Route 66 News

“Great American Road Trip” premieres Tuesday

Comedian Reno Collier is the host of "The Great American Road Trip." (Courtesy of NBC)

NBC’s newest reality-television show, “The Great American Road Trip,” which reportedly takes place on Route 66, is ginning up publicity for the series that begins at 8 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday.

In case you haven’t heard, the premise is that seven families are given an RV in which to travel. During their journeys, they have to go through physical challenges. One family each week will be eliminated. Eventually, one family will win an unnamed “ultimate” prize to complement their summer vacation.

I had last checked on the show’s Web site about a month ago, when it was just bare-bones. Now, “The Great American Road Trip” site has photos, video, bios about host Reno Collier and the families, games and other goodies. Roadies probably would like the Happy Trails section — between the goofy stuff such as suggested songs to “drive parents nuts,” it contains sound advice for enhancing your dining experiences and a good list of strange roadside attractions, including Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo.

Looking over the still photographs and videos from the show, I spied the Round Barn in Arcadia, Okla.; Meramec Caverns in Stanton, Mo.; and downtown Atlanta, Ill.

Also, this Reality Wanted interview of host Collier was interesting in this exchange:

Q. Where did you stop on Route 66?
A. Reno: We’d stop at a lot of iconic landmarks, like the Great Archway in St. Louis and the Grand Canyon. We also stopped at this really cool place called the Midpoint Cafe. It was what the movie “Cars” was apparently modeled after. We met a couple people that had characters modeled after them in the movie, too, and they were really interesting. I think stopping at these places and meeting the people was just as great as seeing the landmarks themselves.

Collier also noted that the families, even when they were eliminated, wanted to continue their trip — which is a good sign.

UPDATE: This story from Zap2It has a few more details about the show. This part stuck out:

The first challenge is being deprived of iPods, portable DVD players and cell phones. For most teens, this is akin to cutting off oxygen. […]

As magnificent as the sights are, Pollard says the trip made her realize “how much your day-to-day reaction with each other is limited because of technology. When all of that is taken away, there is so much for your family. We would lie in bed at night and tell jokes, and we would be laughing out loud in the dark in the RV. As adults, we get so wrapped up in careers and our jobs and all the things that don’t matter.”