It’s been a tough summer for CBS. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the network hasn't had new seasons of its summer reality stalwarts Big Brother, The Amazing Race or even relative newcomer Love Island. But just because those shows have been delayed doesn’t mean viewers will have to go without a reality-competition series from the network this July, or even one hosted by The Amazing Race’s Phil Keoghan. That’s exactly the gap that Tough as Nails — the network’s newest unscripted series — is hoping to fill when it makes its debut this week.
What is Tough as Nails? The brainchild of Phil Keoghan and his wife/producing partner Louise Keoghan, Tough as Nails is designed to shine a spotlight on the hard-working Americans who get their hands dirty and work long, difficult hours in the jobs that keep the country running. It will focus on a group of contestants, all of whom, per CBS, “consider the calluses on their hands a badge of honor,” as they compete to become the champion. In other words, it’s like Dirty Jobs as a competition show.
Who Are The Contestants? The series features twelve contestants (six men and six women), all of whom are “everyday Americans” used to working the kind of tough, manual jobs that the show aims to celebrate. Among the trades represented are fishermen, roofers, welders, scaffolders, farmers, firefighters, drywallers and ironworkers.
What Are The Show’s Challenges? Each week, viewers will get to see the show's competitors go to real job sites around the country to participate in challenges designed to test their mental and physical toughness. The challenges are all based around real-life jobs as the contestants compete to accomplish many of the same manual tasks that so many workers around the country do on a daily basis, including laying down new train tracks, shoveling several thousand pounds of dirt and sand, brick-laying, and scrapping cars.
How Are Contestants Eliminated? One contestant will be eliminated each week based on their performance during that episode’s challenges. However, none of the show’s contestants will go home, as the eliminated competitors will stay on the show and participate in the weekly team competitions, with the chance to continue winning additional prizes throughout the season.
How Many Episodes Will There Be? The show’s first season is comprised of 10 episodes.
When and Where is it Airing? Tough as Nails will air on CBS Wednesday nights at 8:00PM ET, starting July 8th.
Will There Be Another Season? The show has yet to be renewed for a second season. Its future will likely depend on its performance over the coming weeks.
Tell Me More:
Tough as Nails premieres Wednesday, July 8th at 8:00 PM ET on CBS.
Alex Welch has written about television and film for TV by the Numbers, IGN, The Berrics, Paste Magazine, Screen Rant and GeekNation. Follow him on Twitter @alexrwelch.