This Ratings Debate is all about a show that is very near and near to our heart. You see, we’ve watched every season of “The Amazing Race,” every episode. We’ve literally never missed one. We’ve also watched every episode of both the Australian and Canadian versions of the show. No, we have not seen “The Amazing Race Asia” or some other international versions, but we feel like watching more than 30+ seasons of the show in different formats is enough to prove we are a fan.
Unfortunately, the CBS series that launched many an international version is at risk of running out of steam and getting metaphorically eliminated at the next Pit Stop. Its ratings are low, and we have a sinking suspicion that the network may be looking in another direction in the future. We’ll explain why and much more below.
The case to keep it – It’s clearly a brand that works, given that the Canadian version is one of the country’s most-popular shows, and it also is relatively low-budget compared to scripted shows, even with all of the international travel. It has also been one of the best ways to exposure viewers to the world, especially since not everyone watches the Travel Channel. It’s a CBS institution, and it is discussed with great zeal in the same way that “Survivor” and “Big Brother” are.
One other little argument that we’ll make is this: Don’t get greedy, CBS? Are you really going to find something else that does much better Friday nights at 8:00 p.m. Eastern?
The case to cancel it – The ratings are bad. There’s no other way of putting it. It tends to be the worst-performing show they have on Fridays, and it may be the worst-performing show that they have on the Sunday-Friday schedule in general. We’re not including “Battle Creek,” since it premiered early this year and it is definitely getting canceled.
Also, we have a theory that this whole Blind Date season was largely a suggestion by the network to find something new to shake up the show. This is almost a Hail Mary move in some ways to bring in more viewers, or some that left the show years ago. Ironically, we’ve come to enjoy season 26 much more than we thought we would going into it.
Prediction – Unfortunately, we’re all but expecting “The Amazing Race” to not be on the fall schedule. Maybe this is an “expect the worst” way of thinking. However, this doesn’t mean that the show is canceled. The great thing about is that even if CBS goes away from it for a few months or even a year, they can always call Phil Keoghan, get some new teams, and revive it. We don’t think the format is dead for American audiences by any means; it could just go dormant for a little while or go down to one season a year versus two. “The Celebrity Apprentice” and “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” are great examples of shows that went off the air and returned later, and managed to find enough success for a renewal. (Granted, “Whose Line?” aired on a different network.)
What do you want to see happen to “The Amazing Race”? Vote in the poll below, and head over here to see some of our other recent Ratings Debate pieces! Also, you can sign up now in the event you want some further TV updates on all we cover via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: CBS.)