Zap2it: Did it give you confidence going into “The Great Escape” that it was being made by those behind “The Amazing Race”?
Rich Eisen: Well, when Bert (executive producer Bertram Van Munster) is sitting there at 3 in the morning, it’s great to have him on his umpteenth rodeo here. I mean, he knows what he’s doing; he knows how to shoot it and how to create the drama and, most importantly, how to run the game. The thing has to be done right, so just watching that is pretty neat to see.
Zap2it: With moviemakers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer also among the executive producers of “The Great Escape,” how involved are they?
Rich Eisen: They have people from [their company] Imagine Entertainment who are on the set. The concept of this is that it’s a summer blockbuster movie every Sunday night. The way they created an environment within this certain place we went to … the art direction, and the things they put in these buildings to enhance the game experience, man! It’s a very creative process that you see on display here.
Zap2it: How has it been balancing your “Great Escape” and NFL Network jobs so far?
Rich Eisen: It’s been wild but exciting. With the NFL, it’s a narrative-generating machine each week; there’s something new that comes up, and the reality show genre is equally unscripted but uniquely different. I feel really fortunate. It puts a strain on the schedule, but I’m having the time of my life.
“The Great Escape” airs Sundays on TNT.