$100,000 Payday On New SPEED Mini-SeriesForza Motorsport Showdown," produced by Bud Brutsman of the popular SPEED reality show "Payback," is scheduled to begin airing in February 2007. The four-episode series will be hosted by Lee Reherman, best known as Hawk from the hit television show "American Gladiator." Each episode follows a diverse group of racers through a rigorous roster of competitive motor sports disciplines—drifting, road racing, autocross, and drag racing—in a $100,000 winner-take-all format. "Forza Motorsport Showdown,"inspired by the realism of the vehicle customization and tuning features within the game, puts contestants to the ultimate test of high-performance driving and mechanical skills. "These are real people, real crews, and real cars battling it out for a significant prize," said Robert Ecker, VP of Programming for SPEED. "Its a very visually appealing production, with an incredible amount of drama and suspense. Each team and personality has to excel in all of the racing categories to have a chance. Theres not a lot of room for error." A First for SPEED "This was the first time SPEED had been approached about doing a videogame-based reality series offering a serious prize—while providing a wider appeal to a more youthful audience," Ecker continued. "To Microsoft Games Studios credit, they didnt want this to be an infomercial about Forza Motorsport 2.They wanted this to be a stand alone show with its own reality twists and uninhibited drama. Its a very refreshing approach." "In essence, gaming is reality-based entertainment in its purest form," said Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of global marketing, Microsofts Interactive Entertainment Business. "The upcoming Forza Motorsport Showdown series demonstrates how great games can be a creative force for telling compelling stories in other media such as television and film." Forza Motorsport 2, the sequel to Microsoft Game Studios award-winning, fully customizable driving simulator Forza Motorsport, will make its exclusive debut on Xbox 360 early next year. With authentic simulation physics, bone-jarring damage, photo-realistic graphics, and a myriad of real-world tuning and customization options, the franchise improves on the unprecedented features showcased in its debut installment. Loaded with more than 300 of the worlds hottest cars to collect, personalize, and tune from the automotive industrys leading companies, Forza Motorsport 2 gives players a complete racing experience. More information on Forza Motorsport 2 can be found at www.forzamotorsport.net. SPEED Network SPEED, celebrating its tenth Anniversary in 2006, is the nations first and foremost cable network dedicated to motor sports and the passion for everything automotive. From racing to restoration, motorcycles to movies, SPEED delivers quality programming from the track to the garage. Now available in more than 73 million homes in North America, SPEED is among the fastest growing sports cable networks in the country and an industry leader in interactive TV, video on demand, mobile initiatives, and broadband services.