ASOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL SURFER / 1999
Sunny Garcia competed in the Hossegor Rip Curl Pro in the South of France three years ago. Garcia will be featured in WB's reality series, "North Shore Project."
Seven professional male and female surfers, including former world champ Sunny Garcia, are starring in a WB network reality-based television series tentatively called "The North Shore Project" in a sort of "Real World" meets "Blue Crush" concept.
WB begins filming
surfer reality series
By Tim Ryan
Six weeks of filming began Friday for the Basic Elements production, a division of Carsey-Werner-Mandabach. The executive producers are Lisa Berk, a former executive on MTV's "Real World," and Bruce Toms.
The seven surfers and a production crew are living in a Sunset Beach house. Unlike "The Real World," where bedrooms were shared, the surfers each have their own room. The surfers, who were cast in Los Angeles, are Garcia, Damien Hobgood and Myles Padaca, of Hawaii; Danny Fuller, Holli Beck and Veronica Kay, of California; and Chelsea Georgeson, of Australia.
Garcia, 33, who won an unprecedented fifth Hawaiian Triple Crown in 2000 and the ASP World Champion title, is the oldest and the father figure of the group. Georgeson, 18, is the youngest.
A camera crew will follow the surfers surfing, training and relaxing, capturing life at the beach house and in the competitions of the Vans Triple Crown surfing events, likely finishing with the Xbox Pipeline Masters scheduled to run Dec. 8 to 20, said Keith Cox, WB senior vice president for alternative programming.
"North Shore Project" is "really about the relationships and personalities of these surfers with Hawaii and the competitions as the hook," Cox said. "We want viewers to be invested in the contestants and feel a relationship with them."
There also will be photographers in the ocean on boats and surfboards to capture the stars, who are receiving the same salary from WB, Cox said. Vans will provide surfing footage of its competitions to the show, Cox said.
Six one-hour episodes will be shown next summer, perhaps as early as June, Cox said.
"There are real stakes here and real competitions involving real athletes who know and respect one another, which makes it very different than 'Real World,'" Cox said.
Berk selected the surfers based in part on age, surfing experience, surfing notoriety and personal backgrounds, Cox said.
"Sunny has a family, and Myles (Padaca) is engaged and his girlfriend is pregnant," Cox said. "She's very concerned about the danger of him surfing Pipeline with her having a child on the way."
The rented beach home, which Garcia helped arrange, looks like a surfer house and is intentionally more down-to-earth than the "Real World" house at Diamond Head, Cox said. "We did make it more comfortable than it was."
WB hopes to attract the 12-to-34-year-old demographic with the show.
"The cast was not chosen for any potential personality clashes," Cox said. "If that happens, we want it to occur naturally.
"Most shows have to have fake competitions, but all ours are going to be very real."
Carsey-Werner-Mandabach's current hits include two of Fox's Top 10 shows, "That '70s Show" and "Grounded for Life," by "3rd Rock" veterans Bill Martin and Mike Schiff.
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