CBS Suspended The Amazing Race Season 33 Production But Things Could Be Worse

Phil Keoghan last season on The Amazing Race, photo courtesy of CBS

Welp, this is not amazing news for fans of The Amazing Race. In recent years, we’ve only been getting one season of the travel competition series per TV cycle and now an upcoming seasons has had to shut down production -- at least temporarily, although the reason does make sense.

New reports coming out indicate The Amazing Race is currently shutting down production for the upcoming Season 33 due to the number of cases of coronavirus occurring in multiple countries. Three episodes for Season 33 had already been filmed when the show made the decision to halt production.

CBS put out a statement about the closure of the series for now (via Variety), noting:

All contestants and production staff are in the process of returning home. At this time, no Racers or anyone on the production team traveling with them have contracted the virus, or shown symptoms, and we are not aware of anyone being exposed to it. Out of an abundance of caution, everyone involved in the show will continue to be monitored when they return home. The health and well-being of the Racers and the production team are our top priorities.

So, the good news is that the shutdown of the series didn’t happen due to someone getting ill with the super bug. On the screen we usually see about a dozen teams racing around the world and those whittle down as the season wears on. Off-camera, so many other people are traveling for The Amazing Race we don’t usually think about.

There are the location scouts and the camera men and the producers and the people traveling with host Phil Keoghan. In fact, when people are traveling in pairs of two on planes and trains, they are actually responsible for purchasing tickets for the two-person crew that travels with each team. All of these people are now dealing with the ramifications of the season (loss of time, income, quarantine) and no Season 33 return date has been set in place yet.

If you are a fan of The Amazing Race, the good news is that the show is about to head into Season 32 and not Season 33. Season 32 actually filmed back in 2018 for release this TV season. So, Season 33 would not be hitting the schedule for a long while anyway and will hopefully have plenty of time to get back on track while the coronavirus (knock on wood) runs its course.

Coronavirus has caused setbacks in plenty of industries in recent months and the TV and movies business has certainly not been immune. Particularly, a lot of big movie premieres in places like China and Italy have had to be withheld or delayed while people are in quarantine due to the quick-spreading nature of the virus. Mulan in particular was expected to be a big release in China and its future is a concern due to the disease.

While CBS has not announced a return date for Season 32, yet, Season 31 ran last summer, hitting the schedule in May and running through the end of June. So, I’d expect Season 32 to follow a similar trajectory. When Season 33 will ultimately premiere is most definitely TBD to say the least. If the coronavirus continues to be a problem worldwide, it makes me wonder if the series may try something a little more domestic instead, as the show did during the family edition back in Season 8. That's if the bug doesn't become a concern here.

We'll keep you updated regardless of what happens. For now, we wish the very best to The Amazing Race team members and contestants who were affected by this setback.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.