CBS moves its upcoming 'The Amazing Race 9' to Tuesdays at 10PM
By Reality TV World staff, 02/09/2006
A week after it announcedThe Amazing Race 9 would premiere on February 28 and, following its special two-hour premiere, regularly air in the Tuesdays at 9PM ET/PT time period that the reality series has occupied since The Amazing Race 6, CBS has reversed course, deciding instead to make the Tuesdays at 10PM ET/PT hour the show's new regular time period.
Although the network says its fate hasn't yet been determined, The Amazing Race's move to the 10PM ET/PT time period probably means the end for Love Monkey, a quirky, new, critically lauded drama that has struggled in the ratings since its January premiere. The Unit, a new military action drama that CBS presumably thinks might be more compatible with its NCIS hit drama that occupies the Tuesdays at 8PM hour, will debut on March 7 and air in The Amazing Race's former 9PM time period.
Now in its third season, NCIS (a spinoff of the since-canceled JAG series) has slowly evolved into one of CBS' top rated shows (trailing only CSI, Without A Trace, Survivor, and CSI: Miami in this season's viewership rankings) and demonstrated itself to be one of the few network television shows capable of holding its own against this winter's return of Fox's American Idol ratings goliath.
Even though it isn't scheduled to air regularly in the Tuesdays at 9PM hour, American Idol has already managed to skewer one competitor's show that airs in the hour -- ABC's Commander In Chief. The top-rated new television drama when it initially premiered this past fall, Commander's ratings began to slide once Fox's House returned from its MLB playoff-caused layoff, after which ABC put the show on hiatus until late January. Things only got worse when it returned, with supersized two-hour broadcasts of American Idol's open auditions causing Commander to deliver even lower ratings and result in ABC deciding to schedule another hiatus for the show once the February ratings sweeps period ends. After February, ABC will air back-to-back episodes of Sons & Daughters, a new sitcom created by Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels in the 9PM hour until Commander returns on April 18.
House returned to its Tuesday night time period for the first time since January 10 this week. Fueled by an 8PM American Idol episode that averaged nearly 31 million viewers, the second year Fox medical drama averaged over 22 million viewers and delivered its best ratings ever.
The Amazing Race 9 won't have to worry about competing against supersized Idol episodes or Idol-fueled House broadcasts in the Tuesdays at 10PM ET/PT hour, however it will still face significant competition in the later time period. In addition to the facts that network viewership tends to drop off in the 10PM hour and the later hour would appear to be a poor fit for a show that just finished airing a "family edition" that recognized the show's popularity as family programming, The Amazing Race 9 will face two well-established dramas in the hour, Law & Order: SVU and Boston Legal.
With NBC's lineup struggling since the departure of Friends, Law & Order: SVU has emerged as the network's top ranked show of the season, averaging 14.36 million viewers and ranking 21st (ahead of 26th ranked E.R.) in Nielsen's season-to-date television rankings. Boston Legal ranks 43th in the rankings, averaging 10.59 million viewers. Love Monkey ranks 58th in the season-to-date rankings, having averaged 8.16 million viewers in its first two airings. After being preempted for last week's State Of the Union Address, this week's third Love Monkey broadcast (which won't in be included in the updated season-to-date rankings until next week) was watched by fewer than 7 million viewers.
The Amazing Race has previously enjoyed some success airing in the Tuesdays at 10PM time period, albeit during the less competitive summer season in which it also had CBS' Big Brother summer staple available to serve as its very compatible lead-in. The Amazing Race 5 -- the Race edition generally credited with finally turning the reality franchise into the ratings success that saved it from cancellation -- averaged 10.73 million viewers and consistently won its time period in all key demographics when it aired in the Tuesdays at 10PM time period during Summer 2004.
As part of last week's announcement that The Amazing Race 9 will premiere on February 28, CBS also revealed that identities of the show's upcoming racers. The eleven teams of two that will be competing on The Amazing Race 9 are:
• "Best Friends" BJ Averell and Tyler Macniven. BJ is a 26-year-old online tutor from Los Angeles, CA. Tyler is a 25-year-old filmmaker from San Francisco, CA.
• "Life-long Friends" Scott Braginton-Smith and John Lowe. Scott is a 41-year-old working in sales from West Harwich, MA. John is a 38-year-old wealth manager from Dorchester, MA.
• "Dating Couple" Yolanda Brown-Moore and Ray Whitty. Yolanda is a 27-year-old science teacher while Ray is a 31-year-old attorney. Both are from Chicago, IL.
• "Dating Couple" Monica Cayce and Joseph Meadows. Monica is a 23-year-old student from Fayetteville, AR. Joseph is a 23-year-old homebuilder from Fort Smith, AR.
• "Mother And Daughter" Desiree Cifre and Wanda Lopez-Rochford. Desiree is a 24-year-old writer from New York, NY. Wanda is a 44-year-old corporate trainer from Smyrna, GA.
• "Married Parents" Michelle Garner and Lake Garner. Michelle is a 36-year-old homemaker while Lake is a 37-year-old dentist. The couple lives in Hattiesburg, MS.
• "Sisters" Joni Glaze and Lisa Hinds. Joni is a 44-year-old children’s minister from Katy, TX. Lisa is a 48-year-old realtor/artist from Santa Rosa Beach, FL.
• "Sacrificial Lambs" "Married 40 Years Couple" Barry Lazarus and Fran Lazarus. Barry is a 63-year-old retired physician while Fran is a 61-year-old retired accountant. The couple lives in Silverthorne, CO.
• "Friends" Jeremy Ryan and Eric Sanchez. Jeremy is a 26-year-old waiter while Eric is a 27-year-old waiter. Both are from Fort Lauderdale, FL.
• "Dating Couple" David Spiker and Lori Willems. David is a 30-year-old musician while Lori is a 22-year-old Pizza Hut Manager. Both are from Manhattan, KS.
• "Childhood Friends" Dani Torchio and Danielle Turner. Both are 22-year-old recent college graduates from Staten Island, NY.