Rob Mariano Talks about New Reality TV Show

at . Comments

Reality TV World recently sat down with Rob Mariano to discuss his upcoming show, Tontine. Here are a few highlights from the interview...

Reality TV World: Hi Rob, good to talk to you again, so where are you calling from today? Are you living back in Pensacola again?
Rob: I'm actually in Florida today. I was in Pittsburgh three days ago [and] Vegas last week. And I'll be in Dallas on Wednesday. (laughing) We're still kind of running around quite a bit... but I am actually in Florida [today].

Reality TV World: You've already pretty much been teasing this new show since the moment Amber and yourself were eliminated from The Amazing Race: All-Stars back in March, so why are you still being so mysterious about who is producing the show and what network it's going to air on?
Rob: The people that are producing it just asked me not to release it yet. As far as the network goes, I actually don't know why they asked me to, but I imagine it's because of... you know how it is with the competition with these shows these days -- one network will take another network's idea and if they can produce it in a shorter amount of time, next thing you know they have it on the air before the original network.

What I can tell you is that the people that are producing are by far and away the best in the business as far as producers go. And the network is indeed a major network. It's not a cable network, it's one of the major networks. I'm just respecting their wishes. They asked to remain anonymous up until this point.

Reality TV World: Are you part of the show's producing team?
Rob: I am not one of the producers. I was [just] hired to be the host of the show.

Tontine Truck

Reality TV World: Are there signed deals in place or you still negotiating with the network and producers?
Rob: It's signed and done. It's a done deal. It will be on the air in April. It is indeed a signed deal. They're starting casting for it next week, June 30 [and] they're going to cast until the end of August. We're going to - I believe - eight cities. We're starting in Dallas, then going to Nashville; New York City; Boston; Minneapolis; St. Louis; Los Angeles; and San Diego. And then it will go to production the early part of September [with] post-production [to follow] after [that]. [The actual filming] will last 100 days, so September, October, November, [and] part of December. It will be on the air in the spring.

Reality TV World: When do you expect to announce the show's production team and broadcast network?
Rob: It's not really up to me... (laughing) you know what I mean? It's my job, I [just] work for them so whatever they want, that's what I'll do. I imagine they're probably doing this just to be secretive about the locations and everything because you know how all of these shows get spoiled these days. [But] that's just my imagination talking there.

Reality TV World: Ten Million dollars is a lot of money and far more than any other reality show has ever offered... how will it be paid to the winner - is it a real $10 million lump sum or is it something like the lottery-like "over 40 years" annuity payment schedule that NBC's For Love or Money used for its prizes?
Rob: I don't know for sure, but I do know that one person is going to win the entire $10 million. There's not going to be any money for second place, it's winner take all. One person will win $10 million. It's not like one of these things where you have the opportunity, like "you can win $10 million" -- someone is going to win $10 million, there's no catch there. It really is the biggest prize ever offered in television history... the day of the $1 million prize is over after this thing comes up!

Reality TV World: So it's a legit $10 million? There are no catches, you don't have to wait 40 years to collect it? It's not like Fox's Unan1mous, which started with a $1.5 million prize but featured a constant prize countdown that ended up resulting in the winner eventually receiving less than $400,000?
Rob: Again, I'll tell you, it's a major network doing the show. It's a very [reputable] production company. Somebody's going to win $10 million.

Reality TV World: No catches?
Rob: No catches.

Click here to continue reading this interview.

Amazon Prime Instant Video
Catch up on your favorite shows on Amazon Prime
Start Your Free Month

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.