What would you be willing to endure over three days to pocket $100,000?
The question has many potential answers, which “72 Hours” confirms. Premiering Thursday, June 6, the TNT competition show from producers of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover” franchise places three teams of strangers into a challenging environment in each episode. With only one bottle of water and a GPS tracking device, each squad must cross the forbidding terrain to find a briefcase that contains the aforementioned amount of cash.
Host Brandon Johnson — who has acted on shows from “One Life to Live” (during its ABC era) to Disney Channel’s “Shake It Up!” — has a definite sense of what the “72 Hours” players went through. He tells Zap2it the show’s season was “a straight 73-day shoot through various countries, from Hawaii and the Southern Rockies in the United States to Fiji, New Zealand and Tasmania. We bopped all over the world.”
Johnson’s role isn’t unlike Phil Keoghan’s on CBS’ long-running “The Amazing Race,” and he allows that shows such as that and the same network’s “Survivor” have “set the bar high, but I think what separates ’72 Hours’ is that we take what makes all those shows great and raise the stakes.
“Your life really depends on a stranger, and you’re catapulted into some of the most remote locations on the planet … and the only way you can collect the $100,000 is if all three team members reach the briefcase together.
“And Mother Nature does not discriminate. That’s something that not only the contestants go through, but so do we, as a production entity. We can’t say, ‘I’d prefer it not rain today. I’d prefer we not have 40-mph winds.’ We’re all in this together.”
That comes from someone who would be prone to play “72 Hours” if he weren’t hosting it. “My soul speaks to adventure,” Johnson maintains. “I grew up in Minnesota, where we experience all four seasons all the time. And we’re outside no matter what, whether it’s 85 degrees or 20 below. That’s one of the reasons I gravitated toward this show.”