'Amazing Race' lags in ratings contest
The reality show's fall premiere places third in its new Sunday-night slot, after football and 'Extreme Makeover.'
By Scott Collins, Times Staff Writer
CBS' reality show "The Amazing Race" is still on the hunt for stable ratings.
You may recall that the network shifted the globetrotting scavenger hunt from Wednesdays to 8 p.m. Sundays this fall, where executives hoped it could kick off a reconstituted night of entertainment programming. For the first time in years, CBS won't have a Sunday made-for-TV movie; instead "Race" will lead into two cop dramas, "Cold Case" and "Without a Trace," the latter a hit show imported from Thursdays.
" 'Race' is a self-starter," CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler told reporters in July.
But this time around the start wasn't so impressive. The 10th edition of "Race" had to settle for third place in its 90-minute Sunday debut, with an average of 10.1 million viewers, according to early data from Nielsen Media Research.
Worse, the debut slipped 11% compared with last fall's premiere among the core audience of adults ages 18 to 49.
The CBS premiere was edged out by a two-hour special version of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," which scored 11.5 million viewers during its head-to-head competition with "Race." But the bigger problem was NBC's "Sunday Night Football," which through two airings is already making life difficult for rivals. Sunday's Washington Redskins-Dallas Cowboys game averaged 18.4 million viewers, tossing NBC an easy victory for the night.
CBS is entering the new season — which officially started Monday night — with two of its top reality franchises showing signs of advanced age.
In addition to "Race," which has changed time slots three times since January, last week's debut of "Survivor: Cook Islands," featuring teams divided along ethnic lines, delivered 18 million viewers, the lowest premiere for the franchise since its 2000 debut.http://www.calendarlive.com/tv/cl-et-channel19sep19,0,5609335.story?coll=cl-tv-features