Challenge: USA 2

What Does The Challenge: USA 2 Mean for the Future of The Challenge?

What could the MTV & CBS collaboration mean for the future of The Challenge?

Ever since the cast of “The Challenge: USA 2” was announced, many fans have shown excitement, but there’s also a lot of confusion. And, rightfully so. There are a lot of pillars in the Challenge franchise, and this doesn’t feel like a continuation of the first Challenge: USA.

The show fundamentally changed its format when it brought MTV cast members onto it. Previously, it only had CBS cast members, but this time, it seems like the upcoming season will only air on Paramount+, not CBS (though this remains unconfirmed). If this is true, it would make sense that Viacom CBS would want to blend competitors from the two networks.

We also don’t know for certain that this show will be named “The Challenge: USA,” and it’s doubtful this season will funnel into a second world tournament — especially because the UK and Australian shows weren’t successful (though the Argentinian version seems to have performed well). However, it may still carry the USA subtitle because there’s one major distinction between this show and the main series: There are no international competitors.

So, for American reality TV fans, this could be an exciting program because they know all the competitors. If they don’t, they can get caught up by streaming every competitor’s origin show (except for Road Rules: Campus Crawl) on Paramount+, which is likely an objective for Viacom CBS.

When the Brits first invaded The Challenge on Vendettas, they were allegedly testing the waters for The Challenge to get played abroad. This is why Final Reckoning introduced 0 new UK competitors. All the newbies that season came from CBS or another MTV show (like Are You the One? or Ex on the Beach). But the UK players showed potential on those two seasons, so production went all-in with the UK competitors during the two “War of the World” installments.

Since then (especially with Spies, Lies, and Allies and Ride or Dies), the international competitors haven’t added a whole lot to the franchise, at least not in terms of US ratings. But, if MTV didn’t decide to double-down on the UK competitors in 2019, the show was poised to move in a direction where CBS shows became the primary feeders. So, The Challenge: USA 2 seems to be rerouting the show in that direction.

To be clear, the main series has been confirmed for season 39. So, expect at least one more on MTV. I doubt that will be the end of the franchise, but it does seem like executives are trying to test the viability of moving the show’s home to Paramount+. This would make sense if CBS shows like Big Brother, The Amazing Race, and Survivor are going to introduce more new Challengers into the competition. Plus, it gives MTV more time to air Ridiculousness.

If you’re a Challenge fan, this should not be viewed as a bad thing. Nowadays, very few Challenge rookies made their TV debuts on MTV. As a whole, the network is struggling, but MTV’s parent company still sees potential in the franchise. So, if it moves to Paramount+ permanently, at least we know the show will have a home in the future. And after seasons like Spies, Lies, and Allies, I wouldn’t mind seeing production backtracking on the show’s direction a bit.

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