Rob Mariano Talks about New Reality TV Show

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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.

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