Canada is getting its own version of The Amazing Race, but the race will stay inside Canada, depriving Canadians of the ability to travel.
The show will air on CTV, which also broadcasts two seasons of the CBS version every year, so I suppose it makes sense to make the third a very different kind of show–and, of course, it’ll be a lot less expensive. And considering the ways in which The Amazing Race has been watered down in recent years, a single-country version of the show could correct some of the problems the CBS version has faced thanks to budget cuts and creative decisions.
Then again, what makes the race such a great format is the stress, fatigue, and excitement of travel and immersion in different cultures. And let’s not forget the family edition of the CBS series, which mostly stayed inside the U.S. and was pretty much a disaster that even Phil Keoghan didn’t like.
CTV spun this as best it could in a press release, saying its teams will be “discovering the world within the borders of Canada” and noting that “Canada offers divergent topography and disparate locales that are bound to add to the excitement and complexity of the show and its challenges, from Vancouver Island’s tropical rainforest, Alberta’s parched Badlands, the peaks of the Rockies, and the barren tundra of the Great White North, to the Boreal forests of Ontario and Quebec, the sea-faring ports of the Maritimes, the fjords of Newfoundland, and the teeming metropolises and undiscovered towns in between.”
Only Canadians will be allowed to apply and, if Canadians get any justice, Americans won’t be able to watch clips of it online. The show will be produced by Insight Productions, which is also adapting CBS’ Big Brother format for the forthcoming Big Brother Canada.
Here’s Phil Keoghan making the announcement to Canadian viewers during last night’s episode: