CBS Juggles Reality TV Shows – ‘Star Search’ May Push Back ‘Amazing Race’by David Bloomberg -- 01/29/2003
Will Star Search push The Amazing Race 4 back until March sometime? That’s what it looks like, according to news reports that say CBS has picked up another nine episodes (the same number that are making up the first series) to begin airing on February 19, less than two weeks after this round ends. The show will be forced out of their current Thursday timeslot by the arrival of Survivor: The Amazon, moving instead to Friday at 8/7 Central. But plans apparently call for the show to continue in its current Wednesday timeslot, also at 8/7 Central. The problem is that this is when The Amazing Race would normally air. The presumption by many has been that The Amazing Race 4 would begin around the time that Survivor does.
E-mail has already begun coming in to RealityNewsOnline asking why CBS would push back a successful show like The Amazing Race which, as one reader reminded me, was the winner of several 2002 RealityNewsOnline/Reality TV Hall of Shame Year in Review Awards, including Best Duo, Best Finale, and Best Show! While I doubt CBS cares a whole lot about those awards, the fact remains that the show is well-liked.
The answer to this question of “why” may be contained in the answer to just about all questions regarding television: Ratings. Zap2it.com reported that Star Search has been averaging about 13.3 million viewers for its Wednesday broadcasts and 14.4 million viewers on Thursdays. The network obviously wants to build on those numbers and keep people involved. While I have no way of knowing for certain, it would not surprise me if they may also be taking into account keeping Star Search on to water down the American Idol phenomenon a bit – not because they will be in head-to-head competition, but because people will be able to see more singers and performers than just those on the Fox show, which could erode AI’s viewer base. I doubt it will work, but it could be a consideration.
The reports on Star Search continuing have not addressed any potential changes on the show. For example, I have previously talked about improving the judging and getting rid of the supermodel category, which the judges still don’t seem to understand how to rate. If it were up to me, they’d also can Naomi Judd, but I suspect they’ll keep her around. In fact, I suspect they’ll keep pretty much everything the same, figuring that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
But if that is indeed the attitude, why push back a decidedly non-broken Amazing Race? CBS is already juggling its schedule – at the same time the renewal of Star Search was announced they also canned Presidio Med and Queens Supreme. So why not move something else around so viewers can have both Star Search and The Amazing Race 4? Alas, I can’t answer that – I’m not a studio head.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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