National Geographic TV has ordered a globe-trotting competition series from “Amazing Race” producers Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri.
“Race to the Center of the Earth” will set four teams of “adventurers” on a quest to sprint around the world on a challenging course designated by producers in the hopes of beating the others to a buoy in the middle of the ocean on which is stashed a $1 million prize. There will be no eliminations but the first team to reach the buoy gets to split the purse.
“Our goal is to create a gripping, completely real experience that pushes the edges of adventure and embeds viewers in extreme action, breathtaking drama and stunning locations as we follow four highly skilled teams on the race of a lifetime,” said Geoff Daniels, executive VP of unscripted entertainment for National Geographic Networks. “Unlike other competition formats, ‘Race to the Center’ of the Earth will combine the grittiness of a survival show with the cinematic style of a feature film action-thriller dropping viewers into the middle of a heart-pounding journey unlike anything ever made for television.”
Van Munster and Doganieri, who are married, have been at the helm of CBS’ enduring “Amazing Race” competition franchise since its inception in 2001. The show has collected 15 Emmys, including a 10-year streak of Emmy wins for best reality series.
“Race to the Center of the Earth” is expected to begin production later this year.
“Our rapidly changing world has allowed us to reimagine a new and exciting way to showcase adventure,” said van Munster. “What excites me most about ‘Race to the Center of the Earth’ is that this partnership is such a natural fit. By combining our expertise in adventure competition series with National Geographic’s legacy of exploration and unrivaled visual storytelling, this series promises to raise the stakes of this genre and deliver something totally unique, breathtaking and exhilarating.”