The ‘Hunted’ Commander Is Up To The Challenge

by Laura Rosenfeld
Cliff Lipson/CBS

CBS is about to launch one of the most intense reality shows ever. Hunted premieres on CBS on Sunday, Jan. 22 after the AFC Championship, and the point of the game is for nine pairs of fugitives to evade capture for 28 days in an effort to win a $250,000 grand prize. Of course, when you have a group of people that includes cyber security experts, military personnel, and U.S. Marshals teaming up to track you down, going completely off the grid for nearly a month really does become quite the challenge. So how do you think Robert W. Clark, who is Hunted's commander, feels about the task before him?

Well, he seems pretty confident and excited to share his Hunted experience with the world, if you ask me, after scrolling through his Facebook page. That sentiment comes through in this video introducing the Command Center investigators on CBS' website, too. "They think this is a game, but my team is going to take this very seriously because this is what we do for a living," Clark says in the clip. I certainly believe him.

But it took Clark decades to earn this prestigious position and all the responsibility that comes with it. Get some intel on Clark's life before Hunted below, and you'll soon realize that the show definitely picked the right guy to be in charge.

He's The Boss On 'Hunted'

Sonja Flemming/CBS

So yeah, Clark is at the very top of the intelligence and operations hierarchy on Hunted. As the commander, he will oversee the entire fugitive hunt, the intelligence, the operations, everything. "I have the command and control over everything that's happening," Clark says in Hunted's clip about the Command Center team.

He Just Left The FBI

Perhaps the reason why Hunted put Clark in charge is because he has decades of experience in tracking criminals down. Clark just retired from the FBI in May 2016 after 21-and-a-half years of service, according to his show bio. During his career, he oversaw criminal programs, such as the Gang and Violent Crime units. He's also been tasked with taking down the infamous MS-13 gang in Los Angeles with the FBI's National Gang Task Force, he previously described to NBC News. So finding fake fugitives on Hunted should probably be a piece of cake for Clark, right?

He Got His Start As A Police Officer

Monty Brinton/CBS

Before he joined the FBI, Clark first got into law enforcement after he graduated from the Ohio Police Academy, according to YSU Magazine. He then went on to work as a reserve for the Austintown police and then the Youngstown Police Department in Ohio, where he first worked in cocaine undercover operations. Clark received a city proclamation from the mayor's office and a key to the city for his achievements with the force. Youngstown, Ohio is actually Clark's hometown, his cast bio says, and he clearly still has a lot of pride for where he came from today.

He Knows What It's Like To Be On The Other Side Of The Law

However, Clark has seen the impact of being on the wrong side of the law firsthand. His father operated the mob-owned Casablance Nightclub in Youngstown and was murdered after he lost "a drug disagreement," Clark recounted to YSU Magazine. He said that his mother's family also had connections to organized crime. Clark was put in foster care from age 4 to 12 and was often left at home alone at night to take care of his sister while his mom worked as a dancer. “I was in and out of trouble, a lot,” Clark told YSU Magazine. But boy, did he turn his life around.

He's Got A Soft Spot For Family

Cliff Lipson/CBS

But Clark is a big softie at heart these days. Case in point: He celebrated his daughter's 19th birthday on Facebook earlier this month with the mushiest post ever. "Today - I celebrated 19 years of being the dad of the most AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL AND KINDEST Daughter a Father could ever ask for. I am also thankful and BLESSED for my two daughters - For they are truly the only 2 near perfect things I have ever accomplish," Clark wrote in the post, which also featured an image that said, "I <3 my daughter to the moon and back." Honestly, I thought Clark would be making me cry for way different reasons.

He Wants To Inspire Others

Sonja Flemming/CBS

Clark has served as a mentor at the West Angeles Church and West Angeles CDC in recent years, according to his LinkedIn page. He is also currently listed as one of the speakers for the motivational program My Life My Power. From what I've learned about Clark thus far, he's already inspired me.

But I have a feeling that Clark is not going to inspire the warm and fuzzies among Hunted's fugitives.