New York, – Whether it’s William Tell using a crossbow to shoot an apple off his son’s head, or Annie Oakley using a hand mirror to make a shot with a rifle slung over her shoulder, history is filled with legendary tales of amazing marksmanship. Now, HISTORY is tapping into these inspiring feats of sharp-shooting for its first-ever competition series, TOP SHOT, premiering Sunday, June 6 at 10pm ET.
Sixteen of the nation’s most skilled marksmen have been carefully selected to compete in the new 10-episode series. Some have professional shooting experience, some are amateurs –all will showcase breathtaking timing, speed and accuracy in their quest to win the $100,000 prize package and title of “Top Shot.” The winner will ultimately have to be skilled in everything from muzzle-loading muskets and modern pistols to slingshots and throwing knives.
The series is hosted by actor, adventurer and athlete Colby Donaldson, a born competitor whose experience as a contestant on Survivor brings a unique perspective to HISTORY’s first elimination series.
Each week, contenders will face both team and individual elimination challenges until one winner remains. In the series opener (Sunday, June 6), contestants are immediately divided into two teams and then compete in a “Rifle Relay,” an obstacle course using standard-issue rifles from four different wars. In the elimination round, two contestants go head-to-head in “The Long Shot,” a long-distance sniper challenge which will send the first person home.
In episodes 2 and 3 (Sunday, June 13 and Sunday, June 20), contestants’ skills with the pistol and bow and arrow are put to the test. From muzzle-loading muskets to throwing knives, every challenge will focus on weapons, technologies and techniques of different eras in history as high-speed HD cameras capture the skillful execution of each test in extreme slow-motion.
Contestants vying for “Top Shot” include professional shooters and world-record holders, but there are also amateurs, including a Wild West entertainer, a historical firearms collector, and a radio gun show host. They range in age from a 22-year-old rifle prodigy to a 47-year-old retired New York cop. There is also one female in the group, the first female in the history of the Chicago Police Department to become “Top Gun” of her graduating class.
TOP SHOT is produced for HISTORY by Pilgrim Films & Television. Executive Producers for HISTORY are Dirk Hoogstra and Paul Cabana. Craig Piligian is Executive Producer for Pilgrim Films & Television.
HISTORY™ and HISTORY HD™ are the leading destinations for revealing, award-winning original non-fiction series and event-driven specials that connect history with viewers in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. Programming covers a diverse variety of historical genres ranging from military history to contemporary history, technology to natural history, as well as science, archaeology and pop culture. Among the network’s program offerings are hit series such as American Pickers, Ax Men, Battle 360, How The Earth Was Made, Ice Road Truckers, Pawn Stars and The Universe, as well as acclaimed specials including 102 Minutes That Changed America, 1968 with Tom Brokaw, King, Life After People, Nostradamus: 2012, Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed and WWII in HD. HISTORY has earned four Peabody Awards, seven Primetime Emmy® Awards, 12 News & Documentary Emmy® Awards and received the prestigious Governor’s Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network’s Save Our History® campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. Take a Veteran to School Day is the network’s latest initiative connecting America’s schools and communities with veterans from all wars. The HISTORY web site, located at www.history.com, is the leading online resource for all things history, featuring over 20,000 videos, images, audio clips, articles and interactive features that allow visitors to dig deeper into a broad range of thousands of historical topics.