A&E has agreed to move forward with a provocative new reality series, in which a retired cop-turned-pastor will have eight minutes to convince prostitutes to turn their lives around, reports Entertainment Weekly.
The network has reportedly ordered eight episodes of 8 Minutes, which is the working title, starring Kevin Brown.
Brown will surprise escorts in hotel rooms and offer to rescue them from a life of trading sex for cash. Brown has eight minutes to make his case to the women in each episode.
Executive producer Tom Forman told EW that the show was inspired by a past article in the Los Angeles Times, about a pastor who worked with his church to create an undercover prostitute intervention operation.
Forman explained the background of the new series:
This is one of those great shows that was actually happening whether anybody was shooting it or not.
Brown told his congregation that for 20 years he’s had to arrest these women when what he’s really wanted to do is help them. It launched a drive within his church to run these undercover operations.
We read that and thought somebody should put a camera on this, it’s the most incredible thing I’ve ever heard.
Forman went on to say about the series:
It grabs you and does not let go for an hour. But it does not play as sensational. If anything, there’s a lot of [A&Es] Intervention in its DNA.
It’s a very real unscripted moment in time where decisions are made that are going to change people’s lives forever.
For me, very proudly, it’s a return to more documentary reality. We don’t manipulate this because we can’t and wouldn’t.
It’s already as real as it can possibly be. We’re just trying to not screw it up.
Forman noted that the riveting stories, which play out in the new series, are shown at the discretion of the girls, most of whom are comfortable with it.
It is always their choice, he said.
Brown’s success rate when mentoring such women is reportedly about “50/50.”