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HOME > The Amazing Race > The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business

'The Amazing Race' finally making jump to high-definition HDTV format

By Reality TV World staff, 11/02/2010 

The Amazing Race is finally making the jump to high definition.

CBS has announced The Amazing Race will begin filming in high definition and air in HDTV.

"Yes, yes, yes," CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published Tuesday.  "We are doing [The] Amazing Race in HD next year. I just announced it, there you go."

The Amazing Race's HDTV upgrade has been a long time coming.  While studio-based broadcast network reality shows like ABC's Dancing with the Stars and Fox's American Idol began making the high definition jump four or five years ago, it's been a much slower migration for CBS' long-running The Amazing Race, Big Brother, and Survivor reality trio.

Survivor finally made the jump during its seventeenth season which aired in Fall 2008 -- ending years of interviews in which executive producer Mark Burnett had repeatedly cited high upgrade costs and the poor durability of HD cameras as the primary reasons for the show's continued standard definition filming.

The Amazing Race executive producer Bertram van Munster had also regularly cited similar factors.

"Really, at this point, it doesn't matter much to me," he told Reality TV World in late 2008 after Survivor's migration.  "But logistically for us, it's a big nightmare to go do HD because we are in very remote areas and we are traveling and we need electricity everywhere.   We are not setup on an island [like Survivor], where it's basically a studio."

"So it is very unpractical right now at this point to use HD.  It's just outright unpractical for us unless they come up with better equipment or lighter batteries, or batteries that last longer."

"We are traveling around the world and these [high-definition cameras] suck battery power like there's no tomorrow, and these batteries are also very heavy -- that's [reason] No. 1.  No. 2, we are the reality show that has gotten two Emmys for cinematography, so our cinematography isn't that bad."

Several other long-running broadcast network reality shows have also finally made the HDTV migration in the past year -- including ABC's The Bachelor, which aired its Jake Pavelka edition in HDTV earlier this year, and NBC's The Biggest Loser, which debuted in high definition this fall.

In addition to Big Brother, The CW's America's Next Top Model also remains in standard definition while Fox's Hell's Kitchen airs in a non-HD widescreen format.

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