‘The Amazing Race 26’: On the ‘blind date’ twist, CBS’ confidence

Amazing Race -When we first heard about the twist for “The Amazing Race 26,” which is going to feature couples who have never met racing against couples who have been together for some time, we were immediately flabbergasted. Why? Other than a cheap thrill for publicity, this seems ridiculous dumb, and at odds with a smart, upscale show with a devoted following. It is the variety that makes this race so exciting, and there is zero variety here at all.

So what does CBS have to say for themselves? Speaking at TCA Monday, Nina Tassler made it certainly sound like the new twist came from a request on their end. As for the show’s performance, she admitted the ratings were down but also used a number of key buzz words that look good in quotes (like the one below via Reality Blurred):

“The Amazing Race is one of our beloved unscripted franchises. It is an upscale program. It does very well for us, and the playback on the show actually did very well for us too. We’ve really encouraged [executive producer] Bert [van Munster] and his team, and they have responded very smartly, in sort of making some creative changes and adjustments in terms of their story. There are gonna be a lot of surprises in store in terms of Race.”

There is nothing in here that has us any more optimistic for the future of the show long-term, even if it may be more cost-effective even with the international travel component than many other scripted shows. We may love the series, but in looking at the Sunday-Friday ratings, few shows on the schedule drew the same sort of low ratings. Hopefully, starting after the “Survivor” premiere on Wednesday, February 25 is really going to help something.

What do you think: Are you excited, or nervous, about the future of the race on TV? Share with a comment, and race over here to get some further scoop! You can also sign up to get some other updates on all we cover via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: CBS.)

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