'Great American Road Trip' Begins Tonight

In essence, The Great American Road Trip--the reality series which premieres tonight on NBC--features seven families travel through this great country, accomplishing tasks and seeing established and quirky landmarks, all with the goal of winning the big prize at the end. Well, one twist is, they're not revealing the prize until the very end. That aside, it does sound a little similar to one other reality show, and a behemoth at that. The Amazing Race, anyone?

Well, not exactly. "There's no race," the show's host, Reno Collier, explained. "It's not timed. People don't have to go from point A to point B in any period of time."

In fact, you can say it's the complete opposite of The Amazing Race. "Honestly, it took us forever," he said. "[It] was actually letting people have time to take their time and enjoy what they see along the road as opposed to speeding through everything ... It would be illegal to take families and put them in an RV and say, 'Drive as fast as you can!' But just because of the way other shows are, it was like, 'Oh, they have to be racing.' But we went really slow."

So I'm guessing it's more of a fun, quirky travelogue with a feel-good vibe, right? It seems the seven families participating had that idea, too. "As the show went on and I watched it, the money kind of wasn't even a part of it," Collier said. "Everybody wanted to finish the vacations, and I don't know if that's because of the way the economy is. Most people can't afford right now to get an RV and travel Route 66 with their family and let them get to see basically the entire country. So that kind of became the heart of the show, more than money. Not many people talked about the money. It was really the trip."

"It wasn't really like, 'We're going to win $10 million and we've got to get that money and we'll backstab everybody to get it,'" he added. "It was more the families trying to work together to continue on their vacation and get to the end."

But, alas, one family will be eliminated every week. But, again, stop it with the Amazing Race comparisons, I guess. Great American Road Trip kicks off tonight from 8pm on NBC.

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