Synopsis: In 1971, 23 lunatics and eight vehicles drove America wild and created a legend. In 2001, 18 lunatics, six vehicles and one network plan to do it again! In a five-night stretch from Sunday, August 5 - Thursday, August 9 at 10PM ET/PT, six-mismatched teams of three people travel the back roads of America from New York to California in tricked-out vehicles using any means available to sabotage their rivals and get to the finish line with the quickest time in a coast-to-coast dash for cash.
The teams consist of two Playboy Playmates and a seminary student; a loving couple paired with the guy's ex-girlfriend; an early 1970's model hearse filled with reality stars, Susan Hawk (Survivor), Jeff Varner (Survivor: The Australian Outback) and Kaya Wittenburg (Temptation Island); two party-crazed frat boys and a 70-year-old grandmother; two Southern "good ole boys" paired with an Ivy League, Chardonnay-sipping, society girl; and two rappers with a rap-hating firefighter.
Each episode tracks the teams as they compete in challenges between two major checkpoints on their route. Armed with a minimal allowance to cover daily expenses, the teams will face cash bonus temptations that can cost them time and the race. USA's Cannonball Run 2001: Race Across America will throw wrenches into the works such as lost keys, siphoned gas, and detours into less-than-paved roads. The biggest challenge, however, will be each other. Sabotage and smarts are the name of the game in this battle of wills on wheels. (Courtesy USA, 2001)
Debuted on the USA Network on Sunday, August 5th, 2001.
1-1 Episode One--08/05/2001
The rally kicks off in New York City, where six diverse teams compete against each other in their first road challenge, the Valet Volley. Hog Wild is the first car to complete the challenge and hit the road. Their next destination: Blacksburg, VA. Hip Hop is next, followed by Alpha Gamma, 3rd Wheel and Forbidden Fruit. Castaways are last.
During the long drive, 3rd Wheel gets lost, and Forbidden Fruit and Hog Wild have mechanical breakdowns. Around 9:00 PM, Hip Hop reaches the checkpoint first, followed by Alpha Gamma and the Castaways. Forbidden Fruit arrives after midnight on a flatbed, followed by Hog Wild, also on a flatbed.
The next day, Forbidden Fruit attempts to sabotage Hip Hop before the stagger start begins. Hip Hop manages to successfully punch out in time and heads for a nearby demolition derby, where they take on two professional derby drivers. Afterwards, they meet their third teammate, Carl (Pop). He tells them that their next destination is Alpharetta, GA, and they hit the road.
As the day wears on, all of the other teams complete the demo derby and meet their third teammates. Alpha Gamma is joined by Princess, a 75-year old grandma; 3rd Wheel is joined by Dana, Matt’s ex-girlfriend; Castaways is joined by Kaya, one of the stars of “Temptation Island.”
During the drive to Alpharetta, GA, the frat boys subject Princess to an obscene game of “I Never,” Dana and Matt argue about their nasty breakup and Forbidden Fruit breaks down again.
By the end of Day 2, Hip Hop and Pop has held onto its lead and reached the finish line first. Alpha Gamma Grandma comes in second, Castaways are third and 3rd Wheel in fourth. Hog Wild rolls in after daybreak and Forbidden Fruit arrives at noon, once again, on a flatbed.
1-2 Episode Two
The teams begin leg two of Cannonball Run in Atlanta, Georgia. Before the race begins, an alliance between The Castaways, 3rd Wheel and Hog Wild is formed, while Forbidden Fruit trades in their pink Cadillac for a more reliable car.
The race begins at the Catch the Keys Jump-Start. Together, one member from each team must catch pigs with a collar that matches their team color. Attached to the collar is a key. When they find the key that starts their car, they can begin the race. When Lee yells go, the race begins and everyone hops into the pigpen. Hip Hop and Pop are out of the gate first, followed closely by Alpha Gamma Grandma. To their surprise, when they arrive at the gate, it’s locked. Soon the other teams make it out of “Catch the Keys” and all the cars stockpile at the gate. Everyone has become a victim of the Castaways’ first sabotage.
As everyone tries to figure out the order of who will exit the farm first, the Playmates come up with the idea to steal the keys out of the hearse to get back at the Castaways. They accomplish their mission, but in the process break the rules of the game. After much discussion by the racers, Lee announces that Forbidden Fruit is disqualified.
With a team eliminated, the gate is opened and only five teams hit the open road. While driving to Pearle, Mississippi, the Castaways score their first EZ pass. Jane and Dana become fast friends and Matt looks like the third wheel. Hog Wild gives us their thoughts about their lack of confidence in the newly formed alliance. In the Alpha Gamma Grandma car, Princess tries to teach the guys some manners, and they continue to see how much they can get away with. Just outside of Pearl, Mississippi, Hip Hop and Pop are pulled over by the police at gunpoint and their car is searched, causing them to lose a significant amount of time.
Alpha Gamma Grandma crosses the finish line first, followed by Hog Wild, then Hip Hop and Pop, the Castaways, and finally, 3rd Wheel. Before going to sleep, Matt and Jane get into a deep conversation about their relationship. Meanwhile, the Castaways decide they have to stop Alpha Gamma Grandma.
The following morning the Castaways strike again and round up a group of locals to help them with their next sabotage. The locals block in Alpha’s Camaro as they leave the hotel. They hold them up for forty-five minutes before the police come and allow them to get back on the road.
The drive to Ft. Worth is filled with teams scoring EZ passes. Matt apologizes to Jane and Dana about his jealous behavior and all the cars have a smooth ride to Texas. The cars cross the finish line in the same order they left Mississippi. Alpha crosses first, Hog Wild second, Hip Hop third, the Castaways fourth and 3rd Wheel last. With everyone at the finish line, Alpha and Hip Hop decide to watch each other’s back to guard against the Castaways. The Castaways, on the other hand, reveal they never know what they’ll do next, but you can count on something.