NBC gets the show on the road with a series order of “Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge,” an epic car makeover competition series based on one of the world’s most popular toys.
Hosted by Rutledge Wood (“Top Gear US,” “Floor Is Lava”), who will also serve as one of the show’s judges, the 10-episode series will give Hot Wheels® superfans the opportunity of a lifetime – turning a nostalgic car from their past into the life-sized Hot Wheels of their dreams. The season-finale winning creation will spin its wheels by launching as an official Hot Wheels die-cast car.
“Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge” is an original format developed and produced by Endemol Shine North America in association with Workerbee under license from Mattel Inc. Executive producers are showrunner Tim Warren, along with Andy Thomas, Sharon Levy, DJ Nurre and Michael Heyerman from Endemol Shine North America; Rick Murray and Chris Hale from Workerbee (a Banijay UK Company); and Fred Soulie and Phil Breman from Mattel Television.
“Everyone remembers their first car, the life experiences they had and the friends who came along for the ride. Hot Wheels is a legendary brand that has created a space for imaginations to run free,” said Corie Henson, EVP, Unscripted Programming, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “Our prolific partners at Endemol Shine North America and Mattel have created larger-than-life family viewing with edge and humor all led by car enthusiast Rutledge Wood, whose creativity, credibility and passion for Hot Wheels makes him the perfect person to drive this wild competition.”
Each episode will invite two passionate car fans and Hot Wheels lovers into the Chrome Zone, where they will each face off in transforming an ordinary vehicle into an extraordinary Hot Wheels showstopper, inspired by personal stories and pop culture touchstones. Working alongside a team of automotive magicians known as “The Car Pool,” the two Superfans will create their designs in high-tech, decked-out garages. Raising the stakes of the competition is the Inspirationator 5000, a larger-than-life vending machine that will rev up in each episode to present the Superfans with a twist in the road.
Riding shotgun will be a rotating panel of celebrity guest judges joining resident experts Hertrech (“Hert”) Eugene Jr., an influencer in car culture and the drift scene, and Dalal Elsheikh, designer for the Ford Motor Company and Hot Wheels Brand Ambassador. Wood, Eugene and Elsheikh, along with the celebrity guests, will review the transformations and crown a winner. The winner of each episode will take home $25,000 and the chance to get into the finale, where three lucky finalists will transform another car in hopes of winning a legendary prize – an additional $50,000 and the honor of having their design made into an official Hot Wheels die-cast car.
More than 16 Hot Wheels cars are sold per second across the globe, and this all-new “Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge” die-cast car will join the ranks of the 8 billion+ Hot Wheels that have been produced to date.