Though the show was cancelled back in 2004, ABC has decided to bring back The Mole reality series.
The Mole TV series was created back in 1999 and first ran in Belgium. It became so popular that the concept was subsequently licensed in 40 countries. Players in the reality show must work together to solve mental and physical challenges that increase a cash prize. One of the players (a mole) is secretly working against the team and sabotages their efforts. Using the tiniest of details, the players try to figure out the “mole’s” identity one of them is eliminated at the end of each episode.
The U.S. version kicked off on January 9, 2001 on ABC and performed well enough to be renewed for another season. The second season kicked off in September 2001 but was soon put on hiatus due to low ratings and the events of 9/11. The Mole returned in June 2002 and ran as a summer replacement series.
ABC followed up with two celebrity editions which featured stars like Kathy Griffin, Stephen Baldwin, Corbin Bernsen, Mark Curry, and Keshia Knight Pulliam.
The series’ last original episode aired on February 18, 2004 and, despite decent ratings, it wasn’t renewed for a fifth season. The producers tried to find a new home for the reality show but were apparently unsuccessful – until now. Four years later, it seems that the series is coming back.
ABC has given the greenlight for a new non-celebrity 10-episode run. Pre-production and casting are already underway and the network plans to run the new season during the summer months. The game will essentially be the same but will be made a bit simpler so that viewers can play along at home.
The first two seasons were hosted by ABC newsman Anderson Cooper and sportscaster Ahmad Rashad hosted the celebrity versions. Cooper is obviously no longer available due to his success at CNN and Rashad hasn’t been asked back. Producer Scott Stone told Variety, “We’re looking for someone in the Anderson mode, a little mysterious but full of comedy. It could be a breakout role for someone.”
Stone says that he never lost faith in the series and has continued to look for a new home for it. Rights to use the format had reverted to Belgium company TTTI but Stone was able to sign a deal to relicense them two months ago.
Though it would seem like this revival comes as a result of the writers strike, ABC Entertainment’s alternative series senior VP John Saade maintains the deal was in the works prior to the strike. He says, “This is a show we honestly love and people ask us about all the time.” Stone notes, ” It was just about getting the timing right.” Stay tuned!