From American Ninja Warrior to The Amazing Race to Survivor, strength and stamina-based reality competition shows have been a staple in American reality TV for decades. MTV's long-running competition series The Challenge has tested the mental and physical abilities of young hopefuls since 1998. Originally a spinoff of The Real World and Road Rules, The Challenge has lasted a whopping 37 seasons.
But in 2022, The Challenge made its way from cable to primetime television with CBS's The Challenge: USA. That's right, the cutthroat CBS universe is ready to get down and dirty. "With an ever-changing game, players will be in a constant state of paranoia, unable to trust anyone but themselves. "The CBS all-stars from Survivor, Big Brother, The Amazing Race, and Love Island will compete on The Challenge: USA this summer on the CBS Television Network for a chance to join the upcoming The Challenge: Global Championship," the show's synopsis reads.
Along with the opportunity to compete in The Challenge: Global Championship, the 28 contestants of The Challenge: USA — which is hosted by iconic BMX rider T.J. Lavin — are playing for a staggering $500,000. Yeah, that's a lot of dough. You're going to want to keep up with the drama, so let's discuss the new series' schedule.
What does the schedule for 'The Challenge: USA' look like?
Although the show features several players from Big Brother (which airs three times per week and also has nearly constant live feeds), viewers will only need to set aside one evening per week to watch The Challenge: USA — kind of refreshing, right?
Season 2 will be kicking off in two parts: Thursday, August 10 at 10:00 p.m. and Sunday, August 13 at 9:00 p.m. EST. From then on, The Challenge: USA will air every Thursday at 10:00 p.m. and Sunday at 9:00 p.m. EST until August 31. After that, it will only air on Thursdays.
It's also available for streaming on Paramount Plus.
The rules for CBS's 'The Challenge: USA' differ from MTV's original rules.
CBS is switching things up. As T.J. said in the first episode, everyone starts out with "a little seed money."
“Everyone’s going to have $1,000,” T.J. Lavin said. “Unfortunately for you, that is not enough money to make it to my final, which is the ultimate goal. To qualify, you have to have $5,000 in that personal Challenge account.” The more challenges the competitors win, the more cash they accumulate.
Aside from the rules themselves, longtime Challenge host T.J. was surprised at how different the feel of The Challenge: USA was compared to the previous show.
"I really didn't have any idea that it was as big as it is. I really didn't, I swear. I didn't even realize it during the first week of shooting," he told Parade. "I saw the cast, and I was like, 'These people are real stars.' They all look fashionable. These are some very beautiful people! On the MTV show, we get into crashes, and we've got scars on our faces, and we do our thing. But these people took me aback. I was like, 'All right, we got a party going on!'"
Catch new episodes of The Challenge: USA Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on CBS, or catch up on Paramount Plus. If you're a fan of MTV's The Challenge, you don't want to miss The Challenge: USA.