NEW YORK (AP) — The Spike television network is airing a competition this fall to award a fortified bunker to a family that believes the end of the world is near.
The network said Tuesday that its six-episode series called "Last Family on Earth" will feature survivalists competing to show how tough and resourceful they are. The winner gets an underground bunker in an undisclosed location.
Sharon Levy, executive vice president of original programming at Spike, said the series doesn't necessarily coincide with the theory that the ancient Mayan civilization predicted the end of the world will arrive in December 2012.
Levy said polls show that many people believe that there will be some catastrophic event like an earthquake or epidemic that threatens civilization, and these are the people who will participate in the show.
"We don't think there's anything funny about that," Levy said. "We think it's a very interesting segment of the population that is very prepared, is highly intelligent. These are regular people. These are not people that you may think are living in a shelter in the middle of the woods. These could be your friends.
"We're taking it very seriously," she said. "We know they're taking it very seriously, and we think it's going to be incredibly riveting."
Viewers will also learn useful information about survival skills, she said.
Winners will be selected by a panel of survival experts, with viewers given a say through social media. The families involved and the judges haven't been selected for the series, produced by reality TV maven Craig Piligian and Pilgrim Studios.
Levy wouldn't say how much the bunker will cost.
Although only six episodes have been ordered, Levy said there's no reason that "Last Family on Earth" couldn't last several seasons if it's successful.
That will presume, of course, that the world doesn't end in December.
Miss. man executed for killing 4 nieces, nephews
JACK ELLIOTT JR.,Associated Press
PARCHMAN, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi man convicted of killing four young nieces and nephews in a 1990 stabbing rampage was executed Tuesday, despite pleas from his two sisters to spare the brother who killed their children.
Henry "Curtis" Jackson Jr. was pronounced dead at 6:13 p.m. CDT Tuesday after receiving an injection at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, officials said.
Clad in a red prison jumpsuit as he lay strapped to a gurney, Jackson was asked if he wanted to make a statement.
"No, I don't," he responded as family members sat somberly in a nearby witness room.
OREGON WOMAN WINS $900,000; DATE INFECTED HER WITH HERPES: PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon jury has awarded $900,000 to a woman who claimed a retired dentist infected her with genital herpes, in a rare case in which a dispute over a sexually transmitted disease went to a jury trial.
The 49-year-old woman, who filed the suit under a pseudonym, testified last week that she suffered painful outbreaks and spiraled into depression following a sexual encounter with the 69-year-old man she met through the dating website eHarmony.
"I told the jury he's dangerous, and I believe he is," said Randall Vogt, the attorney for the woman, who declined to be interviewed.
High-profile lawsuits accusing celebrities of herpes transmission have been in the news for a quarter-century, but such lawsuits remain relatively rare and typically do not go to trial. The award issued Friday is believed to be the largest of its kind in Oregon. A similar 1996 case ended in a $550,000 settlement.
Vogt said the cases are uncommon because they are difficult to prove and typically embarrassing for the claimants. Moreover, it does not make sense to pursue a civil lawsuit unless the defendant has the money to pay a potential judgment.