Whether it’s William Tell using a crossbow to shoot an apple off his son’s head, or Annie Oakley using a hand mirror to make a shot with a rifle slung over her shoulder, history is filled with legendary tales of amazing marksmanship. Now, HISTORY is tapping into these inspiring feats of sharp-shooting for its first-ever competition series, TOP SHOT, premiering Sunday, June 6 at 10pm ET.
Sixteen of the nation’s most skilled marksmen have been carefully selected to compete in the new 10-episode series. Some have professional shooting experience, some are amateurs – all will showcase breathtaking timing, speed and accuracy in their quest to win the $100,000 prize package and title of “Top Shot.” The winner will ultimately have to be skilled in everything from muzzle-loading muskets and modern pistols to slingshots and throwing knives.
The series is hosted by actor, adventurer and athlete Colby Donaldson, a born competitor whose experience as a contestant on Survivor brings a unique perspective to HISTORY’s first elimination series.
Each week, contenders will face both team and individual elimination challenges until one winner remains. In the series opener (Sunday, June 6), contestants are immediately divided into two teams and then compete in a “Rifle Relay,” an obstacle course using standard-issue rifles from four different wars. In the elimination round, two contestants go head-to-head in “The Long Shot,” a long-distance sniper challenge which will send the first person home.
In episodes 2 and 3 (Sunday, June 13 and Sunday, June 20), contestants’ skills with the pistol and bow and arrow are put to the test. From muzzle-loading muskets to throwing knives, every challenge will focus on weapons, technologies and techniques of different eras in history as high-speed HD cameras capture the skillful execution of each test in extreme slow-motion.
Contestants vying for “Top Shot” include professional shooters and world-record holders, but there are also amateurs, including a Wild West entertainer, an historical firearms collector, and a radio gun show host. They range in age from a 22-year-old rifle prodigy to a 47-year-old retired New York cop. There is also one female in the group, the only female in the history of the Chicago Police Department to become “Top Gun” of her graduating class.