Phil Keoghan’s competition Tough As Nails will take Survivor’s timeslot in the spring, CBS announced today.
Tough As Nails season two, which filmed this fall, will air Wednesdays at 8 starting Feb. 10. That’s probably when Survivor season 42 would have premiered—but of course, there hasn’t even been a Survivor 41 yet. (Read this story for the latest about Survivor’s filming plans.)
Phil Keoghan’s older show, The Amazing Race 32, was going to air this summer, but when it was moved to the fall, it was replaced by his new show, Tough as Nails. When CBS renewed it in August, the network said in a press release that the show “has been the clear winner for its time period in key demos, while averaging a solid 4.23 million viewers throughout its summer run.”
Season one had a bit of a rough start for me, but I quickly grew to not just appreciate it, but look forward to it each week, like in the way I look forward to new episodes of Survivor.
I’ve always loved Survivor’s challenges, and Tough as Nails actually offers more challenges. It’s a very challenge-forward competition, with three challenges in every episode, one team, one individual, and one head-to-head.
They’re all set on job sites in the Los Angeles are, and were, for the most part, well-constructed and interesting to watch—especially some of the head-to-head elimination competitions.
While there isn’t a strategic game, the format does offer something no reality competitions have done before: a simultaneous team and individual competition.
People are eliminated from the individual competition each week, they still compete in the team challenges, and can still earn money. That incentivizes them to be team players and to help their teams win.
What was most surprising and what I loved most, though, was how supportive the contestants were: competitive, but committed to helping each other. I explored that in my review of the season.
I’m hopeful Tough As Nails season two won’t devolve into a ruthless, cutthroat individual competition with dysfunctional teams, but maintain the camaraderie amid the competition that made it such an enjoyable competition. I miss Survivor, but I’m thrilled Tough As Nails is back.