Travel Channel to show Season 12 of Amazing Race

To tide you over until Amazing Race 13 begins on September 28, tune into The Travel Channel. Starting September 3 at 8 p.m. EST, season 12 will be shown.

Although the winners from season 12 are known– Rachel and T.K., the couple who had smart ideas about how to use the dough (although with the abysmal showing of the current market and housing crisis, I wonder how that went?) there are travel tidbits about each of the countries the contestants visited and host Phil Keoghan’s commentaries.

My favorite episode was the Burkina Faso leg, particularly when most teams didn’t know how to say the capital Ouagadougou when they found out where they were heading. The camel milking made for the best TV. Plus, of all the locations, this was probably the one that was the most obscure to many of the folks who tuned in to watch.

Here’s a review of that episode on TV Squad to refresh your memory or to catch you up to the crazy antics that can happen as teams of two people race around the world on a chase for a million dollars.

Jason Hughes, at TV Squad wonders if The Travel Channel’s airing of the show may mean that CBS is thinking about pulling the plug since it is only picked up season by season. In that case, The Travel Channel could take it over. I hope it will stay on CBS so people can see it without cable.

New reality show: Americans go to a foreign country

It is kind of sad when a country needs to wrap a reality show around foreign travel. At the same time, if this is the way to get more Americans to travel abroad, more power to ABC.

ABC has ordered a new unscripted show from the producer of “Hell’s Kitchen” in which Americans go to a foreign country to compete in challenges. The series might be called “Big in Japan” (sorry, Matthew) and is supposed to combine reality and game show elements as contestants adapt to another culture while competing.

This could either be A) really funny or B) totally boring, filled with stereotypes (the stupid ones, not even the funny ones), such as the one about the ugly American walking into a sushi bar demanding a peanut butter sandwich and such. Oh, no. I just created a monster!

If I had to bet money on it, I would go with B.

[via TV Squad]

Long Way Down: Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman Complete Africa

The news came in over the weekend: Ewan and Charley have finished their motorcycle trek through Africa. It took them just 85 days to travel over 15,000 miles through 14 countries, from Scotland down to Cape Town, South Africa. And that’s including almost a week’s time spent at border crossings alone.

“We feel fantastic, and absolutely brilliant,” Charley told BBC Breakfast news. “It’s been a long, long ride, which has been the fun part, but getting here and arriving in Cape Town is just fantastic. And the thought of sitting on a motorbike in Scotland, and then arriving here is wonderful.”

I for one cannot wait for the television series to begin. Long Way ‘Round was — as Charley would say — absolutely brilliant. I’ve seen the entire thing at least a few times, and plan on watching it once more before I head off to Eastern Europe in October.

Thanks goes to Jaunted for the tip.

The Tick!

Occasionally, we here at Gadling like to stretch the boundaries of what constitutes “travel” and do a silly little post that is dear to our hearts, but frankly, not really travel related.

Of course, we can put a nice little travel spin on pretty much anything we want if we try hard enough. Take for example the news I came across yesterday that my favorite cartoon, The Tick, is finally being released on DVD after being off the air for ten years in America.

The Tick, for those of you who don’t watch cartoons, is an irreverent superhero in a bright blue costume who fights crime along with his sidekick Arthur, a pudgy ex-accountant who wears a moth suit.

The Tick is a pseudo-philosopher who is a bit low on brainpower but more than makes up for it with a good, simple heart and plenty of dumb brawn. Between his rally cries of spoon!, the Tick has been known to delve into such diverse topics as evil, fish, the attributes of a moustache, alien probes, and Joseph Stalin.

So where’s the travel angle you ask? Well, in the third and final season, the Tick goes to Europe on a Superhero Exchange Program. He switches places with Belgian superhero Éclair and finds himself in Antwerp where the King of Belgian has been kidnapped.

With his new superhero partner Blitzen (a muscle-bound German frau who first takes him dancing in a techno club) Tick matches wits with Octopaganini, an eight-armed villain who is a master violin player and also does battle with The Eastern Bloc Robot Cowboy, a deranged gun slinging vending machine from behind the Iron Curtain.

Meanwhile, back in the States, Éclair and sidekick Arthur take on the Breadmaster and his army of tiny gingerbread men. Goodness wins out when the cookie army goes prematurely stale, prompting Éclair to make the observation that, “Once again we find that you can’t disguise the foul taste of evil with artificial, or even natural sweeteners.”

Are you with me here?

Go buy the DVD; trust me, you’ll love it.