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CBS's 'The Amazing Race 7' continues riding high with "Romber"-fueled ratings


By Wade Paulsen, 03/17/2005 

Perhaps the ratings problems that have long plagued CBS's Emmy-winning The Amazing Race are coming to an end ... with a little help from the show's reality TV friends.

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Following the promising ratings for the first two episodes of The Amazing Race 7, which features the team of Amber Brkich and "Boston Rob" Mariano (aka "Romber"), an engaged couple who were the top two finishers on Survivor: All-Stars, the ratings for the third episode were the best recorded by the show since the finale of The Amazing Race 5.

The episode, which was highlighted by Boston Rob forming a successful alliance to NOT complete a roadblock, drew 12.71 million viewers, a 5.0/12 rating in the key Adults 18-49 category, a 5.8/13 in CBS's preferred Adults 25-54 measure, and a 4.1/12 in Adults 18-34. Not only are these numbers better than the ones drawn by any episode of The Amazing Race 6, but they are also a significant improvement to the numbers drawn by The Amazing Race 5's third episode that aired against minimal summer rerun competition.

Whether accurate or not, CBS appears to clearly attribute the new season's ratings success to Romber, releasing a ratings press release headlined with "The Rob-Father Delivers!!!" As a result, CBS may well be exploring the possibility of stunt casting more "ex-survivors" in future editions of the show... including perhaps the upcoming The Amazing Race 8 family edition which will feature four-person family groupings.

Can a The Amazing Race 8 team featuring Survivor: All-Stars fan favorite Rupert Boneham and his wife, daughter, and foster child or a team containing Survivor: The Australian Outback winner Tina Wesson, her husband and two teenaged children be far behind?

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