The youngest person to sail around the world will now race around the world.
Zac Sunderland, who was 17 when he set sail alone in 2009, and his father, Laurence, are among the globe-trotting teams on The Amazing Race 19. But Sunderland is not the only established name in the cast.
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Former Survivor winners ...
Question: I've been a fan of The Amazing Race from the beginning and have watched through its hits and misfires. I wonder, though, if the producers have thought of shaking up the series by having the same number of contestants but randomly (or purposefully) assigning the people into teams, either before the series debut or in the very first episode. Do you think having strangers forced to deal with such uncertainty would work, or would this extra layer of tension simply be too confusing?
Answer: I don't know if they've ever considered this, but I'll tell you why I hope it never happens. First, why tinker with something that isn't broken? Every time The Amazing Race tries to "improve" the show (family edition, all-star version), it only makes it worse. Second, part of the allure of the show is watching teams with preexisting relationships either grow or self-destruct under the pressure of the race. Forcing complete strangers upon each other might add a new layer of tension, but it woul ...
Question: I'm kind of glad to hear that The Amazing Race won't be back until mid-season, as much as I love it. I hope that means they can spend more time casting quality, dynamic, interesting teams. My thought, however, is that they should do the same with Survivor, which is getting stale in its old age. (I have my own ideas on how to spice up the show, but that's not for this column.) What's keeping CBS from rotating the two on Thursday nights — Race's smaller audience?
Answer: You answered your own question. While Survivor isn't quite the powerhouse it used to be, with its novelty fading by the cycle, it is still a big audience draw, bigger than Race for sure. And the stakes are so high on Thursdays (witness CBS returning Without a Trace to finish out the night) that CBS isn't going to mess with the current formula until it is forced to. For now, Survivor is still giving CBS a powerful start to Thursdays. When something comes along to upstage it, CBS will have to start scrambling ...
It seems smart to put The Amazing Race on the back burner for mid-season. With the gimmicky Family and All-Stars cycles, this most-honored of all reality-competition shows was beginning to look a bit played out. Less is more. CBS should make this show feel like an event, and the best way to do that is not to schedule it season-round. Leave us wanting more, and maybe more will come.Moving Without a Trace back to its old Thursday slot: Good idea. This season, it helped establish CBS' new Sunday strategy of a crime block to counter ABC's popular soaps. Now it can go back where it truly belongs, restoring some luster and stability to the toughest, most competitive night of the week. (And selfishly, I've had nothing to enjoy watching Thursdays at 10 pm since ABC yanked Men in Trees from its lineup. It'll be good to have Trace once again behind CSI.)And a big whew for CBS' mid-season renewal of The New Adventures of Old Christine. I love that show, and was worried that the mystifying succ...
Oprah Winfrey's production company has enlisted the four-time Emmy-winning Amazing Race's creators, Bert Van Munster (no relation to Herman) and Elise Doganieri, to serve as show-runners for Oprah Winfrey's The Big Give. Ope's first reality-TV venture hands 10 people riches and resources and then they're charged with helping others. The best philanthropist has his or her wildest wish granted unless of course the wish is for me to cease reporting on Britney Spears.