A CBS reality-tv game show produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Bertram Van Munster that aired in 2001. Actually, Van Munster is the driving force behind the entire show. He's the one who came up with the idea, places to go, tasks to complete, etc. and the only Bruckheimer influence seen throughout the show are the buses and helicopters used to ferry the contestants. The teams alighting from the bus in season 1 screams Con-Air everytime I see it.
The concept is that 11 two-person teams with pre-existing relationships will travel around the world while trying to avoid being the last team to reach the pitstop in each leg. And as you probably know by now, last place loses and is immediately sent home. The grand prize is $1 million dollars, and like any other reality show even if you lose -- you still get paid depending on how many episodes you appear in.
Every leg, a team departs in the same order in which they arrive. So if you arrived first place at the pitstop say 6:25 AM, you get to leave first at 6:25 PM after the mandatory 12-hour rest period. Before you depart, you will be handed a route marker which contains instructions on which country or place you will go and directions to the Fast Forward pass. The Fast Forward pass allows you to skip all tasks for that leg and go directly to the next pitstop. However, you may only use it once throughout the entire race, and only one pass is available for each leg. The tricky part is that most teams believe that they should only use the Fast Forward when they're at last place. But since you depart last, chances are -- some team who wants to cement their place on top of the standings would probably go for the Fast Forward themselves. By the time you get there, the Fast Forward is gone and you just wasted a lot of time in the process.
Throughout the way, you'll come across flags (usually yellow with a random color depending on which season) that contain yet another set of route markers. Its usually in the order of Detour then Road Block. The Detour route marker is a pamphlet that gives you a choice between two tasks each with its own pros and cons. Its up to you to decide which one of the tasks you'll be able to complete faster. After the task is completed you will be given another set of instructions, possibly directions to the Road Block. A Road Block on the other hand, is a task that only one team member can perform. A clue is written below the form to help you decide which team member is appropiate for the task at hand, but its very cryptic and it rarely helps at all (ie. for people who like to take things slowly - the task is actually to drive an Italian mini-car that's slow). Once you complete the Road Block, you'll be handed directions to the pitstop for that leg of the race.
There are 13 legs all-in-all with 9 elimination legs, and 2 non-elimination legs (the last team to arrive still gets to compete). Elimination continues until only 3 teams remain which automatically goes to the finals. The finals, in addition to Detours and Road Blocks, includes searching for clues here and there until you finally make it to the last clue which points you out to the finish line which involves RUNNING long distances on your way to it....which makes it unfair because the fittest team can outrun the others. In season 1 and 2's case -- jock teams made it to the finals so they made absolute short work of their competition.
The show is entering its third season and will be premiering on October 2, 2002. A fourth season is confirmed and applications are being filed as of this time.