There are long running reality competition shows, and then there's Survivor and The Amazing Race. Both shows have been running on CBS for decades, and are showing no signs of slowing down. And it seems the network knows this, as both shows are making a major change that'll please fans. Namely expanding to 90 minute episodes (including commercial breaks). Let's break it all down.
This news comes to us from EW, and is sure to quickly go viral thanks to the ongoing popularity of both shows. Survivor and The Amazing Race are going from 60 minutes to 90 minutes for the upcoming seasons airing this fall. And this can really open up the narrative possibilities of both shows, particularly in the early parts of their respective games.
According to his report, this decision was influenced by the current WGA strike, which has affected a number of TV projects. Expanding their unscripted shows could help provide more content, while also presumably continuing the network's relationship with major advertisers.
Regardless of what the business ideas behind this change are, viewers of both Survivor and The Amazing Race are no doubt thrilled about these longer episodes. Fandoms have long been hoping that CBS would expand the shows, and therefore allow for more of the strategy and challenges to be shown. And now it looks like we'll be getting just that for those who watch on TV or with a Paramount+ subscription.
For The Amazing Race, this should presumably allow for more time with the teams, particularly in the early stages of the game. During the first few episodes we might get only small updates on various pairs that are competing, as there's a lot of content that's being squeezed into 60 minutes (minus commercials). What's more, we should also get to see more of their respective performances in the challenges.
Survivor faces similar struggles with how much story needs to be fit into a single episode. The iconic theme song was cut years ago for this reason, and we haven't seen tree mail in a number of seasons either. But a 90 minute episode should presumably give much more time for the story to live, and also allow for more strategy from the various castaways.
90 minute episodes were previously used in another popular reality tv show: RuPaul's Drag Race. In fact, Drag Race fans weren't happy when it temporarily had shorter episodes last season. I have to wonder if CBS is going to stick to longer eps for Survivor and Amazing Race, or if this is a temporary plan. Because I can only imagine how fans would react if we got back to 60 minutes after one season. Only time will tell.
Survivor and The Amazing Race both air on CBS. Be sure to check out the TV premiere list to plan your next binge watch.
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Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.