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Why isn’t Road Rules streaming on Paramount+? Will Australia’s My Kitchen Rules return?

I enjoyed the article on why Paramount+ doesn’t have all the seasons of The Real World and The Challenge—it’s good to know I’m not the only one frustrated by the missing seasons. But what I am also really curious about is why there are no episodes of Road Rules? —Stephanie

I saw your post about The Real World and The Challenge missing seasons on Paramount Plus. But what about Road Rules? —Joe

Where can you find any Road Rules reruns or available for streaming? —Manuel

I appreciate the questions, as it’s one I’ve asked, too, because I loved that show in its early years. First, the reason I focused on Real World and The Challenge and their missing seasons in my previous answer is because they are actually available for streaming, in various placed, but are just (oddly) missing seasons, in various places.

Alas, Road Rules—which premiered just three short years after The Real World, and which I watched religiously from season one (Kit! Los! Mark! Shelly! Allison!)—is one of the many, many shows that are not on a streaming platform.

But there may be some hope. While bootleg copies have showed up on YouTube in the past, many of those are no longer available, replaced by a statement saying that “This video contains content from ViacomCBS, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.”

I’d hope ViacomCBS is enforcing its copyright now because they plan to bring Road Rules back to stream, perhaps timed with the return of Road Rules.

Yes, Road Rules is being revived for Paramount+, and I really hope Paramount+ will add it, and especially those early seasons. But right now it’s just not available at all, and that could be for many different reasons, such as the cost of licensing music and/or re-editing episodes to remove music that’s too expensive.

By the way, that revival of Road Rules won’t look like either The Real World: Homecoming or The Challenge: All Stars. “We’re looking at Road Rules differently and trying to do something unexpected. Instead of doing something derivative, how do we rethink what Road Rules looks like in 2022?” Bunim-Murray Productions president Julie Pizzi told The Ringer.

When Paramount+ announced its revival, it said there will be:

…a new roster of Road Warriors. These strangers will be abandoned in a far-flung location and stripped of their modern-day luxuries by boarding a restricted life in an RV, traveling from location to location. They will be guided by a set of clues, odd jobs and missions for money. If they last to the end of the trip, they walk away with the life changing prize.

Will Australia’s My Kitchen Rules return? Why does it have so many episodes?

My Kitchen Rules, Larry Strickland, Naomi Judd, Brandy, Ray J
Fox’s version of My Kitchen Rules included cast members Larry Strickland, Naomi Judd, Brandy, and Ray J (Photo by Michael Becker/Fox)

I am obsessed with MKR on Amazon. Just curious if it’s on your radar and if you can explain how they fit something 50 episodes in a season. It’s Australian so I have no idea how it aired over there, but was it every night? Also, why was it not renewed, and were there any other versions available on a US streaming service? It’s very addictive. —Clarkson

I have not seen any of the Australian version of My Kitchen Rules—though I also didn’t realize Amazon has all 11 seasons of the show free for Prime members, so I may have to watch sometime in the future. (Update: Readers report that it’s also available free on Tubi.)

I did, however, watch the premiere of the Fox version four years ago, and reviewed it briefly here. Basically, Fox turned it into unwatchable celebrity preening.

Fox’s version was mercifully just eight episodes. The Australian version, which did not have celebrity cast members, ranged from 33 to 50 episodes per season, with the exception of its 15-episode first season.

The episode count is a lot! While the U.S. does have CBS’s Big Brother (which airs between 30 and 40 episodes every summer, with three episodes per week) and CBS’s Love Island (which will air six nights per week this summer), it seems like Australia has more prime-time reality shows that are stripped: that means they air daily or daily-ish, in a regular timeslot every night.

Since Network 10 revived it, Australian Survivor has been super-sized compared to the U.S. version: it has 24 contestants, who’ve played for 55 (seasons 3 and 4) or 50 days (seasons 5 to 7). Its most-recent season, all-stars, which aired in early 2020, was on three nights a week for two full months—a total of 24 episodes. That’s basically double CBS Survivor’s length.

Likewise, MasterChef Australia has had between 60 and 86 episodes per season, while House Rules had between 28 and 46 episodes across its eight seasons.

My Kitchen Rules—which became a marquee show for Seven Network, and its format was sold to more than 160 countries, including the United States—was popular and aired a lot of episodes. MKR’s 10th anniversary season premiered Jan. 27, 2019, and aired nightly (with one exception) until Feb. 14, and then took two weeks off. Then it aired almost nightly throughout March and halfway into April.

Alas, the show has basically been cancelled. Co-host Pete Evans left the show last year, and the Sydney Morning Herald reported that ratings were primarily to blame, but Evans’ “often discredited health advice has drawn the ire of medical and health professionals all too frequently. Up to now, Seven had tolerated the controversies.” The most-recent: selling a $15,000 item “mocked by critics as a ‘glorified lava lamp'” and claiming it could be used to treat C0VID-19.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported last year that “audiences for the 11th season roughly halved on what they were just two years ago,” which meant that the network “has found itself in a precarious position having to ‘make good’ with advertisers who bought into this year’s season of the show expecting much larger numbers.”

Seven executive Angus Ross told TV Blackbox said just a few days ago that “We’d like to revisit the format at some point but at the moment it feels way too soon,” and added, “It’s certainly not anywhere in next year’s schedule.”

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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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