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Race to the Center of the Earth, from Amazing Race’s producers, is finally going to air

Race to the Center of the Earth, from Amazing Race’s producers, is finally going to air
On National Geographic Channel's Race to the Center of the Earth, Team South America paddles toward the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina. (Photo by National Geographic)

Race to the Center of the Earth, a National Geographic show created and produced by Amazing Race producers Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri, was first announced almost two years ago.

The seven-episode series follows four teams that start from four different locations and all head toward the same central location: a buoy in the water. The first team to arrive wins $1 million.

The show began casting for teams of three people back in 2019, and then filmed the actual race in the fall of 2019.

They competed in what NatGeo calls “an extreme non-elimination competition that follows four groups of adventurers,” who are “racing from different corners of the planet” and “will face untamed jungles, frozen arctic, arid deserts, bustling cities, treacherous mountains and vast oceans to reach the location where all four routes intersect.”

National Geographic Channel promoted the show at the January 2020 Television Critics Press Tour, but until today, there’s been no word in more than a year—not unlike what happened to season 32 of The Amazing Race.

Race to the Center of the Earth’s premiere date—and routes

Team North America looks at their route while a camera crew films them on Race to the Center of the Earth (Team North America checks Garmin to find their next way point
Team North America looks at their route while a camera crew films them on Race to the Center of the Earth (Team North America checks Garmin to find their next way point. (Photo by Rob Antill/National Geographic)

Race to the Center of the Earth finally has a premiere date. It will be paired with the return of Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, and air on Monday nights at 10 p.m. ET starting March 29.

In a “sneak peak”trailer released by the network today, the narrator calls it “one of the biggest global races in history,” and reveals that the four teams—who haven’t yet been announced—will be racing in four different locations:

  • Siberia
  • Southeast Asia
  • Canada
  • the Andes mountains of South America

All four routes start inland and end at the Pacific Ocean, where the buoy is. (A graphic in the trailer, which may not be an exact map, seems to suggest it’s in the vicinity of Hawaii.)

How will that kind of race that work? And how do they get to that buoy? I’m not exactly sure, even having interviewed the show’s producers and crew members last year. But I’ll have their insight coming up soon.

And I’m also looking forward to seeing the show itself, as Race to the Center of the Earth seems to combine some of the best elements of The Amazing Race and adventure reality TV, while also adding a pretty considerable twist to that format with the teams not actually being in the same locations.

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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