Congratulations The Amazing Race fans, it's starting to look more and more like this is the summer that The Amazing Race stops being a critically acclaimed but modestly rated series and starts becoming a bona fide ratings hit. It's amazing what apparently one Emmy award win can accomplish.

According to final Nielsen ratings for Tuesday, June 20, the third episode of CBS's The Amazing Race 5 continued to exhibit strong growth and (once again) delivered the program's best ratings numbers since the Fall 2002 finale of The Amazing Race 3.

Airing at 10PM ET/PT, The Amazing Race 5 drew 11.11 million overall viewers, a 6.9/12 rating/share in households, a 3.8/11 in the Adults 18-34 demographic, a 4.6/13 in Adults 18-49 and a 5.0/13 in Adults 25-54. The performance placed The Amazing Race 5 first in its time period in viewers, Adults 18-34, Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54.

Breaking the previous record set by TAR 5's premiere of two weeks ago (last week's second episode matched the premiere's performance despite airing versus the MLB All-Star Game on Fox), this was most watched and highest rated episode in Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54 since the December 18, 2002, finale of The Amazing Race 3. Additionally this was the highest rated episode of The Amazing Race in households since the March 20, 2002 episode of The Amazing Race 2.

Compared to last week, The Amazing Race 5 was up 6% in viewers, 7% in Adults 18-49, 9% in Adults 25-54 and 8% in households.

The Amazing Race 5 also continued to pull away from its CBS reality sibling, building on Big Brother 5's 8PM ET/PT lead-in by 21% in viewers, 28% in Adults 18-49, 22% in Adults 25-54 and 27% in Adults 18-34.

Last week's second episode of The Amazing Race 5 placed 11th in the overall weekly rankings with 10.5 million viewers and a 6.4/11 rating/share.