Expedition Impossible (TV series)
|Created by||Mark Burnett|
|Presented by||Dave Salmoni|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||10|
480i (16:9 SDTV)|
|Original release||June 23, 2011 - August 25, 2011|
Expedition Impossible is a 2011 American reality television series. The series follows thirteen teams of three competitors as they "solve problems while racing across deserts, over mountains and through rivers" across the nation of Morocco. The first team to cross the finish line after completing the ten stages of the competition was to receive US$150,000. In addition, each team member won a new Ford Explorer.
Created by producer Mark Burnett and hosted by wildlife expert Dave Salmoni, the series premiered on ABC on June 23, 2011, to mild critical response. The show was canceled following its first and only season.
- 1 Game
- 2 Production
- 3 International distribution and adaptations
- 4 Teams
- 5 Progress
- 6 Stages
- 7 Reception
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Expedition Impossible is run in ten stages, each of which has a series of checkpoints. At each checkpoint, teams receive instructions on how to reach the next checkpoint and at some checkpoints they face challenges that must be completed before heading to the next checkpoint. The last team in each stage to reach the final checkpoint is eliminated. If any member of a team quits, the team is eliminated.
ABC and producer Mark Burnett announced the series on November 4, 2010, with Burnett describing Expedition Impossible as "high adventure television" and "an epic Indiana Jones-style experience". Open casting began later that month. Prospective contestants were required to demonstrate proficiency in several skills, including horseback riding, righting a boat that had been capsized, compass reading and rappelling.
After initially announcing a premiere date of June 21, 2011, ABC revised the date to June 23.
International distribution and adaptations
On May 9, 2011, CTV Television Network announced that it had acquired Expedition Impossible for Canadian broadcast and that it would debut the series on June 21. CTV pushed back the premiere to the 23rd, corresponding with its American debut.
On July 16, 2011, Australia's Network Ten started to broadcast the show in the 6:30pm – 7:30pm timeslot on its main channel - 10.
An adaptation of the series premiered on the channel Cuatro in Spain on January 23, 2013. Hosted by Raquel Sánchez-Silva, Expedición Imposible features ten pairs of celebrities racing through Morocco.
Group of friends that, collectively, have traveled to over 40 countries.
Jeff is Erik's climbing guide on mountaineering expeditions because Erik is blind. Ike is a soldier.
Kari and AJ are siblings. Ryan and AJ used to be a couple, but are now friends. All three are roommates.
The Football Players
All three are former professional football players who first met while playing for San Diego State University.
Cops who work together. In 2016, Jim Vaglica of The Cops would appear on the FOX reality show, American Grit.
Friends who met while attending the University of California, Davis.
The Country Boys
Friends coming from Mississippi and nearby.
Gus and Nino are brothers and Joe is their cousin. All three are crew on the fishing boat Captain Dominic.
New York Firemen
Co-workers who are firefighters in New York
Three sisters who are originally from Kansas.
Samantha is Steven's daughter, Dick is Steven's father.
Ruthie and Abbie are Ellie's daughters. They were also in the military.
Friends and co-workers, all with Latino heritage.
|The Gypsies||Travel Friends||1st||1st||1st||1st||2nd||1st||1st||1st||1st||1st||1st|
|The Football Players||College Friends/Football Players||3rd||4th||4th||3rd||3rd||4th||4th||2nd||3rd||4th|
|California Girls||College Friends||9th||9th||7th||7th||8th||7th||3rd||6th|
|The Country Boys||Friends||7th||2nd||3rd||9th||7th||5th||7th|
|The Fishermen||Brothers & Cousin||5th||6th||10th||6th||6th||8th|
|New York Firemen||Co-workers/Firefighters||8th||10th||6th||4th||9th|
|Mom's Army||Mother & Daughters||11th||12th|
- A red team placement means the team was eliminated.
- A green team placement means the team won the expedition.
|No.||Title||Winner||Original air date||US viewers|
|1||"Sun! Sand! Sahara!"||The Gypsies||June 23, 2011||7.18|
Checkpoint one: Teams must traverse a tall sand dune to reach a camel outpost.
Checkpoint three: Teams leave the camels and proceed on foot to Todra mountain.
Checkpoint four: Teams travel on foot to Snake Valley.
|2||"Light My Way!"||The Gypsies||June 30, 2011||6.16|
Checkpoint one: Teams travel to a horse outpost on foot, then ride Arabian horses seven miles to a kasbah.
Checkpoint two: Each team member paddles an inflatable kayak four miles down-river.
Finish line: Travel two miles to an old bridge and search for the finish line at a hidden campsite.
|3||"I Don't Know How to Ride This Thing!"||The Gypsies||July 7, 2011||5.65|
Checkpoint one: Walk to an oasis and gather feed for camels. Trek 1.5 miles to a camel outpost.
Checkpoint two: Travel 3.8 miles with the camels to an olive mill.
Checkpoint three: Travel 3.5 miles on the Dadès River to a "castle beach" with ancient timber poles.
Finish line: Choose a shorter, harder route through the mountains or a longer, easier route along the river to reach the finish line.
|4||"There's Snow in Morocco?"||The Gypsies||July 14, 2011||4.82|
Checkpoint one: Ascend the Atlas Mountains along a high ridgeline to a 10,000-foot high bluff.
Checkpoint two: After spending the night at an Alpine Base Camp, teams travel west out of the mountains to a dirt road that leads to a farming village.
Checkpoint three: Load the plow into the back of a Ford Explorer, then drive to the Farming Terraces.
Finish line: Walk down a mountain road to reach the finish line.
|5||"A Blind Man's Nightmare"||Fab 3||July 21, 2011||4.68|
Checkpoint one: Proceed to an artist's tent where someone must duplicate a map on the body part of a teammate. Teams then use the map to navigate six miles into the Atlas Mountains to a 200 foot high cliff overlooking the Petrified Canyon.
Checkpoint two: Traverse the Petrified Canyon pass to a riverbed location.
Checkpoint three: After solving a puzzle with instructions on how to get to the next checkpoint, teams hike five miles up the river.
|6||"Leap of Faith"||The Gypsies||July 28, 2011||5.13|
Checkpoint one: Use a hand-line to cross a river before heading into town to find a local rug stall.
Checkpoint two: Proceed on foot to the Ouzoud Falls.
Checkpoint three: Zip-line across a river to receive the next set of instructions.
Finish line: After kayaking down some rapids, teams use their GPS to navigate to a goat cave. From there, teams are able to spot the flags at the camp. They must go back down the mountain, paddle another mile and then climb 300 feet to the finish.
|7||"Rock the Kasbah"||The Gypsies||August 4, 2011||4.82|
Checkpoint one: From the tower of a kasbah, use binoculars to spot a symbol on the city that matches one of the six symbols given on the map. Then, drive to that place: a souk.
Checkpoint two: Drive to the airport.
Checkpoint three: Swim across a river, then trek for one mile to arrive at the next checkpoint.
Finish line: After solving the puzzle which spelled out the word "kasbah" (an acronym of the six signs on the sign board – kayaking, archery, swimming, boating, airplane, hiking), teams race to the kasbah.
|8||"Never Give Up"||The Gypsies||August 11, 2011||3.83|
Checkpoint one: Teams head up to the ancient kasbah.
Checkpoint two: Inflate two kayaks and paddle to Prison Island.
Checkpoint three: After spending the night at Saddle Island, teams swim across the lake's closest gap to the mainland before hiking to the farm ruins.
Finish line: Travel 600 yards to the finish line.
|9||"Come Hell or High Water"||The Gypsies||August 18, 2011||4.45|
Checkpoint one: Trek through the Tillouguit village to a river, pick a guide and a raft to navigate the Ahansai River white waters to the mule bridge.
Checkpoint two: Return to the rafts and paddle through a river with muddy water called "The Soup".
Finish line: Go down the cliff, swim across the river, and trek to the wheat field.
|10||"And Then There Were Four"||The Gypsies||August 25, 2011||4.61|
Checkpoint one: Teams paddle 2 miles in Moroccan tin boats.
Checkpoint two: Teams ride on the horses 3.5 miles to the next checkpoint. The last team to arrive will be evacuated. Teams then drive 22 miles through the desert to find the next checkpoint hidden in the crowded marketplace, Jemaa el-Fnaa, Marrakesh.
Before its debut, Expedition Impossible drew comparisons to other reality television series, including The Amazing Race, Pirate Master, and Burnett's own adventure race series Eco-Challenge. Burnett has repudiated the comparisons to TAR, saying "There’s no taxis. There’s no hotels. This is very, very different. Here, you actually need to put yourself on the line, really be willing to cross the deserts and the mountains and use the camels and the horses. So, it’s a very, very much more difficult competition."
David Hinckley of The New York Daily News found the premiere to follow a familiar formula and wondered whether a "saturation point" for this style of entertainment had been reached. In saying so, he stressed that he in no way was diminishing the accomplishments of the participating teams. Similarly, Brian Lowry for Variety, while calling the series a "transparent knockoff of The Amazing Race", complimented Burnett on his ability to create "a sense of jeopardy in the challenges" while finding that the series as a whole "travels such a familiar course" that it was tantamount to "recycling" the concepts of other series.
Expedition Impossible was the top-rated program the night of its debut, pulling 2.4/7 in adults 18/49 and 7.18 million viewers. The premiere was the 8th most watched show that week. In the second episode, Expedition Impossible pulled a 1.8/6 in adults 18/49 and 6.16 million viewers. This drop was not unusual for a holiday weekend, as other shows also experienced a rating decline. Despite this, Expedition Impossible was the top rated program of the hour and the second top rated program of the night, as well as the 12th most watched show that week in the 18/49 demo. Ratings however continued to slip when its fifth episode only garnered a rating of 1.3 for the 18/49 demo and 4.68 million in total viewers. The show hit a season low for its eighth episode, with a demo rating of 1.1 and only watched by 3.83 million viewers. The show's ninth episode was watched by 4.45 million viewers, and the season finale ended with a rating of 1.3 for the 18/49 demo and 4.61 millions in total viewer number.
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- Meet the teams
- "Sun! Sand! Sahara!" Season 1, Episode 1
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- "Light My Way!" Season 1, Episode 2
- Thursday Final Ratings: 'Wipeout' Adjusted Up
- "I Don't Know How to Ride This Thing!" Season 1, Episode 3
- Thursday Final Ratings: 'Big Brother' Even Bigger, 'So You Think You Can Dance' Adjusted Up Archived 2011-07-10 at WebCite
- "There's Snow in Morocco?" Season 1, Episode 4
- Thursday Final Ratings: 'So You Think You Can Dance,' Expedition Impossible Adjusted Up
- "A Blind Man's Nightmare" Season 1, Episode 5
- Thursday Final Ratings: 'Wipeout,' 'Rookie Blue' and 'Big Brother' Adjusted Up
- "Leap of Faith" Season 1, Episode 6
- Thursday Final Ratings: No Adjustments with Adults 18-49
- "Rock the Kasbah" Season 1, Episode 7
- Thursday Final Ratings: 'Big Brother,' 'Wipeout,' and 'So You Think You Can Dance' Adjusted Up
- "Never Give Up" Season 1, Episode 8
- Thursday Final Ratings: Big Adjustments Down for ABC, CBS and NBC
- "Come Hell or High Water" Season 1, Episode 9
- Thursday Final Ratings: 'Big Brother' Adjusted Down
- "And Then There Were Four" Season 1, Episode 10
- Thursday Final Ratings: Numerous Adjustments Due to NFL and Irene Preemptions
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