According to Variety, Yahoo! is teaming with Mark Burnett and Live Planet in a bid to bring back shelved ABC project The Runner -- and if it happens, it could be one of the biggest entertainment events ever on the Internet.
Lloyd Braun, the ex-ABC chief who heads the Yahoo! Media Group, is spearheading the new project with Burnett and the original Live Planet production team of Ben Affleck, Sean Bailey, Matt Damon and company CEO Larry Tanz.
The concept began life with Live Planet and ABC back in 2000 but was halted due to production difficulties heightened by the aftermath of 9/11.
While The Runner always boasted a strong online component, new take is envisioned as an Internet-driven event for Yahoo! in what's easily the most ambitious production since Braun joined the company at the end of 2004.
A spokesman for Yahoo! confirmed the project "is in development, but it hasn't been given the greenlight."
If it does move forward, The Runner could go live as soon as this summer and would likely unfold over the course of one to two months. Scheduling is a big question: Internet usage is down in the summer, but a fall launch would mean competing against the broadcast networks' new shows.
Indeed, it's possible that financial and production considerations could yet prevent a greenlight for "The Runner," insiders insisted. A final nod would have to come from Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel.