What was bad news for Hugh Jackman turned out to be pretty good news for Jerry Bruckheimer.
The über-producer's Emmy-dominating reality series The Amazing Race has been called up by CBS to kick off its 12th season earlier than expected, thereby filling in the programming hole left by the sudden, merciful cancellation of Viva Laughlin. The new Race wasn't due to kick off until January but will now launch during November sweeps.
To prep viewers for the rapidly approaching Nov. 4 debut, the network on Wednesday unveiled the 11 new globetrotting pairings to compete in the round-the-world series, including the show's first lesbian team. This year's tandems also include a Goth couple and a grandpa/grandson pairing.
Additionally, CBS announced the show will be adding some never-before-traversed locales to its global itinerary, including Lithuania, Croatia and Ireland.
"If there ever was a season that I consider one of the best, it's this one," said Bertram van Munster, Amazing Race exec producer, director and cocreator. "It's insanely funny, fast-paced and dramatic all at once."
Once again, the teams will travel nearly 50,000 miles over 28 days for a chance at winning $1 million, and Phil Keoghan will be back handling hosting chores.
CBS no doubt has high hopes for the Amazing Race's latest installment. Not only has the show thwarted American Idol and won five consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Reality-Competition Series (taking home the trophy in every year of the category's existence), but each season has averaged at least 10 million viewers.
Here's the rundown of the 11 teams competing in The Amazing Race 12:
- Ronald Hsu, 58, VP of sales; Christina Hsu, 26, policy activist (father/daughter)
- Kynt Cothron, 31, waiter/hair salon receptionist; Vyxsin Fiala, 29, waiter/hair salon receptionist (dating Goths)
- Lorena Segura, 27, bartender; Jason Widener, 33, wedding videographer/actor (dating)
- Azaria Azene, 27, facilities engineer; Hendekea Azene, 23, aerospace engineer (brother/sister)
- Kate Lewis, 49, Episcopal clergy; Pat Hendrickson, 65, ordained deacon (married ministers)
- Shana Wall, 32, actress; Jennifer McCall, 32, legal assistant (friends)
- Donald Jerousk, 68, retired; Nicolas Fulks, 23, pilot (grandfather/grandson)
- Jennifer Parker, 23, student; Nathan Hagstrom, 24, volleyball coach (dating)
- Rachel Rosales, 23, florist/store owner; TK Erwin, 22, substitute teacher (newly dating)
- Marianna Ruiz, 25, art gallery manager; Julia Ruiz, 26, office production manager (sisters)
- Ari Bonias, 21, waiter; Staella Gianakakos, 23, restaurant manager (best friends)