Survivor, Amazing Race will swap casts next year

This satirical, fictional story is part of the April 1, 2011, edition of reality blurred. Happy April Fool’s Day.

Next year’s seasons of Survivor and The Amazing Race will swap their casts, so after we see contestants competing for $1 million, they’ll pair off and race around the world, while teams who raced around the world will be split and form two tribes.

A leaked CBS PowerPoint presentation highlighted the reasons for doing this in Comic Sans: “Viewers prefer engaging with characters they already know”; “Makes on-air cross-promotion easier, as each show can air flashback footage to the other show”; and “By casting Russell Hantz on Amazing Race, we can bring him back into Survivor in an organic way that even non-real fans of the show will appreciate.”

A person at the meeting where the PowerPoint was presented said, “We have run completely out of ideas on The Amazing Race so we might as well siphon some blood from Survivor and slowly kill that show, too.”

That saves the network the expense and trouble of having to cast four seasons; instead of about 60 people, they can just find 30, most of whom will be returning cast members appearing as part of CBS’ philanthropic “Fourth Second Chance for $1 Million Program.”

Additional ways they plan to save money, according to the PowerPoint, include replacing fire on Survivor with cleverly lit blowing cloth like at Pirates of the Caribbean; holding The Amazing Race at Epcot’s World Showcase; and replacing two episodes of Survivor every season with webcam footage of Jeff Probst tweeting what happened instead of actually filming or editing it.

CBS denied the report. “If you did not read that in a press release sent to Entertainment Weekly, it never happened,” a spokesperson said.

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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.