Two Maine residents will search for the elusive Sasquatch in “10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty,” premiering at 10 p.m. Jan. 10 on Spike TV.
In the new reality show, Michael Merchant, 50, of Hampden and Kat McKechnie, 39, of Bowdoinham will team up to compete against eight other teams for a $10 million prize.
The hunt will take place in the most remote corners of the Pacific northwest, where Sasquatch sightings are most prevalent. The goal of the nine competing teams: capture Bigfoot or provide DNA and visual evidence of the creature’s existence.
The teams are comprised of lifelong hunters of all kinds (Bigfoot, big game, ghosts, etc.). They will put their knowledge and skills to the test as they battle the elements and outwit the competition.
Merchant, who studied biology at the University of Maine in Orono, has also appeared on Discovery Channel’s “Out of the Wild: Venezuela,” in which he hiked 70 miles through rugged Venezuela jungle; as well as Animal Planet’s “Infested” as a herpetology expert.
McKechnie, who studied geology at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, is the co-founder of the Maine Ghost Hunters, a team of paranormal investigators that has been featured A&E Biography Channel’s “My Ghost Story” series.
In “Bigfoot Bounty,” the teams will complete weekly challenges and lengthy hunts in famous and active Bigfoot hotspots. They will then present what evidence they’ve gathered and their theories to a judges panel made up the expedition leader Dean Cain and scientific experts Dr. Todd Disotell and Natalia Reagan.
Cain, a widely-known actor known for his role as Superman in the 1990s TV series “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” is an avid outdoorsman and hunter. Throughout the series, he will assist the teams, helping them use their skills to the best of their abilities.
Disotell holds a PhD from Harvard and is a biological anthropologist who runs New York University’s molecular primatology lab. He has been a part of research teams that have discovered several new species and subspecies of primates. And Reagan is a primatologist with a Master’s degree in anthropology. She specializes in primate conservation and has a wealth of experience tracking monkeys in the wild.
DNA evidence will be processed utilizing Disotell’s state-of-the-art mobile DNA lab that can obtain DNA results in the most remote locations within a day. In the case proof is not found, the team that presented the most compelling evidence and theory will be given a $100,000 research grant to continue their search.
The $10 million grand prize, underwritten by Lloyd’s of London, is one of the largest cash prizes ever offered in television history.
“10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty” is produced by Charlie Corwin’s Original Media (“Swamp People,” “Ink Master”) with Corwin, Mike Riley and Emmy Award-winner Jon Kroll (“The Amazing Race,” “Big Brother”) as Executive Producers.
Fans can join in the conversation about the show by following @SPIKETV on Twitter and using #BigfootBounty. Sneak peeks of upcoming episodes, blog posts, full episodes, biographies and more can be found at bigfoot.spike.com.