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CBS' 'The Amazing Race 5' premiere delivers best ratings since 'The Amazing Race 3' finale

By Reality TV World staff, 07/08/2004 

Tuesday's season premiere of CBS' The Amazing Race 5 got the series off to a great start, with the first post-victory broadcast of last year's Emmy-award winning reality show winning its time period and drawing the program's best rating performance since the finale of The Amazing Race 3.

According to the final National Nielsen ratings for July 6, airing from 9:30-11:00PM ET/PT after the season premiere of CBS' Big Brother 5, The Amazing Race 5 drew 10.3 million viewers, a 4.3/12 in the Adults 18-49 demographic, a 4.1/12 in Adults 18-34, a 4.6/12 in Adults 25-54, and a 6.4/11 in households. The performance placed the show first in its time period in total viewers, Adults 18-49, Adults 18-34, and Adults 25-54 and second in households.

The Amazing Race 5 premiere also built strongly on its Big Brother 5 lead-in, drawing 750,000 more viewers than the 9.55 million that tuned in for the 8:00-9:30PM ET/PT premiere of the network's long-running annual summer series. The Amazing Race 5 also built slightly on Big Brother 5's performance in Adults 18-49 (4.3/12 versus 3.8/12), Adults 18-34 (4.1/12 versus 3.1/10), Adults 25-54 (4.6/12 versus 4.2/12) and households (6.4/11 versus 6.3/11), proving that perhaps viewers value The Amazing Race's Emmy-winning substance over Big Brother's sleazy voyeurism -- even if only over so slightly.

Compared to the premiere of The Amazing Race 4 in May of 2003, The Amazing Race 5 was up 32% in Adults 18-34 (from 3.1/11), 16% in Adults 18-49 (from 3.7/12), 5% in Adults 25-54 (from 4.4/13) and added 360,000 viewers (from 9.94 million.)

The debut represented the best performance for an episode of The Amazing Race in viewers, Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54 since the finale of The Amazing Race 3 aired on December 18, 2002 and highest rated in adults 18-34 since the May 15, 2002 finale of The Amazing Race 2.

The premiere outperformed CBS' previous 10-11PM ET/PT summer programming (repeats of Judging Amy) by 28% in households (from 5.0/08), 153% in Adults 18-49 (from 1.7/05), 273% in Adults 18-34 (from 1.1/03) and 109% in Adults 25-54 (from 2.2/05) while adding 3.7 million viewers (from 6.60 million).

Combined with the network's 8:00-9:30PM ET/PT broadcast of the premiere of Big Brother 5, the two CBS reality series took a bite out of the ratings performance of NBC's previously high-flying Last Comic Standing 2, defeating the series in viewers, households, and Adults 25-54, and tying the series in Adults 18-49.

Together the three hour block of reality programming premieres led CBS to an across-the-board victory in viewers, Adults 18-49, Adults 18-34 and Adults 25-54.

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