MTV's hit competition series The Challenge will be returning for Season 36 after being renewed by the network on Thursday, according to report from Entertainment Weekly.
This season of The Challenge: Total Madness boasts the highest ratings of any season in the last 14 years, averaging a 1.61 among P18-49 in Live+3. It's on pace to become the highest-rated season in the last eight years, with total viewership up by 10 percent.
The network has not yet revealed any details about Season 36, but the final challenge of Total Madness is set to air next week. This season saw veteran challengers playing with and against rookies from different franchises, including Big Brother, Amazing Race, American Ninja Warrior, and Survivor. Each week, the players tackle different challenges and brutal eliminations designed to test them physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Season 35 has brought quite a bit of on-screen twists and drama, including the introduction of the new red skulls, which forced competitors into elimination in order to secure their spots in the final. There has also been off-screen controversy when MTV announced its decision to cut ties with competitor Dee Nguyen after she made racially insensitive statements regarding the Black Lives Matter movement, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.
MTV assured viewers it would continue airing the season, but fans were disappointed with the heavy editing of each episode. Nguyen was removed from most of the show's scenes, which caused disruptions in the storyline. The Australian reality star was finally given a few moments of air time during Wednesday's episode where she competed in the final elimination for the season and lost to Jennifer West, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.
In the upcoming episode, the remaining nine competitors will participate in what host T.J. Lavin has dubbed the most brutal final yet.
"Stamina will be tested in freezing cold temperatures and massive mountains as Challengers fight for the championship title and their share of the $1 million prize."
While chatting with EW, Lavin also reminisced on the early days of the series and pointed out that many other shows have copied The Challenge over the years.
"You know, we're the first challenge competition show to bring in eliminations and all that — people have copied us from the very beginning," he said. "It's an honor to see what somebody else pulls from us and puts into their show, that means that we're doing it right. I look at it as imitation is the highest form of flattery."