Hello, dear friend! How have you been? I have been busy handling casting interviews for our upcoming season of The Amazing Race and helping our staff pick exotic locations and challenges for our latest group of contestants. It has definitely been keeping me busy. I haven't had much time for anything else.
I had been perusing your blog the other day when I noticed you brought up the issue of why CBS had not reinstated The Amazing Zeus. I thought it was time we discussed this as it has certainly put a wall in the midst of our friendship. It's a rather long story, so I hope you bear with me as I relate the sad details in proper order.
I had approached Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri, the original creators of The Amazing Race, with the idea of the sequel. When I said your name, Elise turned me and said, "Are you serious? We didn't even pull in enough ratings to beat out Treasure Hunters last season! We can't possibly have him try again!" I knew she was right, but I informed her that it might have been because the adventures were too long. Bertram interjected at that point: "Too long is right! I nearly fell asleep watching those cats visit some of those places!"
"If you can figure out a way to make it more exciting, perhaps we'll reconsider. You know sex, drugs, and violence sell. See if Zeus is willing to add a bit of spice to the offer, and then we'll talk again," said Elise.
With that in mind, I went to see Jonathan Littman, the executive producer. He was lounging in his office, ruffling some papers when I stepped inside. He stopped me though as soon as he saw me: "I hear you're trying to pitch this Amazing Zeus sequel idea, and I'm just letting you know it's not going to fly."
"Why not?" I asked.
Jonathan scoffed at me as he spouted, "You're smoking some serious crack! Let's think about it: Cats running all over the nation, visiting inane tourist attractions, having no challenges, and getting all of our financial backing?! Do you know that freakin' cat racked up a $12,930 airline fee alone? You can't be in your right mind if you think that investors are going to line up to sponsor a cat!"
"I thought people really enjoyed the change of pace," I told him sheepishly. "There was something very endearing about seeing their adventures."
"There's nothing endearing about seeing cats talk to a mechanical cow or watching them wiggle their way through a maze of miniature Chinese army men or having Derek Acorah do a psychic reading for them on the streets of London! Forget it, Phil! This is not going to happen!" And with that, he plugged in his iPod and cranked it to full blast to let me know the conversation was over.
I just want you to know, Zeus, that I tried everything in my power to make your sequel happen. I really think the only way it's going to take off is if you find financial backing independently of CBS. I'm sorry, my friend, for the bad news, but I thought you should hear it from me first.
P.S. Please tell Marina I said hello, and that I love the photos of her on the blog.