Amazing Race producers working on Real Cannonball Run-like online series for Ford

One of my favorite reality competitions of all time, The Real Cannonball Run 2001, has all but been forgotten. But now, the producers of The Amazing Race, Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri, are producing an online, corporate-sponsored series that will be a similar but real-time race across the country between teams of two people.

USA’s Real Cannonball Run was a race across the country between teams of two people who knew each other and, in the best twist, a random person, like the grandmother paired with two frat boys. Focus Rally: America, won’t be that show, but it will also include six teams of two racing across the country, though in product-placed Fords (not, say, a monster truck or a hearse).

A press release calls the new series “the first interactive real-time road rally featuring the new 2012 Ford Focus,” which “will feature six teams of two people competing against one another to complete tasks in a challenging cross-country road rally adventure to win a $100,000 grand prize.” Episodes will air on Hulu, and real-time information will be released on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Doganieri says in the press release that “they feel the end result has the potential to be a real game-changer in the reality world.”

The online series is now casting; the show will be produced over five weeks in February.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.