TV Review: 'Treasure Hunters' buries its promise

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A mash-up of "The Amazing Race" and the movie "National Treasure" (or "The Da Vinci Code," if you prefer), NBC's "Treasure Hunters" (8 p.m. Sunday; normally airs at 9 p.m. Monday) fails to live up to its premise.

It's an overstuffed, doddering, global meander with little of the excitement of "The Amazing Race." With 10 teams of three people each, "Treasure Hunters" more closely resembles the rightfully maligned family edition of the "Race" more than it does the more popular teams-of-two "Race."

In Sunday's premiere, five teams start out in Alaska, unaware that five other teams are beginning in Hawaii, but they'll meet by the end of the first hour, a calculated surprise that proves to be a letdown.

Teams are to follow clues and scour the globe for seven artifacts that will help lead them to a treasure. The show offers a lot of bells and whistles, but most fail to ring or tweet. It doesn't help that all the puzzle-solving slows the pace, resulting in less running and more orchestrated walking (paging Leslie Sansone!).

Personality-free Laird Macintosh hosts "Treasure Hunters," often appearing by cell phone to communicate instructions to contestants.

With three players on each team, their personalities are sometimes as indistinguishable as their relationships. A man and woman on the Air Force team kiss, but their relationship is never explained in Sunday's two-hour premiere. (Press notes say they are husband and wife while the third male teammate is a friend.)

Dull and plodding, "Hunters" is no reality TV treasure.

  
Review: 'Treasure Hunters'
When: 8 p.m. Sunday, NBC.   

TV editor Rob Owen can be reached at rowen@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2582. Ask TV questions at www.post-gazette.com/tv under TV Q&A.


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