‘The Amazing Race’ 29: How March 30 Debut, Thursdays At 10 Timeslot Can Make Or Break The Show [Opinion]

CBS took its sweet time with The Amazing Race Season 29, releasing it far later than what fans of the hit reality TV series expected. After the longtime show was left off the network’s Fall 2016 lineup, avid fans of the fast-paced reality TV series were apprehensive about the program’s future. As it turns out, however, it appears that CBS is once more banking on The Amazing Race to win the ratings wars on American TV.

The Amazing Race 29, when it was finally confirmed, was initially announced for a two-hour premiere on April 21, according to Reality TV World. Recently, however, the debut of TAR 29 was moved up to March 30, which is a Thursday. The schedule bump happened after Training Day, a series playing on the Thursday at 10 p.m. timeslot and starring the late Bill Paxton, experienced a blow in ratings. Starting April 8, Training Day will air on Saturday nights instead.

One thing that fans of The Amazing Race must note, however, is that the premiere on March 30 would only be an hour long, unlike the initial two-hour debut that was initially scheduled for April 21. Despite the shorter runtime of the TAR 29 premiere, however, the premise of an earlier premiere date is definitely good news for followers of the long-running reality TV series.

The fact that The Amazing Race Season 29 would be airing on March 30 instead of April 21 carries a number of advantages for the award-winning TV show. For one, a huge advantage of the schedule bump would be the series’ new timeslot. Over the past few seasons, The Amazing Race has been known to struggle with the Friday night timeslot, especially since a huge number of the series’ target demographic (the 20- to 40-year-old group) do not really stay home during the last day of the workweek, according to reality TV-themed website Carter Matt.

By airing The Amazing Race 29 on Thursdays, there is a pretty good chance that CBS could attract more viewers, considering that viewerships are usually higher during Thursdays than on Fridays. Inasmuch as the Thursday timeslot would play to The Amazing Race Season 29’s advantage, however, it could also prove to be one of the fast-paced reality TV show’s biggest weaknesses.

The original timeslot for The Amazing Race 29 was on Fridays at 8 p.m. ET, which was still pretty early for most viewers. The updated schedule for the show, however, is on Fridays at 10 p.m., a full two hours later than its original timeslot. Considering the nature of the show itself, this might prove to be a huge disadvantage for The Amazing Race 29.

The Amazing Race Season 29 is geared towards wholesome family viewing. Thus, it is pertinent for the series to air at a time when its target demographic is still watching TV. Unfortunately for the show, a huge number of its conventional viewers might already be asleep by the time it airs. Of course, a 10 p.m. timeslot is nothing new to The Amazing Race, but its better-performing seasons have mostly aired at earlier times.

Considering that The Amazing Race 29 is airing on a day when CBS broadcasts comedies and other lighthearted material, TAR fits right in with the network’s theme for Thursday nights. Thus, while there is a chance that The Amazing Race 29 could lose some viewers due to its later timeslot, the fast-paced reality TV series could also benefit from added viewership as a result of CBS’ other comedy programs on Thursdays.

Overall, The Amazing Race’s earlier premiere is welcome news for avid fans of the show. By moving the long-running TV series to 10 p.m. on Thursdays, CBS is practically counting on TAR to rake in the numbers for the timeslot. This, at least to a point, proves that the network still has a lot of faith in the wholesome, well-loved, award-winning reality TV series.

[Featured Image by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]