In early July, ViacomCBS announced that its free streaming service Pluto TV would be adding Survivor and The Amazing Race to its library of shows. That has finally happened, so you can now watch both shows 24/7, although that comes with some disappointing news, as Pluto has also dropped its dedicated RuPaul’s Drag Race and Are You The One channels. And America’s Next Top Model, which was also supposed to be added, is nowhere to be found yet.
In July, I asked Pluto TV’s press representatives when those channels would actually be added, and in early August, was told they’d give me a date “as soon as we can.” On Sept. 1, a Viacom-owned publication, CNET, published a story announcing that the shows had finally been added. CNET, ever the good corporate child, did not explain why its previous story said those shows would be available “starting July 14,” but they were actually not added for another six weeks.
Now that Viacom and CBS have merged into one company, ViacomCBS, Pluto has a wide range of reality content—well, and some garbage, like Cops, which continues to stream 24/7.
It’s great to be able to tune in and dip into an old season of Survivor or RuPaul’s Drag Race.
But I also find Pluto to be incredibly frustrating to use, whether on a web browser or a Roku or smart TV app. There’s no search function, for either channels or shows.
Pluto TV itself is incredibly bad at communicating, and not just because it announced something that didn’t happen this summer. Just look at its “our new channel lineup” page, which is outdated and doesn’t match the actual channel lineup on Pluto itself.
Pluto’s channels—whether they’re dedicated to showing one series or have multiple shows on the same channel—aren’t on-demand; they’re just 24/7 feeds of past seasons.
It’s like being back in the 1990s or early 2000s and stumbling across a marathon on MTV or Bravo, except the marathons are full seasons. Also, Pluto is free because it’s also ad supported, so with commercial breaks and the inability to pause, it’s recreating the experience of watching reality television from past decades.
Where to find Survivor and Amazing Race on Pluto
Survivor and The Amazing Race’s addition to Pluto is great, though both been available to watch in various places. For example, both have some seasons that are free for Amazon Prime members. And CBS’s own streaming service, CBS All Access, offers all of Survivor—but none of The Amazing Race.
None of those options are completely free, so it’s nice to have two classic, groundbreaking reality shows available to everyone with Internet access.
Here’s where to watch each show, free, on Pluto:
- Survivor, channel 296
- The Amazing Race, channel 297
When Pluto got rid of its dedicated RuPaul’s Drag Race Channel, along with its Are You The One and The Hills channels, it said it folded those shows into network channels, where they’re no longer are on 24/7:
- Drag Race moved to Logo, channel 187
- Are You the One moved to MTV Dating, channel 330
- The Hills moved to Pluto TV Drama Life, channel ??? (I could not find a channel with that name on the channel list)
Here are the other reality and unscripted shows that currently have their own dedicated channels:
- Rescue 911, channel 277
- Love and Hip Hop, channel 283
- Black Ink Crew, channel 285
- Hell’s Kitchen, channel 294
- The Challenge, channel 298
- Fear Factor, channel 301
- American Gladiators, channel 303
- Wipeout, channel 405
- Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, channel 315
- Cops, channel 367
- Forensic Files, channel 370
- Cold Case Files, channel 373,
- The New Detectives, channel 376,
- Unsolved Mysteries, channel 379,
- Dog the Bounty Hunter, channel 381
- Wild ‘N Out, channel 480