ABC Ferrets Out a New 'Mole'
Unscripted series returning after prolonged absence
The network announced Tuesday that it's bringing back one the unscripted series for a summertime run. By the time it airs, it will have been more than four years since the most recent incarnation of the game -- a celebrity version -- aired, and nearly six years since the last non-celeb version.
For those who don't remember, "The Mole" is a game in which players work together on a series of tasks with cash prizes attached. One of them, however, is the Mole, a saboteur working to keep the other players from collecting their rewards. Each episode ends with contestants answering a series of questions about the Mole; whoever scores lowest is eliminated. The last non-Mole standing wins a hefty cash prize.
The show, hosted by a pre-CNN Anderson Cooper, earned decent ratings as a midseason show in early 2001, but a second season was quickly pulled from ABC's fall 2001 schedule. It returned in the summer of 2002 and, against milder competition, finished second in its timeslot among adults 18-34 and adults 18-49. Two seasons of "Celebrity Mole," hosted by Ahmad Rashad, followed in 2003 and 2004, with the latter averaging 8.3 million viewers per week.
"Mole" 3.0 is currently searching for a new host, as well as contestants. Producer Stone & Company also promises new challenges and a beefed-up interactive element for home viewers. Scott A. Stone, who executive produced the show's earlier incarnations, will do the same for the new show.