'The Amazing Race': Still executive producer Bertram van Munster's 'personal thrill'By Jay Bobbin
July 5, 2011 4:28 PM ET
Bertram van Munster says he's calling "from Europe," but he can't be more specific. At least not yet.
The Emmy-winning executive producer is now on location with host Phil Keoghan and energetic new contestants for the 19th round of CBS' "The Amazing Race," which begins Sunday, Sept. 25. Since a 20th season already has been confirmed for early 2012, the global "Race" is destined to keep running, and Van Munster intends to keep running with it.
"It is a personal thrill," he tells Zap2it from the mystery site. "Who gets the opportunity to do something like this, keep it going, and get the support from the network and the viewers? We have a huge fan club, and people who weren't even born when the show began are now fans of it. It's kind of frightening to think how long this could go."
Van Munster attributes that longevity partially to the fact that "Amazing Race" contestants "cannot prepare themselves" in advance, no matter how many past editions they may have seen. "The reality is that I could lose in the first round myself, because there are so many factors that can really screw you up.
"The other thing is that the show is a reflection of life. Sometimes, things are going wonderfully, then one little thing suddenly can derail your entire plan. This is about how you deal with your partners, your friends, whatever. When this show was developed, people kept saying. 'Could you imagine me going on the race with my wife, or my best friend? I could never do it.'"
Honored with the Emmy for outstanding reality-competition program each of the first seven years that category existed, "The Amazing Race" might get future award competition from another show Van Munster is readying with "Race" producing partner Jerry Bruckheimer: ABC's "Take the Money and Run," a cash-packed-suitcase chase that begins Tuesday, Aug. 2. It has entailed even more travel for Van Munster, and he has the proof.
"I have a stack of passports that is about four inches high," he maintains, "and they're all stamped up. The other day, I was in some country and the guy threw my passport back in my face and said, 'I can't find my stamp. How did you get into this country?' I said, 'Well, your colleague stamped me three days ago.' He said, `I don't see it. You go find it.' And his supervisor came over and found it."http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2011/07/the-amazing-race-still-executive-producer-bertram-van-munsters-personal-thrill.html