New CBS contest ‘World’s Best’ wins post-Super Bowl slot

Alison Holloway, from left, Mike Darnell, RuPaul and Ben Winston participate in the "The World's Best" show panel during the CBS presentation at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour at The Langham Huntington on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK — CBS is betting big on “The World’s Best,” handing over the coveted post-Super Bowl time slot to the new talent competition shepherded by reality TV titans Mark Burnett and Mike Darnell.

Burnett has a track record following the NFL’s showcase game. In 2001, his “Survivor: The Australian Outback” debuted in that slot, drawing more than 45 million viewers.

CBS scored again in 2010 when “Undercover Boss” followed the Super Bowl and lured more than 38 million viewers.

Hosted by James Corden, “The World’s Best” premieres Sunday after Super Bowl 53. Besides impressing judges RuPaul, Drew Barrymore and Faith Hill, contestants have to break through the “wall of the world” featuring more than 50 experts from 38 different countries who score the competition. Among them is Brazilian UFC fighter Anderson Silva. The winner receives $1 million.

Burnett’s other big hit is “The Voice.” Darnell’s credits include “American Idol” and “Ellen’s Game of Games.”

“The World’s Best” joins a crowded field of reality competition programming, including “The Masked Singer,” renewed for a second season by Fox on Wednesday.

Darnell told TV critics that his show’s format isn’t based on any existing foreign programs and offers “the next new spin on a variety show.”

The show offers RuPaul a broader platform than he’s enjoyed as host of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” on VH1.

“We were all not prepared for the emotional journey that the show and performances took us on,” RuPaul said. “It was phenomenal to watch all these amazing people from around the world express themselves.”

The second episode airs on Feb. 6.

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