November 16, 2004

Amazing Race

The Amazing Race on CBS has been through some tough times, but things seem to be getting better for it. TAR debuted in the fall of 2001 to critical raves and enormous response from a small group of fans, but overall lackluster ratings. A second edition aired in the spring of 2002, followed by a third again the next fall. But then things started getting dim as CBS postponed the fourth installment, opting to make it a summer series in 2003. They gave it a decent Thursday time slot, but the fact that the Race was being cast off to the summer, along with shows like Big Brother, didn’t speak well to the network’s confidence in the show. The Big Brother connection was further solidified in the summer of 2004, with the casting of former BB houseguest Alison, probably one of the most hated reality contestants ever, in the fifth season of The Amazing Race. Luckily Alison was eliminated in the second show, and things started to turn around as the ratings for TAR rose sharply and stayed high all summer. This prompted them to give the Race another shot at a fall time slot, scheduling the sixth season for Saturday nights in September. Of course, Saturday is the night where shows go to die (see also Hack and The District), so this move didn’t exactly instill confidence in the fans. But after TAR5 brought in strong ratings during its entire run, and after the show won its second Emmy in a row, CBS wised up and started looking for a better time slot for the show. Fortunately the new drama Clubhouse was crap on toast, so they were able to send that show off to the Saturday pasture to die and give The Amazing Race its primo time slot on Tuesday nights.

So the end result of all this long sordid mess is that The Amazing Race season 6 is premiering tonight on CBS at 9pm. This time they’ve given the TAR premiere a full two hours, something that even a Survivor premiere has never gotten. They’ve also been advertising the show relentlessly, creating nearly a dozen different promo spots and peppering them all over primetime for the last month. It looks like TAR is finally getting the respect it deserves fom the network, and hopefully that will lead to more record-breaking ratings for the show this season. The Race is consistently the best reality show in terms of things like production, editing, polish, and pure entertainment value. But a show like this lives and dies by the casting, so we’ll have to wait until tonight to see what this latest group of 22 racers is like.

If you haven’t seem the show before, the premise is pretty simple. Contestants enter the race teamed up with someone they know: friend, family member, lover. Working as a team they have to race against ten other pairs all the way around the world. There are thirteen legs to the race, and on each leg they are given a variety of clues directing them from one location to the next. They have a credit card for airplane tickets, and a small allowance for taxis, buses and trains. At the end of each leg is a “pit stop”, where everyone gets twelve hours of rest. The last team to arrive there is kicked out of the race. By the time they reach the final leg, there are only three teams left, and the first one to cross the finish line wins a million bucks.

But that simple description can’t capture the excitement, the suspense, and the adventure that is The Amazing Race. For all that, you’re just going to have to tune in for yourself!

PS. Anybody who missed the show and didn’t tape it and is looking to download it, you can usually find it the next day on BitTorrent. That’s what I’ve started doing for quite a few TV shows now. A couple of good sites to find torrent files are SuprNova and

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

Comments (3)

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  1. jill says:

    I look forward to the Amazing Race every week. Does anyone know how to enter the drawing for them to pick people to go on the show???

    Posted May 10, 2005 @ 6:12 pm
  2. Betsy Markum says:

    I can’t believe it, my co-worker just bought a car for $70727. Isn’t that crazy!

    Posted January 19, 2006 @ 8:56 am
  3. K Padayachee says:

    How do I beome a contestant on the amazing race.

    Posted July 27, 2006 @ 8:38 am

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