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(CBS) The latest edition of "The Amazing Race" kicks off in a few weeks with a twist. This time, says co-anchor Harry Smith on The Early Show, the mad dash around the globe is going to have a lot more competitors for the $1 million top prize.

It's being dubbed "The Amazing Race, Family Edition," and will feature 10 teams of four, instead of two. Each team will be made up of members of families.

Smith introduces them Tuesday.

First up is the Gaghan family, from Glastonbury, Conn. Nine-year-old Carissa sums up the family's competitive spirit when she says, "It's either you'll be a zero or you'll be a hero."

The Rogers family hails from Shreveport, La., and is used to competition and winning: Daughter Brittney is a former Miss Louisiana, USA.

No glitz or glamour for the Paolo family of Carmel, N.Y., just a desire to win, a little chaos, and a matriarch at the top, the Paolo mom, Marion. She says, "I think there's going to be a lot of personality clashes, but ultimately, Mommy screams the loudest and stomps her feet the hardest, so I might have the ultimate say."

Not all the teams consist of parents and their kids. Team Aiello, of Mansfield, Mass., is led by Tony, who's bringing along his sons-in-law. The guys agree the goal is to win, and not disappoint their father-in-law. "Oh, it's a great motivating factor!" exclaims one of the sons-in-law, Kevin Kempski.

The Linz family, three brothers and sister Megan, from Cincinnati, has a rallying cry ready to go: "Who dey, who dey, who dey think they gonna beat them Linzes? Nobody!"

The Schroeders, from New Orleans, say they have their own family language, which will give them an advantage. And they say they don't just want to win, they need to. "We've already been writing checks on that million dollars. If it doesn't come through, we're going upstate," says Mark Schroeder.

The Black family calls Woodbridge, Va., home. The whole family competes in tae kwon do tournaments. For them, winning is all about unity. Says Reggie Black: "That's one of our slogans, 'Together, whatever!' "

When an accident killed their husband and father last year, the Weaver family of Ormond Beach, Fla., was nearly torn apart. They hope "The Amazing Race" will pull them back together. "I think this is going to help prove it to us," says Linda Weaver, "that we're still a strong family; we're still a unified, strong family."

It's girl power all the way for Tricia Godlewski and her sisters from Des Plaines, Ill. They describe themselves as smart, energetic and outgoing.

But they're not the only sisters in the race. Wally Bransen, of Park Ridge, Ill., has his daughters Lindsay, Lauren and Beth with him. He says, "The girls are just great personalities and great people. They have the ability to connect with all types of people. They're extremely outgoing."

Ten families, from across the country, from every walk of life; some old, some young; all focused; all ready to run the race of their lives.

You can catch the debut of "The Amazing Race, Family Edition" on Thursday, Sept. 15 on CBS.


One of 10 teams: Going for $1M are Reggie and Kimberly Black and sons Kenneth, left, and Austin, from Woodbridge, Va.
 Families compete in new 'Amazing Race'
By Gary Levin, USA TODAY
The Amazing Race is going family style.
The eighth season of CBS' late-blooming reality hit, due with a two-hour opener on Sept. 27 (9 p.m. ET/PT), introduces a new twist: Ten teams of four family members compete for a $1 million prize in a worldwide sprint.

Replacing the typical two-person teams, the Family Edition cast to be unveiled today includes two groups of grown-up siblings, a dad with three sons-in-law and a widow with her three teenage kids. Though many are adults, half of the teams have at least one contestant younger than 18, and one Virginia family includes brothers ages 11 and 8.

Which is not necessarily bad. "Kids have major advantages just by size," says executive producer Bertram van Munster. "They can climb through something with more agility, and they're very fast in a crowd."

CBS pushed the family concept as a new wrinkle for the series, which took three years to become a breakout hit, scored its best ratings last spring and has won two Emmys as best competition-reality show.

"I was scared," says casting director Lynne Spillman, who feared "duds" among family members or timid tykes. "But it was so much better than I ever thought. The people we ended up with were pretty adventurous and excited. From the kids' point of view, they were ready for anything."

Says van Munster: "Anytime you put a family of four together, you get interesting dynamics. It's a pretty humorous and explosive mix."

Initially, "it was great to see how well these people got along with each other" and offered help, even as they "finessed finding ways to mislead the other teams." Later, as the race got harder, teams became more "bitter" and clearly labeled certain rivals as enemies.

The kid-friendly contest, which includes fewer non-elimination episodes, did require certain concessions: Over the 30-day race, filmed mostly in July, teams traveled 30,000 miles, far less than the 72,000 traversed by teams on the sixth season. And more family-friendly, less-crowded locales were chosen.

After the starting line beneath New York's Brooklyn Bridge, the teams spend more time in U.S. cities where the focus is on historically significant sites.

Yet challenges are just as grueling, van Munster promises, and involve "miserable rain" and "extreme dry heat."

Fans will see just as many of those pesky "roadblocks" and "detours," while "yields," which force one team to stop racing for a period of time, "are more effective and more frustrating to people than (they've) ever been."

Am I the only one who has a huge problem with the ages of these teams??

One team has it's two youngest members at 11 and 8....another has it's youngest two members at 31 and 26...How is that fair??

Thanks for the info, Puddin.

I am also surprised about the wide disparity of ages and potential capabilities.  However, last time I thought that Greg/Brian and Ray/Deana were going to be strong teams and look where they finished.

Even with the youngsters and non-exotic locations, I'm still looking forward to another great season.   

personally, i'm not liking the matching tie dyed shirts. but maybe that's just me.

i also don't like the very young kids running this time around too. i'm not looking forward to their philimination, sigh.


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