The Amazing Race 29 finally premiered Thursday night, but how many fans of past seasons returned to check out the new season?
The Amazing Race season 29 ratings are in, and fans should be happy to learn that the premiere won its Thursday night timeslot. A total of 4.39 million viewers watched the premiere, with a 0.9 in the 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary ratings. While the final ratings are still to come, it should be encouraging that the premiere beat new episodes of The Blacklist: Redemption on NBC and The Catch on ABC, both in viewers and the 18-49 demo.
This will surely be good news for CBS, which had seemed uncertain about the future of The Amazing Race based on recent decisions. The network chose to delay the premiere of season 29 until now, marking the 2016-17 TV season as the first to not have a fall season of The Amazing Race in over a decade. Additionally, the show was not included in CBS's big renewal announcement, suggesting it is on the bubble.
Fans shouldn't start celebrating completely, though. The season 29 premiere is down relatively significantly from the season 28 premiere, which debuted to 6.09 million viewers and a 1.3 in the 18-49 demo last February. The 4.39 million premiere for season 29 also marks the lowest in series history. TV ratings may be slipping overall, but it's still never good when a show shaves over one million viewers from season to season and slips below 1.0 in the 18-49 demo.
The Amazing Race 29 features a drastically different format than usual, with 22 strangers paired up to make 11 teams, rather than starting with teams with pre-existing relationships. The premiere began with the contestants racing to find suitcases tagged with the Panama flag, with the fastest racers able to pick a partner and going through until the final pair was set up by default.
The Amazing Race season 29 will continue onward in the Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT timeslot on CBS.