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Can Ford's new TV show Escape the "Car Curse"

Ford and NBC have teamed up to produce a prime-time television show called “Escape Routes” based on the on-line challenge of the same name.

Last fall Torque News reported that Ford had launched a new game over the internet that featured teams competing in Ford Escapes to solve challenges and report their adventures (click here for a look at the original piece). Now Ford is teaming up with NBC to expand the premise to a new reality series that will air on prime-time television.

This new program will air on Saturday nights on both NBC and also Telemundo’s mun2 network. “Escape Routes” will feature six teams of two people in Ford Escape compact SUVs arriving in a new city to have spur of the moment adventures and also compete in interactive challenges. Like many reality based TV programs, audience participation will play a role. The audience will be able to influence the outcome through on-line participation.

The season spans six episodes, and will be hosted by Rossi Morreale. The first episode kicks off in Los Angeles. In order to appeal to the target demographic, the teams are made up of BFFs and brother/sister pairs along with two models named Tiffany and Chekesha who were selected by on-line voting. The teams are competing for the ultimate prize of $100,000 dollars and a Ford Escape for each of the winning pair. On-line participants can also win prizes.

“Escape Routes” is not the first reality show to prominently feature product placement of an automobile. One of the first reality shows, “Survivor”, awarded GM vehicles, and later Ford vehicles, to winners of special challenges. Becoming known as “The Car Curse”, because the winners of the car never went on to win the final game, the cars ranged in style and value. A competitor named Colby once won a Pontiac Aztec. That particular win may have more than one meaning to “Car Curse!” Later participants won more stylish products such as a Chevrolet Corvette.

Season one of “Escape Routes” featuring Ford’s all-new Escape starts Saturday March 31st at 8 pm/ET on NBC and Telemundo’s mun2.