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Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri NEWS

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^^ Sadly, he did not win.

Amazing Race success an amazing surprise to show creators
BEVERLY HILLSóBertram van Munster, 74, and Elise Doganieri, 47, are Hollywood royalty, the reigning power couple of quality reality TV. The show they created, The Amazing Race, has become a ratings behemoth as well as a critically acclaimed show, earning its 10th Primetime Emmy Award recently.
The win means the show has swept every award for Outstanding Reality Competition Program except when it lost in 2010 and 2013 to Top Chef and The Voice.
This year, the show bested Top Chef, The Voice, Project Runway, Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance.
ďI can assure you we didnít expect this at all,Ē said van Munster, somehow managing to look genuinely surprised. ďThe world is not a bad place.Ē
The show has spawned more than a dozen international franchises in China, Latin America, Scandinavia, the Philippines and Canada. In the process, van Munster and Doganieri have found themselves ensconced on the Hollywood rich list and have spawned a legion of imitators.
The Star caught up with them as they were putting the final touches on The Amazing Race Season 25, which premieres Sept. 26 on CTV. And they reveal that there is nothing they are prouder of than their Canadian franchise, which became the most watched show in Canada this summer, with best friends Mickey Henry and Pete Schmalz winning $250,000. CTV announced Monday that casting has started for Season 3.
How involved were you with the Canadian edition?
Van Munster: Weíre very involved. Phil (King, president of CTV programming and sports) and his team came to Scotland at one point just to see what we were doing before they took it on. It was so smart how they did it. Not surprised they are the No. 1 show in Canada. They looked, they listened. We spent days with them. Itís a very complicated show. Lots of people think they know what they are doing, but they donít.
Doganieri: You know what I love about the Canadian Amazing Race? They (producers) came down to our office and spent the time to make sure it was spot on. The production value is as high as ours. They have the same standards of integrity and creativity.
Given your schedule and the number of franchises you oversee, do you have time to even watch the Canadian edition?
Van Munster: Yes, as a matter of fact, I just watched an episode this morning. Weíre very involved. Canada is important to us. I want to say Canadians are just about the biggest fans of the race.
There was some controversy when the Canadian edition only focused on Canada in what was supposed to be a TV show that traditionally featured the world.
Van Munster: I told these guys, ĎYou have a beautiful country with so much diversity. You donít have to leave, itís such a spectacular place. Stay in your own backyard.í I think it worked great.
Why do you think it does so well? Not just in Canada, but internationally.
Van Munster: Itís very relatable to anyone around the globe. Before Amazing Race, we were doing a show called Wild Things. It was also about global adventure. When we got cancelled, we had an infrastructure to produce this stuff. We had a lot of connections, governmental and creative. No reality show was thinking on this kind of global scale. I think the reach of the show, showing so many cultures, is why it is so relatable. When we went to CBS and (network CEO) Les Moonves, he knew I was a credible guy, I wasnít making this up, that we could deliver a show that people around the world would want to watch.
Casting is key to any reality show. But you guys seem to have made it a science. You were also at the forefront of diversity before other shows, particularly scripted television.
Doganieri: We did it without even thinking about it. We just wanted to know whatís a great cast. We wanted people from different walks of life.

So whatís the secret after all these years?
Doganieri: Itís so hard to tell. We see a casting tape thatís three minutes long and itís sometimes difficult to imagine that itís the same person running around the world that you see on television. Sometimes, you still go by your gut after all these years.
Much has been made of diversity in casting. Sometimes reality producers do stunt casting to get different people in one place to create conflict. You seem to have taken the high road on that.
Van Munster: If you know what youíre doing, you donít have to cast for conflict or tell them to make conflict. If you cast it right, there will be conflict. Because if you and I get in a car, you will want to go right and I will want to go left.
Doganieri: Itís human nature.
Van Munster: I think itís confidence. If youíre not sure of yourself, some people, they think they have to interfere with the process and jazz it up. We have not done that. Viewers can tell what is authentic. That is why they relate to the show.

Amazing Race Canada Season 2 is off to a strong start. And youíre already getting ready to launch the U.S. version in September. What can you tell us about it?
Van Munster: I think itís a very strong season. Itís very original. We did bring in all new contestants. Itís a brand new route and several countries we have never been before.
Doganieri: Seriously, this is the most competitive group we have ever seen.
Thatís saying a lot coming from you.
Doganieri: Yes. They are on total adrenalin. They studied the show. Some of them had statistics. One of the teams analyzed everything like a science project. This season is high energy insanity.


Everything You Wanted To Know About How They Make 'The Amazing Race'
The Huffington Post    | By Suzy Strutner

In the often dodgy realm of reality television, "The Amazing Race" is a shining beacon of quality. While other shows tend to turn tangled, tacky or just downright scripted, "The Amazing Race" holds to a standard that few have matched. The televised race around the world -- now in its twenty-fifth season! -- has won 15 Emmys, including 10 for "Outstanding Reality-Competition" -- a reality program's top honor.

Elise Doganieri accidentally birthed the idea for the show while complaining to her now-husband, producer Bertram van Munster, about how "there were no good shows on TV." He challenged her to come up with something better. She remembered the pains and joys of backpacking Europe after college with a best friend. Why don't we do something like that?

A star was born -- one that would permanently change how we perceive travel.

"The Amazing Race" has visited an estimated 82 countries on six continents over the years. And with one host, 22 contestants per season and as many as 2,000 crew members around the world working on the show at any given time, there is a lot to coordinate. HuffPost Travel talked with Elise Doganieri, now the show's executive producer and a co-creator along with her husband, about the logistics of weaving such an intricate, time-sensitive and travel-heavy program.

Turns out the system is a lot more nonchalant -- but no less complex -- than you might think. Here's how they do it.


To plan the route, they literally just play with a massive map on the wall.

Doganieri and van Munster start as any masterminds of a 30-day world tour would: in a place they call The War Room, with a wall-size map of the planet. And very little is off-limits. "We think, 'what's exciting?,'" Doganieri says. "'Where haven't we been?'" To that end, the couple has multiple shoeboxes of old passports -- Doganieri estimates her husband has filled more than 25 of the extra-large kind.

They visit EVERYWHERE first.

After mapping out a basic route, van Munster scouts the actual locations while Doganieri stays home to cast the teams. On his scouting tour, van Munster might talk with hotels, meet with local producers or survey spots for the show's famous Roadblock challenges. When he comes back, Doganieri has a slate of contestants ready to go. That's when the couple heads to The War Room, where every episode of the season gets mapped out on a wall along with Roadblocks, challenges and Pit Stops. It's a giant puzzle of the most exhilarating kind.

Doganieri and van Munster at Al Jahili Fort, United Arab Emirates during Season 23

Crews are staked out in every country ahead of time...

After being in the media business for decades, van Munster has production contacts all over the world. The show works with "local facilitators" in each season's host countries to coordinate filming permits, hotel rooms, translators and hire local cameramen, who take extra shots to supplement the cameramen that travel with the teams. By this point, "each country has all the details about what we have to do," Doganieri says. "It's kind of like a military operation."

...but the cameramen must be within 20 feet of contestants, no exceptions.

Doganieri is adamant that "The Amazing Race"'s traveling camera and sound crew is the show's secret weapon. "They don't get enough credit," she says. "They're running with a camera. They're the best at what they do." This involves staying within 20 feet of the contestants at all times -- every team of two contestants is assigned a cameraman and sound technician, who must be present with them for all plane flights, cab rides and mad roadside foot races. The show's story team follows too, to keep track of emerging plot lines and start the editing process even as the race continues to unfold.

Cameraman Alan Weeks films two contestants at Eastnor Castle, England during Season 17.

Sometimes, they have to pull last-minute location swaps in the middle of the desert.

Yup, like when a sandstorm hit Tunisia during Season 1. "We had this beautiful Pit Stop, and everyone was dancing around the campfire," Doganieri remembers. "Then we got an alert for a sandstorm, and tents starting to wobble." The crew and contestants were forced to pack up in the middle of the night, drive 50 miles to a tiny hotel, and double-bunk until morning. THAT became the episode's new, impromptu Pit Stop. Whatever pops up, there's no stopping in a race as meticulously planned as this. "When nature happens, you just have to change plans," Doganieri says.

The crew has missed flights before, putting them behind the contestants.

About 10 seasons ago, Doganieri recalls, the contestants were on their way to Italy when the production crew's flight was cancelled. The crew had no flight and only hours to traverse Europe before filming resumed. After quick work with the show's travel coordinator, they hopped a bus, rode for 11 hours and made it to the location just in time. "We've been very lucky," Doganieri says. But contestants haven't always been so charmed. "Once, a team missed a flight and got so far behind that the show had to eliminate them in the airport," she says. Another took nine hours to complete a challenge in Switzerland Sweden  :res: -- and the production schedule just didn't allow enough time for them to keep trying. "We had to go out in the field in the dark and say, 'You're done.' It was really sad."

The crew gets to test every stunt.

While the camera and sound crew travels with the contestants, the production team usually gets to each pit stop about two days before, Doganieri says. They'll do run-throughs at each location and test Roadblock challenges so they're ready to go -- this includes physically assembling desks in the world's largest IKEA, boating, biking and even bungee jumping in New Zealand.

Doganieri scouts locations for Season 23 at Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska.

Contestants are truly booking their own flights, in real time.

Producers will reserve tickets for the first episode, but after that contestants are on their own. You'd think producers would give them a little help -- but Doganieri says all her team does is monitor flights to anticipate which ones contestants are likely to take. After reading a clue, contestants will search on computers or run straight to the airport ticket counter, begging for the speediest route. "It's completely organic," Doganieri says. "Sometimes they'll find deals that get them there 20 minutes earlier by hopping from flight to flight. And we're just like, 'Wow.'"

Contestants are terrible at reading clues.

Doganieri says she's routinely surprised at how contestants rush through clues -- even though producers might tweak them for clarity on location after running through the challenges. "Contestants will read two lines and just start running," Doganieri says. "We're always saying to each other, 'Read your clue!'"

And the secret to winning? Be nice.

Doganieri says her favorite contestants -- and those that tend to be most successful -- take time to smile at locals, ask politely for help and show respect for the culture of the country they're racing through. This can result in game-changing advantages. "If you give just a little respect," Doganieri says, "you will get it back tenfold."

For more behind-the-scenes peeks, follow @EliseDoganieri on Twitter. "The Amazing Race 25" airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on CBS.

(Think this has been posted somewhere as well?)

Bert has been nominated (again) by the Directors Guild of America for their 2015 DGA Awards in the category of Reality Television -- But it wasn't for TAR!
Elise was also nominated (for the first time) in the same category.
Bert and Elise's nomination was for an episode of "The Quest," which aired this past summer on ABC. Jack Cannon was also included as a nominee for the same episode.

Bertram van Munster on 'The Amazing Race': "Instrumental in Bringing People Together Around the World"
by Annie Howard - 6/24/2015 11:30am PDT

"I think that 'The Amazing Race' is almost like a business card around the world to show that we are actually nice people, and we're good people."

"They're so obsessed with racing that this kind of stuff almost doesn't occur," producer Bertram van Munster told The Hollywood Reporter during its Reality Emmy Roundtable, referring to the absence of typical reality drama on his show, The Amazing Race. "[The show] is all done in real time so, no, we don't have these moments."

Van Munster prides himself on being one of the early pioneers of developing franchises of reality television. "In the beginning, nobody ever heard of reality until Mark [Burnett] and myself showed up on the scene, and there was the brave Les [Moonves] who saw the potential of this and said, 'These are franchises,' which was miraculous. This was 15, 16 years ago when nobody had ever heard of this. The only show that was on was Cops."

"I also think that The Amazing Race is almost like a business card around the world to show that we are actually nice people," says the 10-time Emmy award-winning producer. "We're good people. It's phenomenal when you bring people really together. I think The Amazing Race has been instrumental in being a good partner around the world, and bringing people together."

The producer joined Nigel Lythgoe (So You Think You Can Dance), Burnett (Survivor, Shark Tank, The Voice), Julie Chen (Big Brother), Craig Piligian (The Ultimate Fighter) and Cat Deeley (So You Think You Can Dance) for the Roundtable, where the producers and hosts shared what it takes to create content that has lasted more than a decade in a genre that seemed like a fad.

The full Reality Roundtable can be seen on Close Up With the Hollywood Reporter when it premieres Sunday, Sept. 13, at 11 a.m. ET/PT on Sundance TV and


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