Breath easy Race fans. Based on the ratings results for the first two episodes of the new season of CBS's The Amazing Race it looks like the series has managed to survive the potentially damaging bad taste that The Amazing Race 6 contestant Jonathan Baker's behavior left in many viewers' mouths.

Seemingly overcoming concerns that viewer disgust with Jonathan's antics could serve as a fatal turn off to new viewers of the long-running reality series that had just finally made the jump from "critically-acclaimed cult favorite" to "mainstream hit," The Amazing Race 7 performed well in its two-hour Tuesday, March 1 premiere.

The Amazing Race 7's debut averaged 11.76 million viewers despite airing versus a highly competitive lineup of February sweeps programming that included the series finale of ABC's NYPD Blue and original episodes of Fox's American Idol-fueled House and NBC's Law & Order dramas. Compared to last fall's record-setting The Amazing Race 6 premiere, The Amazing Race 7's premiere posted a 1% gain in its households rating and a virtual tie in viewers (11.76 versus TAR6's 11.79 million) -- a performance that made it the highest rated premiere of any The Amazing Race edition and only 30,000 viewers short of laying claim to being the reality franchise's most watched premiere.

Proving that its premiere performance wasn't a fluke, last week's broadcast of TAR 7's second episode also delivered well for CBS, averaging 11.69 million viewers, a 7.2/11 households rating/share, a 5.5/12 in the Adults 25-54 demographic, a 4.8/12 in Adults 18-49, and a 4.2/11 in Adults 18-34. Placing a solid second behind House in all the afore mentioned ratings categories, The Amazing Race 7's second episode retained 99% of its premiere's viewers, 98% of its Adults 18-49 audience, and 100% of its Adults 18-34 audience while actually growing its Adults 25-54 performance by 2%.

Compared to last fall's broadcast of the second episode of The Amazing Race 6, last week's second TAR7 episode was up 2% in viewers, 1% in households, 2% in Adults 18-49, 8% in Adults 18-34, and 6% in Adults 25-54. The Amazing Race 7 episode also ranked as the highest rated second episode of any The Amazing Race edition since The Amazing Race 2's March 13, 2002 broadcast -- an episode that had the benefit of airing after a special Wednesday Survivor broadcast caused by CBS's coverage of the 2002 NCAA men's college basketball tournament.

Both episodes also ended up placing well in the all-important weekly rankings of primetime network television's Adults 18-49 program rankings, with March 1's two-hour premiere's 4.9 rating ranking it 17th for the week ending March 6 and March 8's second episode's 4.8 rating placing it 19th for the week ending March 13.