Originally posted Wednesday, March 27, 2019 by RODNEY HOemail@example.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Suzette “Maria” Taylor, a Centennial High School and University of Georgia graduate, is co-hosting the new CBS reality competition show “Million Dollar Mile” with Tim Tebow and Matt “Money” Smith.
The show, which debuted Wednesday and is produced in part by LeBron James, features an obstacle course set in the streets of Los Angeles. That alone sounds difficult enough but to add a level of difficulty, super athletic “defenders” will try to take down the competitors before they reach their destination. There are six challenges. The more a contestant finishes, the more money they pocket, with a possibility of pocketing $1 million.
The contestants are given a two-minute head start. If they get caught, they get nothing. If they climb a 15-story wall before the defender gets to them, they get to pocket whatever money they received for finishing however many challenges.
It’s a blend of the 1987 dystopian film “The Running Game” (minus the death, of course) and the inspiring notes of “American Ninja Warrior.”
While Tebow, the former NFL quarterback, is the host, Taylor and Smith provide analysis and play by play.
Taylor is used to this type of work at ESPN where her specialty is college football. She has also covered women’s basketball and volleyball, two sports she competed in during high school and college.
“This is just a new sport to add to my repertoire,” said Taylor in a recent interview. Obstacle course racing has become a much bigger deal in recent years and many of the defenders have been doing these types of courses for yeras, she said. “It reminds me of people competing in the X Games. They are not competing between the lines of a football field. They are in the elements and being able to still compete.”
One challenge tests a person’s “parkour” skills by going from wall to wall without touching the ground. Others focus on balance and upper-body strength. One involves swimming. None of them look remotely easy.
Though James is involved in the project, she has only gotten to say hi to him in passing. “He’s a pretty busy guy,” she said.
“Million Dollar Mile,” 9 p.m. Wednesdays, CBS
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.