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A Fear Factor Reboot Is In The Works That Sounds Way Cooler Than Eating Bugs And Getting Bad Haircuts

 Fear Factor Contestants.
Fear Factor Contestants.

With nightmarish antics like bug eating, diving off high buildings and even getting bad haircuts as a constant, it's obvious why Fear Factor quickly became a staple of early 2000s television. If you were like me, as much as the show made your heart skip a beat, you might have found the competitiveness of the contestants to be contagious enough to feel like you could easily take on the insane stunts and win the prize money. Now, with another Fear Factor reboot in the making, we all might get the chance to show off our courage. But this time, the show may be way different (and way scarier) than what we’re expecting.

The news of a Fear Factor reinvention comes from the success Sharon Levy, CEO of Endemol Shine North America, has recently had with reboots. She and her team have totally reimagined Deal or No Deal, giving it an irresistible island twist, and are currently working on a number of other shows. While talking to Variety though, Levy seemed especially hyped about aiming to bring back Fear Factor, not only because she’s a horror fan herself, but because the possibilities to really shake it up are endless. She said:

I am a huge horror fan. . . . [The social experiment component is] using where we are in society and how crippled people are by fear — and how important it is to overcome that as a backbone. We are looking at it completely differently than it has ever been done before. When you have a category like Fear Factor, which is a social experiment with real stakes, the potential of that idea excites me.

The scariest thing about her statement is that this can mean anything goes. One possibility is that it could follow a similar format to Syfy’s old prank show, Scare Tactics. In the hidden camera show, contestants found themselves in creepy and oftentimes hilarious situations that included everything from aliens to demons and monsters. If the reboot were to go in this direction, it probably would be executed differently so it doesn't include as much humor and so they can make the creatures and situations feel as real as possible (which Scare Tactics sometimes didn’t do) to really scare the wits out of contestants and audiences.

Another possibility is that it might not include any creatures at all, and instead put contestants in terrifying real-life situations, like kidnappings or trying to get away from a crazed “murderer”. For many (including myself), being in this type of environment is a million times scarier than any monster could be. And, if planned out well, these situations could horrify audiences, but leave them wanting more every week.

Just thinking about what could be in store sends shivers down my spine, but the changes will be welcome. Fear Factor was previously rebooted for MTV, and it promised to push boundaries even further by adding pop culture elements into the mix. The stunts included things like being trapped in a glass box with snakes, and of course, more bugs. The original series was notorious for its grossness, and even had an unaired episode in which contestants were challenged to drink donkey semen.

While the new rendition of Fear Factor won’t be on the 2024 TV schedule, I definitely will be anxiously waiting to hear any news about its development. With Levy’s vision, I can see it easily becoming a horror favorite in the future. In the meantime, we’ll keep all of you updated as we find out more about this show, because we’re just as curious about what’s next for the hit series that's known for horrifying its contestants and occasionally the audience.