CBS has confirmed that it will air The Amazing Race 5 during the
summer of 2004, beginning on July 6, as it originally planned. Thus,
CBS chairman Les Moonves' trial balloon regarding the possibility of
delaying TAR5 for the CBS fall schedule, which he trotted out during
the network's "upfront" presentations in May, has been punctured.
Instead, CBS is hoping to use the summer broadcast to build momentum
for the fall return of The Amazing Race 6 to the regular-season
primetime schedule. To help that effort, CBS has changed the planned
broadcast time of TAR6 from Saturday at 9 PM ET/PT to Saturday at 8
PM ET/PT. Whether the earlier hour will help The Amazing Race in the
ratings, considering that it is airing on one of the two
weekend "death nights" for reality TV, remains an open question.
According to TV Week, CBS's Saturday night lineup in the fall will
- 8 PM (7 CT): The Amazing Race 6
- 9 PM (8 CT): Crime Time Saturday (repeat episodes of TAR producer
Jerry Bruckheimer's primetime dramas)
- 10 PM (9 CT): 48 Hours Mystery (which was originally slated for 8
CBS says the moves were intended to improve "program flow." We tend
to believe they were made to give TAR6 a chance to survive, without
the sure-to-be dismal lead-in audience from 48 Hours Mystery, but
we'll have to wait and see if they work.