With Tough as Nails, Phil and Louise Keoghan hoped to honor working-class people whose contributions to American society too often go overlooked.
“Most of my family [is] working class,” said co-creator, executive producer and host Phil Keoghan, speaking during a panel at Deadline’s virtual Contenders Television: Documentary + Unscripted awards-season event. “So, when I would hear people make derogatory comments about tradespeople or working-class people, it always irked me. This show is really a way to honor hardworking people, who see the calluses on their hands as a badge of honor, and who keep the country running.”
Co-created and executive produced by Louise Keoghan, the CBS reality competition series features everyday Americans competing in challenges at job sites that test their strength, endurance, life skills and mental toughness. Of course, the show’s focus feels timelier than ever given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on American workers.
While Season 2 of Tough as Nails was shot, with a natural degree of trepidation, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the series was recently renewed for Season 3 and Season 4. And with casting underway for the third go-round, Louise Keoghan said that the atmosphere among talent is entirely different than it had been in the recent past.
“What we’re seeing is this feeling of optimism and excitement, and building the country, and new horizons,” she said. “So, the goal is to bring that to the audience.”
Check back Monday for the panel video.