The future of NBC’s Space Race reality show has been cast into doubt after the fatal crash of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, Variety reports. Last Friday’s accident killed one co-pilot and seriously injured the other, when the craft plummeted into the Mojave Desert.
Mark Burnett and NBC had been working to get the reality show off the ground for the past year. Offering a trip into space as the grand prize, Space Race was envisioned as a competition between B-list celebrities who lacked Ashton Kutcher’s wealth, Leonardo DiCaprio’s fame, or any non-reality show means for getting shot into orbit.
Virgin Galactic had struck a deal with NBC to debut the series after a primetime special that would document Virgin’s founder, Sir Richard Branson, and his adult children, as they became SpaceShipTwo’s first passengers. But now that the spacecraft central to the show’s premise has been lost, the network is said to be ”gathering information on the situation” and reassessing whether to move forward. Potential Space Race contestants might similarly be reassessing safer reality TV routes for clawing back into the limelight—like competing in underground muay thai boxing matches, or marrying a Kardashian.