Cincinnati Bengals star wide receiver Chad Ocho Cinco (formerly Chad Johnson) is using his off-season to pursue happiness off the field in his new VH1 reality show “The Tournament” (working title). The series is a mix of Ocho Cinco’s on-field charisma blended with the drama of the dating pool played out in a bracket-style dating tournament. The 10 episode, one-hour series is set to premiere in July 2010.One of the NFL’s brightest stars, 32-year-old Ocho Cinco has been selected to the Pro Bowl six times and named an All-Pro three times. He legally changed his surname from Johnson to Ocho Cinco prior to the 2008 regular season to reflect the number 85 on his Bengals uniform. In the 2009 season, Ocho Cinco caught 72 passes for 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns. An avid user of social networks, Ocho Cinco has close to one million followers on Twitter and hundreds of thousands of fans on Facebook.
“The Tournament” will start with Ocho Cinco finding his “first 85” by traveling all over the country meeting women that may be interested in dating him. Then, during the first episode, he will narrow the playing field down to the sweet sixteen – four women from each of the four regions of the country Northern, Western, Southern and Central Divisions. The sixteen chosen women will be invited to join Ocho Cinco for the rest of the tournament-style dating competition.
Once the competition begins, Ocho Cinco will follow a tournament bracket where each of the ladies will have an opportunity to spend quality time with him while also facing off against one another in double-dates. The winner of each dating face-off will receive a game ball from Ocho Cinco and move on to the next round of the tournament, while the loser goes home. Ultimately the sweet sixteen will be narrowed down to eight and then the final four. In the end, the championship date between the two remaining women will result in Ocho Cinco awarding his chosen love the coveted Championship Ring. Hopefully, she turns out to be his greatest catch this season!
“Chad Ocho Cinco is one of the most electrifying individuals in sports today. His bigger than life personality on and off the field and his notorious skills as a social networker, connecting daily with his fans, makes him a perfect fit for VH1,” said Jeff Olde, Executive Vice President, Original Programming and Production, VH1. “This show will not only give viewers a look inside his professional life, but also reveal his softer more romantic side when playing a very different kind of game.”
VH1’s “The Tournament” is executive produced by Bob Horowitz and Lewis Fenton (for JUMA Entertainment) and Mark Cronin and Cris Abrego (for 51 Minds Entertainment, LLC. an Endemol Company). Ben Samek and Matt Odgers also executive produce for the series and the company. Jeff Olde, Jill Holmes, and Kristen Kelly oversee the series for VH1.