It took awhile but Viacom (NYSE:VIA) and CBS are back with the third installment of The Amazing Race. If you're fed up with slackers and prima donnas on reality television shows who do little but complain about the amount of rice they're consuming on an exotic island or feign come hither eyes in pursuit of a single red rose, tune in. Granted, some of the 11 pairs competing for the million-dollar prize are bound to have their share of theatrics, but at least they're always on the go. That's by design as nearly every episode ends in a new country, with the last team to arrive eliminated from the competition.

Summer has proven to be a fertile testing ground for reality television. With scripted shows typically on hiatus until the fall, it's usually a low-cost way to produce something fresher than a second showing of Everybody Loves Raymond. Advertisers and couch potatoes alike can appreciate that.

While most reality shows have fallen by the wayside, every major network has at least one that anchors its weekly schedule. Disney's (NYSE:DIS) ABC would be even deeper in the ratings cellar if it weren't for the success of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. General Electric's (NYSE:GE) NBC trumped the competition with The Apprentice, along with its Fear Factor gross-out fest. Where would Fox (NYSE:FOX) be without the wannabe crooners and sharp-tongued judges of American Idol?

To be frank, it's great to see Viacom's CBS put out a product that doesn't have CSI stamped on it. While the crime action series -- and the legs of Survivor, the mother of all reality shows -- has helped improve its ratings, diversification isn't just a sound portfolio strategy. ABC taught every network the dangers of overexposure when it rode Who Wants to Be a Millionaireinto the ground.

So even if watching globetrotters race around the world doesn't sound like your cup of tea, when you think about it, it sure beats the alternative. With networks now unwilling to yield the summer season to stale programming, we all win.

Will you be watching The Amazing Race tonight or do you prefer a different breed of reality television? Has the genre run its course? What will they think of next? All this and more -- in the Reality Television discussion board. Only on

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz will probably be watching. He owns shares in Viacom and Disney but not any of the other stocks mentioned in this story.