In this edition of Ask Andy, questions about a very old competition series, NBC’s Lost, and a newer show, Fox’s Crime Scene Kitchen.
I welcome your questions and thoughts about reality TV! Send them to me, or comment below.
What was NBC’s race around the world show?
I seem to remember back in the day when CBS [The Amazing Race] season 1 was airing there was a NBC version of the same thing—do you remember anything about it? As I recall, the NBC version was a runaway as one team got so far ahead it was no contest, and there were no subsequent seasons. Any information you can provide—I have searched the internet with no success. Many thanks! —Peter
NBC’s version was produced by Conan O’Brien and premiered the day before CBS’s The Amazing Race premiered its first season. A separate U.K. version aired in starting in October 2021.
There was just one season of NBC’s show. Three teams of two were dropped in Mongolia, and had to find their way to New York City with few resources, including $100. (A second group of six started in Bolivia for the back half of the season.)
That was it: no challenges, no pit stops, no clues, no viewers.
I kid with that last one; some of us watched it, but it was not popular, and faded quickly. (The Amazing Race struggled, too, especially premiering so close to Sept. 11, 2001, as its producers and cast told me about.)
One Lost team, Courtland and Joe, dropped out, but Courtland went on to compete in HGTV’s Design Star season five. Interviewed about that, he briefly discussed Lost, and said:
Hitchhiked a lot. Ended up in Siberia. From Siberia, we talked ourselves onto a train that took us deeper into Siberia to the airport. When we got to the airport, we finagled our way onto a free flight for two to Moscow. Once we were in Moscow—we were in first place at this point—my teammate bowed out. All on $100! What we saw…it wasn’t good. Horrible experience. I tried to get amnesia, as far as that show was concerned!
While the show seems to have disappeared, my reporting/linking about Lost from 2001 is all in reality blurred’s archives. And thanks to archive.org, you can also revisit Television Without Pity’s hilarious recaps of the first part of season one, which are better than the episodes!
Why is Crime Scene Kitchen repeating?
Will there be a new season of Crime Scene Kitchen? They are repeating last year’s series at the moment. —Fiona
Yes, amazingly, there will be!
For those who aren’t familiar: Crime Scene Kitchen is a cooking competition from the producers of Big Brother that asked contestants to recreate a dessert based on clues they saw in a staged kitchen set. (There no attempt at creating a fake crime scene, so the title didn’t make much sense.)
It was hosted by Joel McHale and judged by Curtis Stone (ugh) and Yolanda Gampp.
I thought it was pretty bad! But that’s me.
However, I think that rebroadcasting the show is pretty great! I wish more networks would do that in the summer, like they used to do in the years before Survivor upended things.
Fox announced the renewal at the upfronts in May, but said nothing about the show other than it’d been renewed for season two.
The same was true when Fox announced its fall schedule; it just listed Crime Scene Kitchen as one of the “[a]dditional series to premiere in the 2022-2023 season.”
My guess is it’ll be a mid-season show, or perhaps a replacement if something gets cancelled early.
Fox rebroadcast season one starting in late May, which confused some people who saw the renewal news. The finale repeated Aug. 2.