Amazing Show 'The Amazing Race' Set For 15th Season On CBS
September 14, 2009 3:24 p.m. EST
Matt Aug - CNS Special Contributor
Los Angeles, CA (AHN) - It took amazing people to create a show like The Amazing Race.
The show has enjoyed a remarkable run by almost any standard, with its 15th installment set to begin September 27 on CBS.
The driving force behind the show is Elise Doganieri, a co-creator of the reality program along with her husband Bertram van Munster, a former producer of another long-running reality series, 'Cops'.
The Amazing Race takes diverse teams of two people from across the United States and literally has them 'race' across the world in a series of trips with mental and physical tasks interwoven in each episode.
Ably hosted by the cool but approachable Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race has become a winner with TV viewers and critics alike with seven Emmy wins, including all six "Outstanding Reality-Competition Program" since the category was created.
Ratings and awards can come and go, however, so the show must credit something larger for its sustained success: heart.
"I used to complain there was nothing good on television," Doganieri said in a recent phone interview on her way to her Los Angeles offices. "So I had the opportunity to do something about it."
Although Doganieri has been around the world in her travels, she has not forgotten her roots.
Doganieri grew up in Port Jefferson Station, a formerly small town on the eastern part of Long Island, New York where she attended the Comsewogue School District.
While she has worked with some of the most established people in television, like the show's executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and Amazing Race airs on the legendary CBS network, Doganieri still appreciates the shows reach to the "average" viewer.
Doganieri is quite proud, for instance, that a teacher she had utilizes the show as a learning tool in her classroom.
"I was so honored that one of my elementary school teachers, Mrs. Gold, reached out to tell me she discusses the show with her students," Doganieri said. "I think we created a show that is inspirational and has had a positive effect on people around the world."
That won't change this season, either, as The Amazing Race will still do what it has become famous for; pulse-pounding, beat-the-clock competitions.
Doganieri said new elements will also be introduced into the show to keep it fresh and potentially attract more viewers.
"Although the show has gotten big we need to remain creative," Doganieri said. "There is a major twist coming to the show this season, for instance, something that will shock viewers."
'Shock value' is not something one thinks of when it comes to The Amazing Race, but leave it to Doganieri to chart an exciting new course for the show.
When it comes to reality television the Amazing Race is a rather amazing show, and the humble and appreciative Doganieri must take her share of the credit for that.
Matt Aug is AHN's Sports Editor and attended Comsewogue Junior High School with Doganieri.
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