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'Survivor' bad guy Russell Hantz to star in A&E house flipping show

May 16, 2011 | 10:27 am

Russell "Survivor" villain Russell Hantz will try to outwit, outlast and outplay the real estate market in his Houston hometown.

Hantz, who couldn't beat Boston Rob on the just-concluded season of "Survivor: Redemption Island," will be back on TV later this year in an A&E series dubbed "Flipped" that will follow him and his family as they buy, renovate and resell homes.

The one-hour show is scheduled to run for seven episodes.

"House flipping is back, and the stakes have been elevated," said David McKillop, the channel's executive vice president, programming. "Known as the entrepreneur on 'Survivor,' Hantz' life as a house flipper is truly outrageous, real and genuine."

The lingering recession and the subprime mortgage crisis have made flipping houses a tougher business, the network exec said, ramping up the drama for an unscripted show.

The show, from producer Departure Films, is the latest in a long line of real estate reality programming on cable, joining entries like "Million Dollar Listing," "Flipping Out," "Real Estate Pros" and "Flip That House" (not to be confused with A&E's own "Flip This House"). Even rapper Vanilla Ice (also known as Robert Van Winkle) has gotten in on the act with a flipping show on the DIY network.

Hantz, by the way, didn't rule out another stint on a future "Survivor," telling host Jeff Probst during Sunday night's wrap-up show to hang on to his phone number.

— T.L. Stanley

Photo: Russell Hantz on "Survivor" in 2009. Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS.