Release the Hounds
|Release the Hounds|
|Also known as||Release the Hounds: Famous and Freaked (2017—)|
Reggie Yates (2013–17)|
Matt Edmondson (2017—)
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||4|
|No. of episodes||23 (inc. pilot + 4 specials)|
|Running time||60 minutes (inc. adverts)|
|Original release||28 October 2013– present|
Release the Hounds is a British television game show broadcast on ITV2 since October 2013. The show, hosted by Matt Edmondson, culminates in the participants being chased by dogs in the hope of winning a large cash prize.
Release the Hounds was first broadcast on ITV2 as a one-off Halloween episode on 28 October 2013 and repeated on 31 October. Having attracted 658,000 viewers a further six programmes were commissioned in January 2014, to be made by Gogglebox Entertainment and latterly Primal Media both run by Mat Steiner and Adam Wood.
The show purported to take place in a haunted country estate in the English hills, but was actually filmed at Bramley Ordnance Depot,[better source needed] also known as Bramley Central Ammunition Depot in north Hampshire. For the 2015 series (which began its broadcast on 30 September) the filming was transferred to Eastern Europe. The new filming site, in a square mile of Lithuanian forest, was created by Gogglebox Entertainment after similar programmes were commissioned for Sweden, Denmark, Russia, the Netherlands and Lithuania itself. A similar film set was planned for South America to film series for Peru and the United States. The German version was also filmed in the original set near London and premiered on 1 March 2014 on ProSieben.
The show begins with the disclaimer "The producers would like to thank the families of the participants. No dogs were harmed in the documentation of this event". Each contest occurs at night, as three contestants take part in gory and unpleasant challenges to find (or release) a key.
After each successful round, one of the contestants has to run a floodlit course pursued by snarling dogs. They are given a head start, which reduces in length the longer the contestants take to pass each task (the countdown begins with 160 meters). The contestant carries a red backpack containing several thousand pounds, which they keep if they successfully reach the end of the course before the dogs catch them.
|Series||Start date||End date||Episodes||Presenter|
|Pilot||28 October 2013||1||Reggie Yates|
|1||22 September 2014||27 October 2014||6|
|2||30 September 2015||11 November 2015||5|
|3||9 February 2017||23 March 2017||7|
|4||11 January 2018||8 February 2018||5||Matt Edmondson|
|18 December 2014||Christmas Special||Reggie Yates|
|28 October 2015||Halloween Special|
|9 December 2015||Christmas Special|
|31 October 2017||Halloween Special||Matt Edmondson|
The Guardian described the pilot show as "both great and stupid, which ticks the only television boxes you need to worry about." The South Wales Argus was more scathing, saying the contestants appear "to have been brought down by none other than Lassie" and "the pursuit carries all the fear factor of an Ashleigh and Pudsey routine." The show has both been nominated multiple times at the Broadcast Awards as well as winning awards including Realscreen and most recently Best Entertainment show at the Royal Television Society Awards 2016.
- Filipa Jodelka (26 October 2013). "Release The Hounds: ITV's Halloween game show could do with more dogs". theguardian.com. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
- Bramley Camp
- Alex Farber (9 October 2014). "Gogglebox eyes Release The Hounds hub". Broadcast. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
- Maria Williams (26 September 2014). "COUCH POTATO: Release The Hounds has a bark worse than its bite". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 10 October 2015.