Tod Dahlke are Executive Producers.