It’s no secret that The Amazing Race has been struggling in the ratings for the past few years, most noticeably the current season.
For the past several seasons, ratings have been on a downward trend for the once-hit series. After being banished to Friday nights on CBS’ schedule back in 2014, the ratings plateaued and performed comparatively to other shows on the night. However, the change to Thursday nights has proven difficult for the veteran reality competition show.
Now, many are wondering if the show will be canceled after the current race is finished, or if it will live to film and air a milestone 30th season.
According to the International Business Times, Season 29 has averaged about 4 million viewers per episode, down a whopping 27.9 percent from its previous viewer average. For comparison, Season 28 (which aired on Friday nights last spring) averaged 5.6 million viewers which was already a series low.
Perhaps the most telling part of Race’s looming fate is that CBS waited nearly one year between Seasons 28 and 29. Normally, two editions would air per television season, one in the fall and another in the spring (much like CBS’ other veteran competition series Survivor). However, when it was left off of the fall 2016 schedule at the May up-fronts last year, fans were left confused and angry. The 29th edition was filmed and ready to air, but was never given a premiere date. In fact, it was only when the low-rated new series Training Day was cancelled that the new season was given a premiere date of March 30 (at a new day and time) at the last minute.
Even though the latest episode on May 5 did rise in ratings, it still only attained a 0.9 in the 18-49 demographic ( the key demo that advertisers and networks care about). If you’re unsure what to make of this number, CBS’ biggest hit series The Big Bang Theory garnered a 2.4 on the same night, and the sitcom Mom got a 1.5. This makes the race the lowest-rated Thursday night program on the network, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the show has tried new twists and unique casting in an attempt to maintain interest and viewers. This year, the cast was made up of 11 pairs of complete strangers who were paired up at the starting line. The season before that, the producers attempted to target the lower age demographics by casting an entire season of YouTube celebrities. Clearly, a shakeup in the casting process hasn’t done much to increase the sliding ratings. Maybe a return to form for the show would be a good idea?
Past ratings stunts included the casting of Survivor alum, in an attempt to bring viewers over from the hugely successful reality show to the race. It worked, with Survivor: All-Stars finalists Rob and Amber competing in the show’s 7th and 11th seasons. Also, Survivor winners Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca competed together on the Race‘s 19th season (although they were the second team eliminated).
While fans of the reality juggernaut would no doubt want a milestone 30th season, it’s very much up in the air at the moment. The upcoming May upfront presentations for all the major television networks including CBS are in a couple weeks, which is when all the networks announce their new fall series and their returning/canceled shows. Until then, fans of the race will be nervously awaiting to hear the show’s fate. Nothing has been confirmed and anything is possible, but it may be too little too late for the once-loved show to return to its former glory.
What are your thoughts on the show’s current ratings woes? Would you tune into a 30th season? Sound off in the comment section below.
[Featured Image by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images]