'The Amazing Race' Expands Around Asia

Robert Voets/CBS

Vietnam, The Philippines are the next two territories to produce local language versions of the show.

SYDNEY - Bertram Van Munster and Disney are taking The Amazing Race into new territories, with Disney Media Distribution announcing deals for localized versions of the reality franchise in the burgeoning South East Asian markets of Vietnam and The Philippines.

The new shows follow the success of localized versions of the Emmy award winning reality series in Australia in 2011 and China in 2010 and 2011.

In Vietnam, BHD and VTV3 will produce and shoot 13 episodes of Đường Đua Kỳ Thú, the local name for The Amazing Race. Actor Dustin Nguyen, of the original 21 Jump Street, will host the show and is the series producer and director. The series will premiere in Vietnam on May 18.

In the Philippines, TV5 has signed on for a Tagalog version of The Amazing Race, which will see 11 teams of two set off across the 7,107 islands that make up the Philippine archipelago. The call for auditions went out on March 5. 

“Southeast Asia is an exciting and growing market for us, and we are thrilled to be working with BHD and TV5 as we continue to expand our business and presence in the region,” said Amit Malhotra, vice president, program distribution, Disney Media Distribution (Asia Pacific).  “We are also extremely pleased with the performance and success of The Amazing Race in Australia and China and look forward to continuing to bring the excitement of the original series to audiences across Asia Pacific.”     

“I am particularly delighted that we have announced production of The Amazing Race in Vietnam and the Philippines,” said van Munster, who is co-creator and executive producer of The Amazing Race and president and CEO of Worldrace Productions.  “It is an honor to see the concept and production of The Amazing Race becoming a worldwide phenomenon and with the passion and expertise of the Disney Media Distribution team in Asia, I can imagine that this is only the beginning”. 

The Seven Network in Australia will air season 2 of The Amazing Race Australia, which averaged 1.26 million viewers for series 1, later this year, while The Amazing Race: China Rush, was commissioned in China by International Channel Shanghai (ICS) for two seasons.