The “Ultimate Surfer” will be broadcast by the ABC in 2020, offering a chance for the world’s greatest up-and-coming surfers to train and live together as they battle it out at the World Surf League’s (WSL) state-of-the-art Surf Ranch.
The network secured the eight-episode series this week, which will see Kelly Slater serve as on-air talent and special correspondent with production to begin in 2020 and an airdate to be announced later this season.
Competitors will take part in individual and team challenges focused on specific surfing disciplines, with weekly eliminations leaving two men and two women as finalists who will vie for the male and female titles of the Ultimate Surfer and the opportunity to compete on the WSL World Tour, the pinnacle of professional surfing.
Slater’s remarkable, one-of-a-kind, man-made wave – the most even playing field for measuring surf mastery – is at the heart of the series.
“In addition to being a globally recognized sport, surfing is also a lifestyle; and ‘Ultimate Surfer’ will give viewers a uniquely personal look at what goes into becoming a world-class champion,” senior vice president, Alternative Series, Specials and Late Night, ABC Entertainment, Rob Mills, said.
“We’re ecstatic about the opportunity to utilize Kelly’s world-class surf facility and his expertise in showcasing these incredibly talented on-the-rise athletes.”
11-Time World Champion and surfing icon, Kelly Slater, said: “This is an unprecedented opportunity for two surfers (one man, one woman) to win an opportunity to compete against the best surfers in the world on the WSL Tour.”
“This will put some of the best up-and-comers against each other in a more direct way to see who stands above the rest, and Surf Ranch is obviously a great venue to use for ‘Ultimate Surfer.”
“I’m excited to watch how they step up to the challenge.”
The series comes out of the multiplatform co-development partnership between Pilgrim Media Group and WSL Studios, announced earlier this year.
“Ultimate Surfer” is produced by Lionsgate’s Pilgrim Media Group and WSL Studios.
Pilgrim CEO and President, Craig Piligian, WSL Studios President of Content and Media, Erik Logan, and UFC President, Dana White, serve as executive producers.