Bertram van Munster — creator and exec producer of CBS's The Amazing Race — just went on another international adventure, but this one's more dangerous than usual. Tonight, his Profiles from the Front Line (8 pm/ET on ABC) sends a camera crew to Afghanistan, looking for personal stories from the war on terror. Even with the full cooperation of the Pentagon, van Munster says he delivers a complete, unbiased story.
"We don't have any political message," he tells TV Guide Online of the six-episode series. "We don't say, 'War is good.' Actually, we show more 'War is bad' than anything else, because we have people die on the battlefield, and we have some very sad stories on the show that are not exactly 'Rah! Rah! Rah!' stories. I think we show both sides of what a war can bring to you."
Profiles depicts the everyday lives of military personnel, from a helicopter refueler to a Special Forces negotiator. Although he admits the footage was previewed by the U.S. Department of Defense — to ensure no military secrets are accidentally given away — van Bertram assures skeptics that "what you see is completely unfiltered."
While the crew obviously got mighty close to the action during filming, van Munster says they weren't too afraid for their lives. "We never worry about these things," he says from the safety of his L.A. office. "They got big guns, [but] it's the land mines that are scary. They got thousands and thousands of land mines laying everywhere from any war they fought in [recent] years. And any self-respecting Afghani has a back room full of mortars, rockets, hand grenades and land mines, just for fun."
And if the audience responds well to this kind of non-journalistic coverage, the shrewd producer is more than prepared for a follow-up series. "I have two teams ready to go into Iraq," he reveals. "I have the permission. It's depending on if we go [to war]."