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USA Insider Race to Survive: Alaska

How Alaska's Unpredictable Weather Changed The Game On 'Race To Survive: Alaska'

There's no telling Mother Nature what to do, especially in Alaska!

By Tara Bennett
A view of Denali, formerly known as Mt. McKinley, on September 1, 2015 in Denali National Park, Alaska

Alaska contains multitudes when it comes to terrain, diverse ecosystems and weather of every kind. That's what makes it the perfect backdrop for USA Network's upcoming competition survival series, "Race to Survive: Alaska." 

How to Watch

Catch up with Race to Survive: Alaska on the USA Network app.

Filmed in large swaths of the state from Ketchikan to Cordova, and up through the Aleutian Alaskan islands, the series pits eight teams of two — consisting of elite adventure racers, rock climbers and extreme hikers — against one another to navigate the wilds of Alaska via compass, map and only the gear they can carry. They'll progress through six legs of elimination races and the last team standing will win the $500,000 prize.

RELATED: 'Race To Survive: Alaska' Fans May Want To Check Out The 2023 Iditarod

When the series premieres on Monday, April 3 at 11 p.m. ET/PT, audiences will quickly see that one of the biggest obstacles for the racing teams is Alaska's volatile weather. It certainly tried to best the producers of the series.

"Race to Survive: Alaska" co-executive producer Alan Bishop tells USAInsider that the weather plays into every team's gameplay "over and over and over" as the legs progress.

"Alaska doesn't give one damn about television," Bishop says candidly. "That's for the crew and for the cast. We both had to deal with both sides of that same coin."

The series was shot during the summer of 2022 because that is when Alaska experiences its most moderate weather, and also the longest days of sunlight, which helped production immensely.

"When you're shooting outdoors — knowing that everything takes longer than you want it to and you're always trying to get people out [of the elements] — the more daylight we have for an outdoor show, the better it is," Bishop explains. "And that's across everything, from a shooting perspective and from a risk management perspective. It gives you more time to do your job."

But all weather is mercurial and Bishop says Alaska last summer served up surprises every single day.

"I still can't believe we got it done in the time we did," he shares."We had days when we were rained out. We had snow. We had a heatwave with one of the hottest days in Ketchikan ever. We ran the gamut."

Bishop says that's all part of the fun of executing an outdoors-based competition series. Veteran producers, like himself, know to plan for the worst.

"With any big outdoor show, no matter what it is, you have to be ready and have an A, B, C, D and E plan."

Tune in on Monday, April 3 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on USA Network for the "Race to Survive: Alaska" premiere. Catch more survival shows on Peacock now.

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