Mark Burnett, Producer
Burnett (born 17 July 1960), a British-born, naturalized
citizen of the United States, is a US TV producer
known for pioneering reality television as a genre.
Burnett produced the series Survivor and the Eco-Challenge
adventure race. His eponymous production company setup
The Apprentice, The Restaurant, The Casino, Rock Star
and The Contender. He is currently collaborating with
Steven Spielberg on a show titled On the Lot which
will grant one out of 16 contestants an exclusive
Hollywood deal with DreamWorks and Spielberg.
has won two Emmy Awards, and is currently living with
Northern Ireland-born actress Roma Downey.
Burnett was born an only child in London, England.
From 1977 to 1982 he served with the British Army
in Northern Ireland and took part in the Falklands
War. In 1982, Burnett moved to Los Angeles, and for
the next decade held a variety of jobs, including
nanny in a Beverly Hills and selling t-shirts in Venice
1991, after reading an article on the Raid Gauloises,
Burnett purchased the rights from its creator Gerald
Fusil, and eventually launched the Eco-Challenge in
1995. In 1996, Burnett successfully adapted another
format by purchasing the American rights to Survivor.
2005, he published his autobiography JUMP IN!: Even
If You Don't Know How to Swim (ISBN 0-345-48098-8)
detailing his career in America, from his first job
to producing reality television. While promoting the
Fall 2006 Season of Survivor - Burnett responded to
criticism of the show's race-based divisions by saying,
"We realized that there would be a lot of heat,
but I look at [racism] as truly an American malady...
Other countries don't look at race the way Americans
do. America has a history of bad things happening
to certain races," he said. "Where I grew
up, nobody really cared about these sort of things."
Burnett was eight years old in his native England
when British Conservative politician Enoch Powell
gave his famous "Rivers of Blood" speech,
which warned against the supposed dangers of immigration
and illegalizing institutional racisim, 14 when the
openly racist National Front party finished a strong
second in several regional English elections, and
came to maturity in London during an era of constant
small-scale protests, race riots, beatings and anti-immigrant
movements. As well, Burnett served in the British
Army in Northen Ireland durning a key era of conflict
and peace management which tested the tolerance of
several different religious and ethnic communities
and cost many lives. Exactly what Burnett meant by,
"nobody really cared about these sort of things,"
remains unclear. (Credit:
Burnett to produce new 'The Restaurant'-like 'The
series for FOX
moments in product placement
used in Reality TV in Australia
challenger: Fired up over 'The Apprentice'
slump in reality TV
Man Australia does not represent Mark Burnett