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'Fear Factor' returns to NBC

Comcast is polishing the image of its new NBC toy by ordering 10 new episodes of the old reality disgust-a-thon 'Fear Factor.'

Don't let it bug you, but Comcast is polishing the image of its new NBC toy by ordering 10 new episodes of the old reality disgust-a-thon Fear Factor. That sets the net to be the mostest with the grossness.

Joe Rogan is said to be "high on the list" to re-visit the high point of his career as host of one of the original 21st Century reality shows, if they can pull him away from his great gig as color man for Ultimate Fighting.

The Factor (not O'Reilly, though he can be pretty gross, too) was the one people pointed to when they were really sick of the genre and not deeply enough into it to come up with Temptation Island or The Littlest Groom. No matter. TV geniuses, both at NBC and Endemol, which will produce it again, believe the time is right to bring it back.

"Back then, we didn't even have it in HD," producer Matt Kunitz (also responsible for ABC's Wipeout) told's James Hibberd, here, promising "bigger and scarier" stunts.  "We're going to be able to take it to a new level."

Paul Telegdy, NBC vice president of alternative programming, took notice when re-runs of the original, almost 10 years old, got decent ratings on Comcast's Chiller channel. "No one has come close to doing what they've done on that show," Telegdy told Hibberd, here. "You go back, and they've stood the test of time. It always had this incredible spectacle to it."

"The stunt and camera technologies have evolved since then. We're going to be able to make it even bigger. We're going to make it more visually arresting." Sadly, there's no reality police around to arrest them for doing it.

The up-to-the-minute world of reality does call for some changes. Bugs will be served for dinner, and snakes will abound, but, Kunitz said, "it won't be so much about eating animal genitalia."