Mark Burnett hasn’t given up on his space dreams. According to multiple sources, Burnett is pitching a show to networks that would send the winner on one of Virgin Galactic’s first suborbital space flights.
Insiders say a bidding war among several networks is already underway for the project, which would give an ordinary citizen the chance to fly into space. The winner would take off on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo from Spaceport America in New Mexico — perhaps as soon as next year.
Billionaire Sir Richard Branson, who founded Virgin Galactic as part of his Virgin Group, has already said he plans to be on the first flight, with his family, on Dec. 25 this year. The Burnett show is then expected to pit contestants against each other for a chance at a seat on the second flight.
Tom Hanks, Ashton Kutcher, Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are among the more than 600 people who have already signed up for a Virgin Galactic flight, which cost $250,000 per seat. That price tag puts a commercial space flight out of reach for most people — which is part of the idea behind the Burnett show.